Tag Archives: Valley Baseball League

Three VBL Alums Help Red Sox to World Series, Lowell MVP

-Valley Baseball League Press Release-

For the second year in a row, the Most Valuable Player of the Major League Baseball World Series is a Valley Baseball League alum as third baseman Mike Lowell led the Boston Red Sox to the title in 2007.

Lowell played for the Waynesboro Generals in the Valley League in 1993. Two VBL alumni were also on the Boston roster as relief pitchers for the postseason. Javier Lopez played for the New Market Rebels in 1996 and Kyle Snyder competed for the Winchester Royals in 1997.

The 2007 series marks the second straight year that a former VBL player has been named World Series MVP. In 2006, former Harrisonburg Turks infielder David Eckstein led the St. Louis Cardinals to the title.

Lowell hit .400 in 15 at bats in the series with three doubles, one home run, and four RBIs as the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies 4-0. For the postseason, he hit .353 with 18 hits, seven doubles, two home runs, and 15 RBIs. In the regular season, he hit .324 in 154 games with 37 doubles, 21 home runs, and 120 RBIs. It was the second World Series championship for the Puerto Rican native, who also helped the Florida Marlins to a title in 2003.

Lopez appeared in five games for the Red Sox in the postseason and pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs. He appeared in one game during the World Series with two hits allowed. For the season, Lopez went 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA and ranked second for the Red Sox with 61 appearances.

Snyder did not make an appearance in the postseason for the Red Sox. During the regular season, he was 2-3 in 46 appearances with a 3.81 ERA in 54 1/3 innings.

Perfect Game names Top 20 Prospects in VL

Baseball website PGcrosschecker.com recently compiled its list of the top 20 players in the Valley Baseball League. The list was compiled by Allan Simpson with input from the league’s managers and scouts.

Similar to the recently released Baseball America list, PG Crosschecker identified Winchester’s Luke Greinke as the league’s top prospect. He was also the league MVP. He was followed by Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis, but then six of the next seven players listed were pitchers.

Simpson noted that league officials felt that the 2007 season saw a jump in overall talent around the league, in particular in the pitching department. The numbers appear to support that assertion. In 2007, league pitchers as a whole had a 3.70 earned run average while hitters had a .247 batting average as a league. In 2006, hitters posted a .258 average while pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, and the year before saw a .257 batting average and 3.97 ERA as a league.

While Waynesboro finished first in the regular season and won the Jim Lineweaver Cup as league champions, the Generals placed just three players in the top 20 and none higher than #11. In fact, many of the top prospects come from the lower half of the standings. Simpson noted that was a sign of the league’s improved depth.

PGCrosschecker.com Valley League Top 20 Prospects

1. Luke Greinke, UT, Winchester (Auburn)

2. Jason Kipnis, OF, Covington (Arizona State)

3. Zac Blakney, RHP, Fauquier (Montevallo)

4. Shayne Moody, SS, Woodstock (Charlotte)

5. Ashur Tolliver, LHP, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)

6. Donald Jordat, RHP, Luray (Miami-Dade C.C.)

7. Rob Gilliam, RHP, Luray (UNC Greensboro)

8. Tim Sexton, RHP, Staunton (Miami-Dade C.C.)

9. Josh Judy, RHP, Haymarket (Indiana Tech)

10. Tyler Kuhn, SS/2B, Luray (West Virginia)

11. Pat Irvine, C/OF, Waynesboro (Elon)

12. Garrett Parker, RHP, Harrisonburg (Oklahoma City)

13. Bobby Hernandez, RHP, Staunton (Barry)

14. Josh Eidell, RHP, Woodstock (Villanova)

15. Elih Villanueva, RHP, Luray (Florida State)

16. Jeremy Cruz, 1B, Luray (Stetson)

17. Chris Masters, LHP, New Market (Western Carolina)

18. Brandon Sizemore, 2B, Waynesboro (Charleston)

19. Kurt Davidson, C/1B, Waynesboro (Akron)

20. Dustin Umberger, RHP, Luray (Liberty)

Full scouting reports from the summer on each player are available here. A subscription is required to view the insider-level reports.

