EXPRESS WIN IN 11 INNINGS, CLINCH NORTH DIVISION REGULAR SEASON TITLE FOR 2ND CONSECUTIVE SEASON
It was certainly a gritty effort from start to finish, but the Strasburg bats outlasted the Purcellville bullpen and the Express bullpen was electric, paving the way to a 10-7 win at Fireman's Field on Friday night.
The win secured a 27-14 regular season for the Express (as far as our record books are concerned we are completely disregarding the "forfeit") and, most importantly, locked down the North Division regular season title for a 2nd consecutive season and 3rd time overall. The 27 regular season wins are the 2nd most in franchise history.
Offensively the biggest blow of the night also came from the offensive star of the night, with Ryan Galanie (Wofford) hitting a 2 out, 2 RBI single in the top of the 11th to extend the Strasburg lead. Galanie would finish 4-for-7 with a double, 2 RBI, 2 runs score and a stolen base for good measure. The go-ahead run would come off the body of Brayton Brown (Auburn), who took a bases load HBP in the 11th to put Strasburg up 8-7. Brown also had 2 walks, a stolen base and run scored.
Chad Fairey (Clemson) was 2-for-6 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI. Tripp McKinlay (St. Johns River State College) would finish 3-for-5 with a double, 3 RBI, stolen base and run scored. JJ Sousa (St. Johns River State College) and Zach Ketterman (Western Carolina) each contributed a single and RBI as well. And in one of the more unique lines you'll ever see, James McCoy (Kentucky) was 0-for-1 in 6 plate appearances but had 4 walks, a HBP and run scored.
Dan Ouderkirk started on the mound tonight, going 4.2 innings allowing only 2 hits and striking out 9 in the process. The bullpen proceeded to completely take over late. Newcomer Benjamin Taylor (Fairmont State) threw .2 scoreless while recording a strikeout. Robert Kelley (Potomac State), in his 2nd appearance for the Express, pitched the 7th inning recording all 3 outs via strikeout. Geo Rivera pitched the 8th and 9th, allowing only 1 hit and striking out a batter. Eric Toth (Presbyterian College) earned the win in relief throwing the final 2 frames, recording 3 strikeouts and clinching the regular season title.
In all the Strasburg staff would strike out 18 Cannons tonight. For the season they K'd 434 batters in 340 innings, the most in the Pointstreak era for the Valley Baseball League (dating back to 2013).