Deltas to battle Cannons in semifinals Saturday
by Stephan Blue
|Deltas pitcher Mike Newton pitched 6 shutout innings in the win against the Pirates.|
The Deltaville Deltas opened Southern Virginia Baseball League tournament play last weekend splitting a pair of games to advance to the semifinals this Saturday night in Newport News.
The 2nd-seeded Deltas (17-6) dropped a heart-breaking 6-5 game in extra innings to the 3rd-seeded York Cannons, but rebounded to defeat the 5th seeded Peninsula Pirates 12-0 on Sunday.
With one loss in the double elimination tournament, the Deltas again face the Cannons (17-6) Saturday night to determine who will battle the top-seeded Gloucester Astros on Sunday for the league title. Saturday night’s game will be at Denbigh High School at 7:30 p.m.
In a battle of well-matched teams, the Deltas and Cannons have split their season series with 2 wins and 2 losses each. With elimination on the line, Saturday night’s contest is anticipated to match the July 5 Heritage Day thriller and last Sunday’s extra-inning contest.
The Gloucester Astros (17-5) defeated the 4th-seeded Peninsula Cardinals and the Cannons to advance into Sunday’s championship round. The winner of the Cannons-Deltas game must defeat Gloucester twice on Sunday to win the championship. The championship games will be played Sunday at 4 p.m. at Denbigh, with the if-needed second game following at 7 p.m.
For updated schedules and scores, visit the Deltas online at http://www.DeltavilleDeltas.com.
Cannons 6, Deltas 5 (10 innings)
Jay Moore pitched 7 strong innings, and Dustin Felvus had two clutch late-inning RBIs, but the Deltas were unable to hold the York Cannons in a 6-5 extra-inning defeat on Sunday in Denbigh.
With Deltaville trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Felvus drilled the first pitch up the middle to score Ryan Wiggins from second base to pull the Deltas within one run at 4-3.
The Cannons fired back in the 8th, plating a run on a Justin Harrah single and stretching the lead back to 5-3. Dave Cunningham answered for the Deltas, scoring Sam Smith with his second extra-base hit of the game.
The defense held in the 9th behind a solid relief effort from right-hander Mike Newton. In the bottom of the 9th, Ryan Wiggins led off with a single to right field. He moved to second on a Jimmy Denny sacrifice bunt, and scored on Felvus’ second consecutive RBI hit.
York would score in the top of the 10th, with leadoff batter Steve Ansama reaching on one of Deltaville’s trio of costly defensive miscues. He later scored on a Scott Hudgins single.
Early in the game, the Cannons had taken a 3-0 lead on starting pitcher Jay Moore. A pair of runs scored with two outs in the first when Moore got Hudgins to hit a routine fly ball to the outfield. However, the fielder lost the ball in the high-noon sun, and what should have been the third out gave the Cannons a 2-0 lead.
The third Cannon run scored, unearned, in the 4th before Deltaville cut the lead to 3-2 on a Chris King single, which scored Felvus and Billy Funk.
Moore pitched 7-plus innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 7 hits. He struck out 4 and walked 3. Mike Newton took the loss in relief, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) over 3 innings of work. He struck out 1.
Cunningham and Felvus led the Deltas’ offense. Cunningham had a pair of doubles, and Felvus had a double and a single. Denny, Wiggins, King and Brett Crawford all singled.
Deltas 12, Pirates 0
Faced with elimination, the Deltas switched to the field at Kiln Creek to take on the 5th-seeded Peninsula Pirates. The Deltas struck early, giving starting pitcher Newton a 1-0 lead as Felvus scored on a Cunningham sacrifice fly. The right-handed Newton would not need any more run support, but he got all he could want.
Deltaville broke the game open in the 3rd and 4th innings, plating 4 runs in each inning to build a commanding lead. Cunningham’s first double of the game scored Tim Grandy and Felvus in the third inning to start the scoring rally. Cunningham later scored on a Wiggins single.
In the 4th, Cunningham scored Felvus again on another double to left field. After Brett Crawford walked, speedy center fielder Sam Smith legged out a 2-RBI triple, and scored on a wild pitch to give Deltaville a 9-0 advantage.
The Deltas would score 3 more runs in the 6th, and after the 7th inning the game ended on the 10-run mercy rule.
Newton pitched 6 shutout innings allowing just 5 hits to improve his record to 5-3 on the season. Terry Emerson preserved the shutout in the 7th, allowing no hits and striking out 1.
Cunningham again led the Deltas’ offense with his two doubles, and Smith tripled and singled. Stephen Blue doubled, and Grandy, Jimmy Denny, Wiggins, Felvus and Crawford all singled.