Waynesboro wins Valley League

Courtesy of Valley League

LURAY, Va., Aug. 10, 2007 – Top-seeded Waynesboro broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run eighth-inning rally and defeated third-seeded Luray on its home turf at Bulldog Field to capture the Jim Lineweaver Cup as the Valley Baseball League 2007 champion.

Waynesboro won the best of five series three games to one over Luray, the defending champion from 2006. Game four was the first game in the series won by the visiting team. It was the first league championship for the Generals since 1998 when they swept Staunton 3-0.

This season, Waynesboro went 30-13-1 overall to earn the VBL’s top seed. The Generals have the best regular season record over the last two seasons combined with a 27-15 mark in 2006. Skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt was honored with his second straight VBL Coach of the Year honor this year.

Danny Williamson (Middleburg, Fla./North Florida C.C.) earned the victory for Waynesboro, pitching three innings of no-hit relief with two strikeouts to improve to 3-1. Jimmy Stanley (Lexington, Ky./Belmont) pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save of the season. Kenny Cedel (Staten Island, N.Y./Long Island) took the loss for the Wranglers, allowing all three runs in the eighth.

Russ Brewer (Norwood, N.C./Vanderbilt) had the big hit for the Generals, a solo home run that proved to be the game winner in the eighth inning. All-Valley League selection Kurt Davidson (North Canton, Ohio/Akron) followed with a two-run double to break the game open to the 6-3 final.

Luray jumped on board first in the contest with two runs in the third inning. All-league short stop Tyler Kuhn (Louisville, Ky./West Virginia), the 2006 league MVP, hit an RBI double to plate Alec Lowrey (Weston, Fla./Louisville). Gerard Hall (Washington, D.C./Old Dominion) also scored on the play on the second of four Waynesboro errors for the night.

The Generals struck right back in the fourth with a two-run single by Brewer, who finished the night with three RBIs. Luray regained the lead, however, on a Justin Miller (Dayton, Va./Ohio State) home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth, his fifth of the season. Once again the Generals had the answer in the fifth with an RBI single by Ryan Adams (Burlington, N.C./Elon).

The 3-3 score held up until the three-run outburst by the Generals in the eighth. Waynesboro finished the night with six runs on nine hits and four errors. Luray scored its three runs on six hits with no errors.

Brewer finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Adams also had two hits with a run and RBI. Davidson was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk. Luray had no players with multiple hits. Kuhn and Miller had the only RBIs.

Box Score and Play-by-Play

Greinke and Nesselrodt headline 2007 Valley League Awards

Courtesy of Valley League
Winchester utility player Luke Greinke (Orlando, Fla./Auburn) was named Most Valuable Player and Waynesboro skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt was selected as Coach of the Year as the Valley Baseball League announced its 2007 All-League awards on Wednesday, August 8.

Greinke, a rising senior at Auburn, filled several roles for the Winchester Royals and was a true utility player with solid play in the field, at the plate, and on the mound. Offensively, he battered the baseball while playing first base, outfield, and designated hitter. He led the league with a .417 batting average to claim the league’s batting title. He also led the VBL with a .642 slugging percentage and .517 on-base percentage while collecting 12 doubles, five homers, and 32 RBIs for a potent Winchester offense that led the league hitting .275 as a team. Greinke was equally as impressive on the mound, going 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA in eight appearances covering 50 2/3 innings.

Nesselrodt was named the league’s top coach for the second consecutive season. The Generals finished with the league’s top record in the regular season at 30-13-1 and also have the league’s best mark over the last two years combined at 57-28-1. Waynesboro has held true to its top seed by advancing to the VBL championship series.

Greinke was one of 16 players selected to the 2007 Valley League All-League squad. Waynesboro and its championship opponent Luray, the defending league champion, each placed three players on the All-League squad to lead the way. Front Royal, Harrisonburg, New Market, and Winchester each placed two players on the team with Covington and Staunton adding the last two picks.

Three players were repeat selections to the squad, led by Luray short stop Tyler Kuhn (Louisville, Ky./West Virginia), who was the 2006 VBL MVP. Entering the championship series, Kuhn was hitting .314 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers, 21 RBIs, 20 walks, and seven steals.

