8/11/04 – Staunton News Leader
Winchester holds winning playoff hand By Al Samuels Sports Writer STAUNTON — The Winchester Royals grabbed the Jim Line-weaver Trophy with a 6-4 victory over the Staunton Braves to end the best-of-three playoff series two games to none. Staunton fell behind 5-1 before battling back to cut the deficit to 5-4, but the Royals got sterling relief performances from Florida State’s Dicarlo Thompson and Auburn’s Chris Dennis to wrap up the trophy. Thompson came on in the eighth with two on and one out and struck out the last two batters, and Dennis pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the save. "We tried to get to the fifth for Perez, but we couldn’t hold down that lineup," Staunton coach Lawrence Nesselrodt said. "But I’m really proud of the way these guys battled through the adversity of all the guys that left and battled all the way to the finals. These guys have learned about what it is to be part of a team, and some of these guys will make it to the next level. "I’m really proud of the year we’ve had." Staunton started Tusculum’s Chap Morris, but he gave up five runs on four hits while walking five and striking out none in 41/3 innings. A sac fly by Kyle Walter scored Derek Smith in the second to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. In the third, the Braves tied the score off Winchester starter Sean Stidfire. George Hanger led off with a double to center and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on Shane Justis’ fielder’s choice to tie the score a 1-1. A walk and four hits off Morris in the fourth led to three more runs and a 4-1 Royal lead after four. Marcus Ross’ RBI single in the fifth gave the Royals a 5-1 lead and brought on Perez, who allowed only one run the rest of the way. He struck out six and walked one. The Braves rallied in the sixth on Drake Wade’s run-scoring single to right. Later in the inning, Jeff Beachum scored on the front end of a double steal to cut the lead to 5-3. In the seventh, the Braves pulled within one run. Justis reached on a one-out walk and scored all the way from first on a wild pickoff throw by the Winchester catcher down the right-field line. Justis reached on an error in the ninth to give the Brave fans hope. But Dennis got Jon Jay to line to center, and Brian Baisley grounded out to short to end the game and the season for the Braves. Hanger led the Brave attack with two doubles. The Braves finish the season with a 30-24 record. WINCHESTER 010 310 000 — 6 7 2 STAUNTON 001 002 100 — 4 7 1 S. Stidfile. A. Stidfile (7), Wingard (8), Thompson (8), Dennis (9) and Smith. Morris, Glafenhein (5), Perez (5) and Hanger. W — S. Stidfile. L — Morris. — Dennis. HR — none.