Luray Captures First Valley League Championship

8/5/2006 – Valley League Baseball News

Valley Vaseball League News Brett Bowen’s home run to left field leading off the tenth inning propelled the Luray Wranglers to a 3-2 extra inning victory over the Staunton Braves in the decisive game five to capture the 2006 Jim Lineweaver Cup in the Valley Baseball League. The 2006 championship marks the first in the Wranglers’ brief six-year history. It was the second straight year that a team won its first VBL championship after Covington captured its first title in 2005. Both teams were expansion teams in the Valley League in 2001. Bowen, a sophomore from Pensacola Junior College, went 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored, and two stolen bases for Luray (38-23). University of Central Florida junior Tyson Auer and West Virginia University sophomore Tyler Kuhn also had two hits apiece as part of Luray’s 10-hit attack. Staunton (21-31) scored its two runs on seven hits, led by University of Virginia senior Mike Mitchell, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored and a double. Mercer junior Tyler Brown and Panola Junior College sophomore Drew Bunting had two hits each to account for the other hits for the Braves. The Braves jumped on the board first in the third inning with Baltimore City Community College sophomore Chris Wilkins scoring on a passed ball. The Wranglers found the equalizer in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Corey Lozano, a sophomore at Florida International University. Luray took its first lead in the bottom of the sixth when Louisville University junior Pete Rodriguez hit an RBI single to right field to score Bowen. The lead didn’t last long though as Staunton tied it in the top of the seventh on a single by Mitchell to score Baltimore City C.C. sophomore Adam Kearney. The score remained tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the tenth when Bowen greeted Notre Dame sophomore Wade Korpi with a solo blast for the walk-off game-winner. Korpi took the loss with Bowen being the only batter he faced. Barry University senior Michael Davila was the winning pitcher, throwing the final four innings and allowing one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. Both teams reached the final series by knocking off the top two seeds in their respective divisions. Luray took down second-seeded Haymarket in two games in the first round, and the Wranglers were also two-game winners in the second round over New Market, which had the league’s best record overall. Staunton upset top-seeded Waynesboro 2-1 in the first round and knocked off second-seeded Harrisonburg 2-0 in the second round. Each team won all of its home games in the final series. Luray started the series with a dominating 20-1 win at home before Staunton responded with a 7-2 verdict. The Wranglers took a 2-1 series lead with a 4-3 win in game three, only to see the Braves fire back with a 1-0 victory in a pitcher’s duel in game four. A crowd of 826 turned out for game five in Luray to see the Wranglers capture their first title. Box Score and Play-by-Play