The other repeat picks both came from Waynesboro. Kurt Davidson (North Canton, Ohio/Akron) was the selection at first base after being honored at third base in 2006. He leads the league by a wide margin with 51 RBIs and 61 hits. Davidson is also second with 90 total bases while hitting .305 with 12 doubles and five homers. A clutch hitter all season, Davidson had the game-winning RBI in the Generals’ semifinal game three win over Covington and in the championship series opener in the 14th inning against Luray.

The other repeat honoree was Generals ace Jon Dages (Indianapolis, Ind./Butler), who went 7-2 with a 2.62 ERA. Entering the championship, he ranks second in the league with 68 2/3 innings pitched and seven wins.

Waynesboro’s other all-league winner was second baseman Brandon Sizemore (Bryceville, Fla./Tallahassee C.C.). He sits third in the league with 53 hits and leads the Generals with 13 doubles. Sizemore is hitting .277 with a triple, three homers, 27 RBIs, and 13 steals.

Luray’s other selections came from their dynamic duo of starting pitchers, Robert Gilliam (Chapel Hill, N.C./UNC-Greensboro) and Dustin Umberger (Hummelstown, Pa./Liberty). Gilliam won the honor of the league’s ERA leader for the regular season and carries a 1.26 mark and a 7-1 record into the final series. He also has a save and has struck out 81 batters in 57 innings. Umberger ranks second in the league with a 1.45 ERA and led the league with eight wins on a perfect 8-0 record. He ranks third with 76 strikeouts in 56 innings.

Greinke, the all-league pick at the utility spot, was joined by teammate Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla./Virginia Tech). The outfielder ranks fourth in the league with a .328 batting average and fifth with a .537 on-base percentage. He led the Royals with six home runs while adding eight doubles, 24 RBIs, 20 walks, and 11 steals.

Front Royal’s two picks include third baseman Bennett Davis (Katy, Texas/Manatee C.C.) and closer Joel Brookens (Fayetteville, Pa./North Carolina St.). Davis sits second in the league with 14 doubles. He hit .280 with three home runs, 36 runs scored, 30 RBIs, and 14 steals. Brookens leads the league with 13 saves and ranks second with 19 games finished. He had a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings and held opponents to a .129 batting average.

Harrisonburg placed two players on the all-league squad after finishing second in the regular season. Outfielder Robert Taylor (Ingram, Texas/Arkansas-Little Rock) and relief pitcher Garrett Parker (Duncanville, Texas/Howard-Payne) represented the Turks. Taylor ranks third in the league with a .352 batting average. He scored 22 runs, had six doubles, four homers, 14 walks, and a .420 on-base percentage. Parker finished 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA and eight saves in 21 1/3 innings. He did not allow a run until the postseason and ranks fifth in the league in saves.

New Market had two all-league selections with catcher Nick Stanley (Largo, Fla./South Florida C.C.) and designated hitter Nolan Brannon (St. Petersburg, Fla./Tampa). Stanley ranks fifth in the VBL with a .325 batting average and leads the league with 15 doubles. He had 50 hits, 23 runs, two homers, 20 RBIs, and 16 walks. Brannon hit .323 with 41 hits, six doubles, 17 RBIs, and 15 walks.

The final two selections were Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis (Northbrook, Ill./Kentucky) and Staunton closer Bobby Hernandez (Key West, Fla./Barry). Kipnis shares the league lead with nine home runs and won the home run derby during the 2007 all-star game in Front Royal. He ranks second with a .591 slugging percentage, second with a .498 on-base percentage, first with 46 runs scored, second with 41 RBIs, first with 91 total bases, first with 49 walks, and second with 24 stolen bases. Hernandez was second in the league with 12 saves and second with 21 appearances. He had a 1.78 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .143 batting average.

The awards were voted upon by the league’s 11 head coaches, broadcasters, and select media members who covered the league.

2007 Valley League MVP – Luke Grineke, Winchester

2007 Valley League Coach of the Year – Lawrence Nesselrodt, Waynesboro

2007 Valley League Batting Champion – Luke Greinke, Winchester

2007 Valley League Pitching ERA Leader – Robert Gilliam, Luray

2007 Valley League All-League Team

1B – Kurt Davidson, Waynesboro (Akron)

2B – Brandon Sizemore, Waynesboro (Tallahassee C.C.)

