OUDERKIRK DOMINATES, EXPRESS TAKE GAME ONE 7-3
Strasburg scored 4 runs in the bottom of the first and, little did anyone know, that's all they would need. From there the arms did the heavy lifting, leading Strasburg to a 7-3 game 1 victory over the visiting Waynesboro Generals on Friday night.
Dan Ouderkirk (WVU) was outstanding on the mound for Strasburg, starting and earning the win in the process. Ouderkirk went 5.1 innings allowing only 2 earned runs on 4 hits. Fellow Mountaineer Trevor Sharp (WVU) got out of a jam in the 6th and proceeded to throw 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out 3. The electric Geo Rivera (Walters State CC) would throw 2 perfect final frames, striking out 3 in the process and securing the win.
Offensively Strasburg was carried by Graham Brown (Coastal Carolina) who went 3-for-4 with 2 HRs, 2B, 2 runs scored and 5 RBI to go with a stolen base. Ryan Galanie (Wofford) went 2-for-4 with a 2B, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. Eric Toth (Presbyterian College) had a 1-for-3 night at the plate with a run scored, RBI and BB. Mac McCroskey (Oral Roberts) and Brayton Brown (Auburn) also had a hit each, with McCroskey's being a double and adding a stolen base. Karson Coffee (Pittsburgh State) would add 2 stolen bases while Ty Hooks (Winthrop) would walk twice.
EXPRESS WIN 3RD VALLEY BASEBALL LEAGUE TITLE
With the pitching staff on fumes, Strasburg turned to Dalton Skinner for only his 2nd start of the season...and he was absolutely spectacular. The offense did just enough and the pitching staff was dominant as always, paving the way for Strasburg's 3rd Valley Baseball League championship in 6 seasons.
Skinner (UAB) had his longest outing of the season tossing 5 innings, allowing 0 runs and only 2 hits while earning the win in the process. He would strike out 3 and walk only 1.
From there the best bullpen in the league would take command throwing 4 scoreless innings, preserving the shutout. Matt Kleinfelter (JMU) threw the 6th with a strikeout while Robert Kelley (Potomac State) tossed the 7th with a strikeout of his own. Matt Poston (Florence-Darlington Tech) struck out a batter in the 8th and, as he has all summer, Ryan Ammons (Clemson) threw a scoreless 9th with 2 K's in the process...closing out the championship.
Offensively Strasburg was efficient. Brayton Brown (Auburn) led off the game with a triple following by a run scoring single from Tripp McKinlay (St. Johns River State College). McKinlay would go 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored.
The ever-steady Ryan Galanie would go 2-for-4, finishing the season with a batting average at exactly .400 and capping off arguably the best offensive season in Express history (sitting at the top beside Brandon Quaranta).
The death blow came off the bats of Cam Clonch (ECU) and Zach Ketterman (Western Carolina) who launched back to back home runs in the 7th inning, extending the Express lead to 4-0. Graham Brown (Coastal Carolina) would finish his impressive playoff run 1-for-3, hitting .440 this postseason with 3 home runs, 2 doubles, 10 RBI and 4 stolen bases. Eric Toth (Presbyterian College) had a RBI while Josh Lopez (Monroe College), cousin of former Express great Abe Almonte, went 1-for-2 with a double.
Collectively the 2021 Strasburg Express team will finish 33-14, the 2nd best record in franchise history behind the 36-12 (and #7 nationally ranked) 2016 team.
There is no game tomorrow, there is no first pitch on tap...your 2021 Strasburg Express are league champions. We'll have some season reviews in the coming week but, for now, a *HUGE* thank you to our players and coaches for making moments like this possible.