7/16/05 – Daily News Record
By MICHAEL ROTHSTEIN Daily News-Record Matt Hudgins couldn’t really place any reasoning to it, why the .210-hitting Woodstock catcher suddenly saw baseballs bigger and better. But the catcher did Friday, drilling two home runs in an 11-3 Woodstock win over Harrisonburg in the first game of a Valley League doubleheader at Memorial Stadium. The Turks (17-16) came from behind to win the second game, 4-2, the go-ahead run scoring on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. But the first game belonged to Hudgins. His game of the summer? Certainly. The Old Dominion rising-senior quantified it as more than that. "That’s a career one for me," Hudgins said. "You don’t have too many games when you hit two home runs." The 20-year-old went 2-for-4 in the game. Hudgins took a 1-0 pitch from Harrisonburg starter Stephen Ochs over the right field wall for a three-run home run to give the River Bandits (12-20) a 7-1 lead in the third inning. The next inning, Hudgins smashed the first pitch he saw from reliever Cam Wheeler over the right field wall again. This time, though, it was a grand slam. Two hits. Seven RBIs. One win and one very happy coach. "We haven’t put up 11 runs all year," second-year Woodstock coach Ricky Ware said. "I hope it goes into this game. After last night, we had a pretty exciting game scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth hopefully it carries over. "Maybe it did." All of Woodstock’s batters hit any Harrisonburg pitcher the Turks put on the mound in the first game. The River Bandits accumulated 10 hits, but even their outs were well hit. Woodstock batted around in the third inning, scoring five runs. The next inning, the River Bandits put up four more off of the Hudgins slam. "It comes down to a good approach," Hudgins said. "Today, we had a great approach at the plate." As for his success? "Beachballs," Hudgins said. "I was seeing the ball really well." In the second game, Harrisonburg took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when reliever Zack Duncan walked Kacy Bruce with the bases loaded. Earlier in the inning, center fielder Lucas Delong hit a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2. Both games were only seven innings long. Game One Woodstock 205 400 0—11 10 2 Harrisonburg 100 000 2—3 5 2 Dudley, Hardin (3), Stringer (6) and Hudgins. Ochs, Wheeler (3), Butts (4) and Denker. W—Hardin (1-2); L—Ochs (2-3). HR: W—Hudgins 2 (3), Joseph (3). Game Two Woodstock 101 000 0 — 2 4 0 Harrisonburg 000 103 X— 4 6 2 Mumaw, Duncan (6), Moore (6) and Hudgins; Dawson, Seefeld (4), Fessler (7) and Sluder. WP-Seefeld (1-0). LP-Duncan (3-2). S-Fessler (10). HR-Delong (3).