3B – Bennett Davis, Front Royal (Manatee C.C.)

SS – Tyler Kuhn, Luray (West Virginia)

OF – Jose Cueto, Winchester (Virginia Tech)

OF – Jason Kipnis, Covington (Kentucky)

OF – Robert Taylor, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)

C – Nick Stanley, New Market (South Florida C.C.)

DH – Nolan Brannon, New Market (Tampa)

UT – Luke Greinke, Winchester (Auburn)

SP – Jon Dages, Waynesboro (Butler)

SP – Robert Gilliam, Luray (UNC-Greensboro)

SP – Dustin Umberger, Luray (Liberty)

RP – Joel Brookens, Front Royal (North Carolina St.)

RP – Bobby Hernandez, Staunton (Barry)

RP – Garrett Parker, Harrisonburg (Howard-Payne)

Note: Due to a tie, three relief pitchers were selected

Waynesboro and Luray to battle for Valley League Title


WAYNESBORO, Va., August 6, 2007 – On the heels of a 3-2 win over Covington in the semifinals, the top-seeded Waynesboro Generals have advanced to the Valley Baseball League championship series where they will meet the third-seeded Luray Wranglers in a battle for the Jim Lineweaver Cup.

Luray, which wrapped up its series over Staunton on Saturday, will enter the series as the defending Valley League champions. Waynesboro, meanwhile, enters the series with the best regular season record over the last two seasons combined, including the best mark in the league in 2007 at 30-13-1.

Waynesboro is led offensively by VBL MVP candidate Kurt Davidson who entered Monday hitting .306 with 12 doubles, five home runs, and 50 RBIs in 48 games. He added one of two RBIs for the Generals in the clinching win over Covington. On the mound, Jon Dages leads the pitching staff with a 7-2 overall record. The 2006 VBL ERA leader has a 2.74 mark in 2007 with 45 strikeouts in 62 innings. Adam Liberatore is close behind with a 6-1 record, 3.42 ERA, and 40 strikeouts. Jimmy Stanley has been stingy late in contests, picking up his 12th save in Monday’s game.

Luray boasts the top one-two punch in the league when it comes to starting pitchers. Robert Gilliam, the 2007 ERA leader, is 7-1 with a 1.26 ERA and 81 strikeouts. Dustin Umberger has been equally as impressive with an 8-0 record, 1.45 ERA, and 76 strikeouts. Offensively, the Wranglers are led by reigning league MVP Tyler Kuhn, who is hitting .314 in 41 games with seven doubles, two triples, three homers, and 21 RBIs.

The best-of-five series begins Tuesday in Waynesboro and will alternate sites until the champion is crowned. All five games will have live audio available at www.valleyleaguebaseball.com.

Valley League Weekly Honors – July 30, 2007

Players of the Week

Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.), a junior outfielder from Virginia Tech hit .455 last week for Winchester, going 10-for-22 on the week. Cueto added seven runs, 10 hits, three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs for the Royals. Cueto slugged .864, while walking three times on his was to compiling a .520 on base percentage.

Jason Kipnis (Northbrook, Ill.), a sophomore outfielder out of Kentucky (according to some readers transferring to Arizona State) hit two more home runs last weeks to up his league-leading total to nine. Kipnis also added a .333 batting average with five runs, two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. Kipnis went 6-for-18 with six walks to finish with a .480 on base percentage.

Pitchers of the Week

Russ Brewer (Norwood, N.C.), a freshman righthander out of Vanderbilt went 1-0 on the week with a complete-game shutout for Waynesboro. Brewer allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out nine in the win. He faced just six batters above the minimum and held opponents to a .212 batting average against.

Ross Fetterly (Norfolk, Va.), a sophomore righthander from Old Dominion went 1-1 on the week. Fetterly pitched 16.1 innings and posted an ERA of 1.65, including pitching a complete game. He gave up 10 hits, 3 earned runs, three walks, lead the league with 16 strikeouts and held opponents to just a .179 batting average against.

