7/11/05 – Byrd Newspapers
By Greg Brill Byrd Newspapers Winchester, VA – Kori Wade knew he was going to pitch sometime. The Staunton right-hander just didn’t expect to hit the mound so soon. While Wade warmed up in the seventh inning during Sunday’s Valley Baseball League All-Star game, the Northern Division all-stars loaded the bases with one out against Kevin Gunter, with the Southern Division holding a one-run lead. Southern Division manager Anthony Everman, who skippers Covington during the season, called on Wade to put down the rally – to the pitcher’s surprise. "I wasn’t even paying attention in the pen," Wade said. "I threw (on Friday), and I was wondering how my arm would feel." Wade did just fine, fanning Brett Bolger and Brian Ernest back-to-back to end the threat. The Southern Division held on from there for a 4-2 victory in the game played at Bridgeforth Field. The North held the South to two hits and had a 1-0 lead through six innings before the South’s potent three-run seventh inning. Lury left-hander Andrew Lane started the seventh for the North and got knocked around for five hits. Woodstock’s Brett Logan, Harrisonburg’s Lucas Delong, and Woodstock’s Eric Mess all had RBI singles in the seventh to give the Southern Division a 3-1 lead. Everman said the one-inning-per-pitcher format used throughout the game worked well for both sides, and definitely gave pitchers the edge in facing opposing hitters just one time through the order. "That’s a big advantage for pitchers and every kid in this game is a quality ballplayer," Everman said. "I thought our hitters did a great job adjusting to that. We got pitches we could hit and moved guys around." Waynesboro’s Brett Palanski got the last two outs of the sixth and earned the win for the Southern Division. Lane took the loss for the Northern Division. For his efforts, Wade was selected the Southern Division’s MVP. The Northern Division’s top honor went to Front Royal’s Pat Disher, who went 2-for-2 with a run scored. Harrisonburg’s Stephen Ochs struck out two batters in a scoreless fifth inning. Sean Jarrett did the same in the second. Delong went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Scott Cousins went 1-for-3 with an RBI.