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Deltas advance to championship weekend

Luke Saunders blasts a towering grand slam Friday night against the Peninsula Cardinals. (Photo by Stephen Blue)

by Stephen Blue

Coming off an end-of-season slide, the Deltaville Deltas found the right time to get back to their winning ways.

Deltaville won 2 of 3 games last weekend in the double-elimination Southern Virginia Baseball League tournament, and advanced as one of 3 remaining teams to the final weekend of play.

Playing as the 4th seed in the 6-team tournament, Deltaville defeated the 5th-seeded Peninsula Cardinals 11-6 on Friday night behind a strong pitching performance by Jonathon Somers.

On Saturday the Deltas were again paced by strong pitching, defeating the top seeded York Cannons, 3-1.

Deltaville then lost to the 2nd seed Gloucester Astros on Sunday, 8-0.

Jonathon Somers struck out 11 and allowed 1 earned run on 6 hits in a complete game win over the Cardinals.(Photo by Stephen Blue)

Because the tournament is double-elimination, the Deltas still have a shot at the league title this weekend. On Saturday the Deltas will again play the Cardinals at 7 p.m. at Warhill Park in Williamsburg. The winner of that game will take on unbeaten Gloucester on Sunday at 4 p.m., and must beat the Astros twice to take the title.

Gloucester is not in unfamiliar territory. The Astros are the defending league champions and have won more SVABL titles (3) than any other team.

Follow updates from the tournament online at the Deltas website,

Deltas 11, Cardinals 6

Jonathon Somers pitched a complete game 6-hitter, and Luke Saunders blasted a monster grand slam as the Deltas defeated the Peninsula Cardinals 11-6 on a rain-soaked Friday night in Williamsburg.

Both teams were plagued by defensive errors, and the game came down to who could minimize the damage done when mistakes were made.

Deltaville took an early 1-0 lead when Jimmy Denny scored on a Brett Crawford single in the 1st inning. However, the Cardinals plated 2 runs in the 2nd and another in the 3rd to take a 3-1 lead, all on unearned runs.

In the bottom of the 3rd Deltaville took advantage of costly Cardinal mistakes. Following 2 walks and an error Luke Saunders blasted a towering grand slam that just curled inside the left field foul pole. Dustin Felvus drew a walk and was knocked in on a double by Drew Eads, and Deltaville retook the lead, 8-3.

The Cardinals scored twice in the 5th inning on an errant throw to cut the lead to 8-5 and picked up their only earned run of the game in the 7th inning on a pair of hits to close within 2 runs.
Deltaville responded with their final 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to secure the lead.

Somers was fantastic on the mound allowing just 6 hits and 1 earned run. He struck out 11 while walking 4 in his second complete game of the year.

Deltas 3, Cannons 1

A strong pitching performance by Mike Newton, and pair of hits from both Jimmy Denny and Brett Crawford were enough for the Deltas to defeat the top-seeded York Cannons 3-1 in a Saturday night thriller in Newport News.

Deltaville struck first in the top of the 1st inning when Denny led off the game with a single to right field. Denny then stole 2nd base, and scored on a Crawford single.

The Deltas scratched out 2 more runs in the 5th inning. Neal Hogge drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a bunt. Denny singled to move Hogge to third base, and Dave Cunningham lifted a fly ball to center field to score Hogge. Crawford then lined his second hit of the game to left to score Denny again, giving Deltaville a 3-0 lead.

 Newton’s pitching performance was impressive. The right-hander pitched a complete game allowing just 6 hits and an 8th inning run when he worked out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve the lead. In picking up his 4th win of the season, Newton struck out 3 and walked 3.

Astros 8, Deltas 0

Playing their third game in as many days the Deltas struggled to find their bats on Sunday night and, unfortunately for Deltaville, the Gloucester Astros found theirs. Gloucester collected 9 hits, including a pair of Nate Mitchell home runs, as they defeated the Deltas, 8-0.

The Deltas offense could not seem to string together any sort of a rally, despite 7 hits. Luke Saunders and Chris King each doubled and singled, and Dustin Felvus had a pair of singles. Jimmy Denny also had a single.

Jay Moore started on the mound for the Deltas, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits over 4 1/3 innings while striking out 3. In relief Saunders allowed 1 run in 2 innings of work, striking out 3. Ryan Wiggins pitched 2/3 of an inning, striking out 2; and Terry Emerson pitched a hitless 8th inning, striking out 1.

posted 08.05.2009

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