Read the review of our exciting 2017 series victory over the Winchester Royals in the 2017 Northern Division Finals, all articles courtesy of the Valley League Baseball staff.
GAME 1: WINCHESTER 16, STRASBURG 6
(article by Joel Russ, VBL Staff)
With a date with the Tom Sox in the VBL Championship on the line, the Royals beat up the Express 16-6 in game one of a three-game series for a trip to the VBL Finals.
The Royals came out swinging and Nick Goode's solo shot off Drew Mancuso in the top of the 2nd inning was just a preview of the innings to come.
The defending champs did not stand a chance after the Royals blew the game wide open in 5th with four runs before the Express could record an out.
After another run scored on a hit by pitch, Royals centerfielder Dillon Reed- who had started the huge 13-run inning with a single- blasted a grand slam in his second at bat of the inning.
The Royals would record four more times in the frame, highlighted by Matt Allen's three-run shot.
Starting pitcher Kyle Fulton gave Winchester 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six. Reed finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, Wilson was 4-for-6, and Allen was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
GAME 2: STRASBURG 4, WINCHESTER 3
(article by Joel Russ, VBL Staff)
The Strasburg Express survived in extra innings, extending their North finals series with Winchester to a deciding third game with a 4-3, 10-inning victory.
Turner Buis (2-for-5, RBI, two runs) was the hero, going deep on the very first pitch thrown by reliever Hunter Fillingim, to give Strasburg the lead in the 10th.
Buis was involved in three of the four Express scoring plays. He came home on Sean Scales’ single in the fifth, and then reached on an error in the eighth that allowed Sebastiano Santorelli to score to tie the contest.
Santorelli had tied the game earlier at 2-2 with an RBI single that plated LT Struble.
Winchester struck first in the bottom of the second, as Alejandro Rivero’s triple scored Matt Allen. An inning later, Kenneth Gilmore knocked in Dillon Reed.
The Royals re-took the lead at 3-2 in the seventh, as Dillon Reed singled and Nick Goode came around. Goode had stolen second base to get into scoring position.
Winchester had a prime opportunity to win it in the bottom of the ninth, moving Rivero to third with one man out and eventually getting two runners in scoring position. Cody Wilson popped up to end the inning however.
GAME 3: STRASBURG 7, WINCHESTER 5
(article by Joey Schroers)
The Strasburg Express came away with a 7-5 victory over the Winchester Royals on Friday night; the Express earned their ticket to the Valley Baseball League final when Jake Perry crushed a three-run walk-off home run.
An RBI by Alejandro Rivero in the second and a two-run home run by Lorenzo Hampton in the third put the Royals up 3-0 early.
However, the Express managed to add a two-run homer of their own when Perry went yard in the bottom of the third to cut the score to 3-2.
A single by Seth Woodard scored two in the fourth, giving the Royals a 5-2 lead and seemingly the cushion that they needed.
In the bottom of the eighth, an RBI single to center field by Tyler Martin narrowed Winchester's lead. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Brandon Quaranta managed to squeeze out an RBI off of an error to bring the Royals’ lead to just one.
It was then, with a man on first and second, one out, and down by one in the bottom of the ninth, Perry came to the rescue for the Express and went yard to win the game for Strasburg.
Benjamin Dum, the two-time First Team All-VBL selection, got the start for the Express and managed to pitch 6.2 innings, allowing eight hits and getting three strikeouts.
Jared Drayton, the Royals starting pitcher, got the upper hand on Dum early and pitched 7.0 innings, allowing six hits and racking up eight strikeouts.
The Strasburg Express will now face the Charlottesville Tom Sox in the Valley Baseball League finals.
Strasburg will now host Winchester tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for a spot in the finals, which will begin on Saturday night in Charlottesville.