Weekly Valley League Notes

Valley League Players of the Week-July 23

The Valley League has released players of the week for July 23rd. Ryan Sontag and Luke Greinke each were named Players of the week while Wade Korpi and Zac Blakney were named Pitchers of the Week. Ryan Sontag of Arizona State hit .433 last week in seven games while scoring nine runs, getting 13 hits, and driving in six runners. Luke Greinke of Auburn hit .619 last week while leading the league with 13 hits. Wade Korpi of Notre Dame pitched seven shutout innings last week while only allowing three hits as he led his team to a victory on Saturday night. Zac Blakney of the University of Montevallo threw six shutout innings while giving up only five hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts.

Valley League Release

Valley League Players of the Week

The Valley League has released their players of the week for the week ending on July 16th. They named Bradley Ray and Brett Stewart as the Players of the Week while Daniel Malone and Russ Brewer picked up Pitchers of the Week. Bradley Ray (Auburn) batted .320 with 2 homers last weekend. Brett Stewart (Appalachian State) hit .375 for the week with four runs scored and four driven in. Daniel Malone (Northwest Missouri State) went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings last week. Russ Brewer (Vanderbilt) threw a complete game shutout last week on Thursday while only allowing three hits.

Players of the Week Release
Weekly Notes

Valley League Weekly Honors – July 9, 2007

-Courtesy of Valley Baseball League-

Complete Week 5 League Notes

Players of the Week

Matt Payne (Hiddenite, N.C.), a junior outfielder from North Carolina State, hit .385 last week for Staunton. Payne helped to pace the Braves with two home runs, five RBIs and two runs scored. He led all players with an .846 slugging percentage and also posted a .357 on base percentage.

David Dennis (El Cajon, Calif.), from Oklahoma City University led Harrisonburg with a .455 batting average, while also finishing tied for second in the league with two home runs. Overall, Dennis collected 10 hits including a double and the two home runs, three RBIs, five runs scored and 17 total bases.

Pitchers of the Week

Scott Shuman (Valdosta, Ga.), the freshman righthander out of Auburn carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning when the Royals hosted Covington on Friday. Overall, Shuman went 1-0 in two appearances, with a 1.80 ERA. He struck out eight and allowed just four hits over 10 innings.

Joel Brookens (Fayetteville, Pa.), out of North Carolina State, lead the league with three saves and help Front Royal complete a 5-0 week. Brookens appeared in three games, pitching 3.1 innings, struck out 10 and allowed only one hit. He also picked up the save for the North team in Sunday’s All-Star game to complete a solid week of pitching.

North earns 2-0 Shutout over South in VBL All-Star Game

FRONT ROYAL, Va., July 8, 2007 – Woodstock’s Shayne Moody drove in both runs while Front Royal’s Bennett Davis doubled and scored a run to lead the North All-Stars to a 2-0 shutout over the South All-Stars in the 2007 Valley Baseball League All-Star Game on Sunday evening at Bing Crosby Stadium.

Davis, who was also hit by a pitch, was named Most Valuable Player of the North squad in a pitching-dominated game. Just seven total hits were recorded in the game. Davis and South MVP Zach Barrett of Staunton were the only players to hit an extra-base hit, each with doubles.

The North squad was composed of players from Fauquier, Front Royal, Haymarket, Luray, Winchester, and Woodstock. The South included the two best teams in the Valley League in Waynesboro and Harrisonburg, along with Covington, New Market, and Staunton.

The first run of the game came in the third after Davis led off with a double. He advanced to third with two outs and came in to score on Moody’s sacrifice fly to center field. The other run came in the fifth inning. After the North loaded the bases on a walk, hit batter, and bunt single, Moody hit into a fielder’s choice to score Fauquier’s Jeffrey Hartwig.

No pitcher worked more than an inning in the ball game with 23 total hurlers seeing action. Robert Gilliam of Luray earned the victory as the pitcher when the first run was scored. Covington’s Robbie Andrews allowed the run to take the loss.

The evening also included a home run derby, which was won by Covington’s Jason Kipnis. Haymarket’s Spencer Wiggins won the 60-yard dash.