08/06/2008 – Valley League Baseball Newsroom
Luray, the #2 seed, completed a three games to none sweep of #6 Covington with a 4-0 victory on Tuesday night at Bulldog Field in Luray, Va. to capture the 2008 Valley Baseball League Jim Lineweaver Cup as league champions. Luray (37-15) dropped its first game in the playoffs against Harrisonburg before reeling off seven consecutive victories to capture its second championship. The Wranglers, who joined the league in 2001 along with Covington, were also crowned champs in 2006 and were making their third consecutive appearance in the championship series. Luray won the series opener on Sunday night at home by a 3-0 score, won on the road Monday in Covington (27-24) 10-5, and finished the series with Tuesday’s 4-0 triumph. The championship was the sixth as a Valley League manager for Mike Bocock, who has won titles with New Market (1989), Staunton (1995, ’96, ’99), and Luray (2006, ’08). He has coached four different organizations into the Lineweaver Championship Series with the addition of Covington in 2001. Second baseman Ryan Schimpf (LSU) was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship series after going 7-for-13 (.538) in the three games with four home runs, and five runs scored. He drove in eight of Luray’s 17 runs in the series. Schimpf hit a pair of solo home runs on Tuesday, one day after going 4-for-5 with five RBIs, including a three-run homer, on Monday. In addition to Schimpf, Jeff Jefferson (Liberty) went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the finale on Tuesday, and Jeremy Cruz (Stetson) was also 2-for-4 with an RBI. The Wranglers took the early lead on Schimpf’s solo home run in the first, the second batter of the game for the Wranglers. He added his second shot leading off the fourth. Steve Stropp (Florida International) blasted a solo shot with one out in the fifth with Covington centerfielder Derrick Washington (Hill) tumbling over the fence but unable to hold on for the catch. Cruz’s RBI single in the sixth accounted for the final run for the home team. Alex Wimmers (Ohio State) earned the victory with seven shutout innings with five hits and 13 strikeouts. His effort capped a dominating performance by Luray’s starting pitching in the series. Wimmers combined with Travis Smink (VMI) and Drew Rucinski (Ohio State) to limit the Lumberjacks to three runs, two earned, in 20 1/3 total innings while surrendering just 14 hits and striking out 29. Noah Garza (New Mexico State) took the loss for Covington after allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Ty Rivers (Radford) was 2-for-4 to lead Lumberjack hitters.