2016 VBL Playoff Quarterfinals Set

The Turks finish the regular season with a 27-15 record putting them in second place in the South Division.

The Valley Baseball League has released the following article of the pairings for the playoffs:

With the regular season concluding on Tuesday evening, the brackets are set for the 2016 Valley Baseball League playoffs. Defending league champion Strasburg clinched its first North Division pennant with several days to spare, while Waynesboro officially locked up the South pennant at the end of the weekend.

All series will be best-of-three games and will begin on Thursday, July 28. Semifinal and championship rounds will begin as soon as the previous series are completed, without off days in between.


Strasburg Express (30-12) vs. Purcellville Cannons (19-23)
Game 1: Purcellville at Strasburg, Thurs. July 28, 7:00 PM
Game 2: Strasburg at Purcellville, Fri. July 29, 7:00 PM
Game 3: Purcellville at Strasburg, Sat. July 30, 7:00 PM (if necessary)

The Express followed up their first-ever VBL championship by cruising to the franchise’s first pennant this season. Strasburg boasts a potent lineup led by Brandon Quaranta (.375, 6 HRs, 24 RBIs), Carter Pharis (.342, 5 HRs, 30 RBIs) and numerous other offensive threats. Purcellville is suddenly the hottest team in the league, winning five straight this week to overtake New Market and clinch the North’s final playoff spot.

Winchester Royals (23-19) vs. Front Royal Cardinals (21-21)
Game 1: Front Royal at Winchester, Thurs. July 28, 7:00 PM
Game 2: Winchester at Front Royal, Fri. July 29, 7:00 PM
Game 3: Front Royal at Winchester, Sat. July 30, 7:00 PM (if necessary)

The Royals earned the second seed in the North behind third baseman Devin Gearhart (.336, 25 RBIs), and catcher Spencer Levine (.293, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs)- who has kept things rolling for the Royals behind the plate after early-season batting leader Gabriel Garcia was drafted and All-Star Matt Allen picked up a season-ending injury. Front Royal is dangerous in a playoff setting as the Cardinals have had the league’s most consistent pitching staff; despite losing All-Star starter Erne Valdes, Front Royal will still trot out a rotation that includes Stephen Xirinachs (5-2, 2.73 ERA) and Blake Whitney (3-2, 3.88 ERA).


Waynesboro Generals (30-12) vs. Staunton Braves (15-27)
Game 1: Staunton at Waynesboro, Thurs. July 28, 7:00 PM
Game 2: Waynesboro at Staunton, Fri. July 29, 7:30 PM
Game 3: Staunton at Waynesboro, Sat. July 30, 7:00 PM (if necessary)

This is a rematch of last year’s South finals (won by Staunton in a Game 3 walkoff), which was also the only year out of the past six that the Generals failed to leave with some type of hardware (either regular season pennant or league championship). Waynesboro is led by slugger Zach Sterry, who leads the league in home runs (13) and RBIs (41).

Harrisonburg Turks (27-15) vs. Covington Lumberjacks (22-20)
Game 1: Covington at Harrisonburg, Thurs. July 28, 7:30 PM
Game 2: Harrisonburg at Covington, Fri. July 29, 7:00 PM
Game 3: Covington at Harrisonburg, Sat. July 30, 7:30 PM (if necessary)

Harrisonburg boasted the South’s top record and a league-best eight All-Star selections at the break, but has been forced to hang on late in the year after several key injuries and departures. Covington kept it together after a number of early-season weather cancellations and flood damage to their home field, and has been bolstered by additions such as Riley Mihalak- who is hitting .429 since joining in early July.