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Deltas begin tournament play Friday at Kiln Creek

Deltas pitcher Jay Moore pitched a complete game 5-hitter in a 2-1 loss to the Pirates Friday night. (Photo by Stephen Blue)

by Stephen Blue

The hotly-contested Southern Virginia Baseball League (SVABL) begins the 2009 playoffs this Friday night in Newport News.

In first round action, the 4th-seeded Deltaville Deltas (12-8, 14-10) will take on the 5th-seeded Peninsula Cardinals (6-14) at 7 p.m. at Kiln Creek Park.

The top of the standings in the highly competitive SVABL finished very tight, with the top four seeds within three games of each other. The final standings were not available at press time due to rain-delayed makeup games being played Tuesday and Wednesday to determine the final order. Specifically, the outcome of a final game between the Peninsula Pirates and Gloucester Astros will determine whether the Astros or the York Cannons will finish first in the regular season standings.

Last weekend, the dog days of summer caught up with the Deltas, as they were dealt four close losses by the league’s top teams.

On Friday night in Deltaville, the Pirates scored a go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 9th inning to defeat the Deltas 2-1. Jay Moore pitched the complete game for Deltaville, scattering 5 hits while striking out 6.

Moore allowed a solo home run in the 4th inning before Deltaville tied the game in the 5th when Brett Crawford scored on a Tim Grandy single.

Deltaville attempted to mount a comeback in the 9th when Jonathon Somers reached on a 1-out walk, and Stephen Blue followed with a single. Moore bunted Somers and Blue to third base and second base, however, the Pirates induced a fly out to end the rally.

On Sunday, the Deltas traveled to Williamsburg, but the Deltas’ hitting did not. The Pirates defeated the Deltas 1-0 in game 1, and 6-0 in a rain-shortened game 2. Playing a doubleheader to make up for a previously rained out game, the Deltas managed just 4 hits off Pirates’ pitching.

In game 1, starting pitcher Mike Newton hurled a gem, and the game remained a scoreless tie until the final inning. Newton had allowed just 3 hits when, in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Pirates reached base on 3 infield singles before scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

Ryan Wiggins smacked a lead-off double in the 4th inning and advanced to third before the Pirates ended the inning in what would be the closest Deltaville came to scoring in the game. Chris King had the only other Deltas hit, a 2nd inning single.

In the rain-shortened nightcap, the Deltas looked ready to break out of the hitting slump when Jimmy Denny smacked the second pitch of the game for a single. Tim Grandy also tried to start a rally with a 2nd inning double. However, the Pirates plated 4 runs in the 3rd inning off starter Josh Youngman, and tacked on 2 more in the 4th before thunderstorms prevented the game from continuing.

On Monday night the Deltas played their fourth game in as many days, losing 9-6 to the York Cannons in Denbigh. Starting pitcher Ryan Wiggins, making his first pitching start of the year, yielded 6 runs (4 earned) over 5 innings as the Cannons slowly built a 7-0 advantage after 7 innings.

However, in what the Deltas hope carries over into the tournament this weekend, the bats and runs started showing up in the late innings. In the top of the 8th, Denny smacked an RBI single to score Newton, and Grandy drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to 7-2. York responded with a 2-run double in the bottom of the 8th.

Deltaville took advantage of shaky pitching in the 9th to score 4 more runs, however, the rally was not enough.

Visit for schedule information for this weekend’s playoff tournament. As the results of each tournament game determines the schedule and opponent for the next game, fans can find out specifically when and where the Deltas will be playing by visiting the website.

If the Deltas are successful this weekend, they will earn a trip to the SVABL championship game on August 9.

posted 07.30.2009

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