Cardinals vs Braves 5.31.2019
CARDINALS FALL SHORT IN SEASON OPENER
On opening night of the 2019 Valley Baseball League season, the Front Royal Cardinals traveled to Staunton to take on the Braves at Moxie field. Beginning the game strong with a two-run homerun by Derek Orndorff, immediately followed by a single round tripper by Mason Nadeau, the Cardinals put up three runs in the top of the first. Despite a strong effort by Cardinals starting pitcher Henri Pratt, the Braves answered with a homerun of their own, making for an exciting first inning. Cardinals second baseman, Dylan Menhennet, kept the scoreboard ticking with an RBI single in the second inning. Despite a pitching change to Kyle Turner in the bottom of the third inning, the Staunton Braves fought back, posting seven runs before the Cardinals would score again. In the top of the sixth inning, Cardinals’ Levi Leisenring scored the Cardinals fifth run on a wild pitch, ending the Redbird’s scoring drought. However, in the bottom of the sixth, errors proved costly, allowing the Braves to score an additional four runs. A home run by Braves’ Adams tacked on one more run in the eighth. The Cardinals attempted a late game turnaround in the top of the 9th inning, when Easton Waterman and Amir Wright scored, but the rally fell short, and the Braves topped the Cardinals 13 to 7.
Cardinals vs Royals 6.01.2019
CARDINALS LATE GAME RALLY CLINCHES WIN AGAINST WINCHESTER ROYALS
The Front Royal Cardinals got off to a sizzling start in the first inning of tonight’s game. Strategic base running by Derek Orndorff allowed him to score on Mason Nadeau’s single, and gave the Cardinals their first lead of the evening. Cardinals’ pitcher Shane Scott kept the game tight, but the Winchester Royals answered with a run of their own, tying the game at one run a piece at the end of the first inning. Those would be the last runs scored for the next three innings. The next action came in the fifth inning, when a walk and a couple of hits proved costly, and Winchester scored two runs. Cardinals’ pitcher Trey Parr was able to get two strikeouts to end the inning. The Redbirds rallied in the 7th and 8th innings, scoring four unanswered runs and taking the 5-3 lead. Brent McMillion took the mound for the Cardinals in the 7th inning, and was able to keep the Royals scoreless for the next two innings to clinch the win.
“I thought the pitching staff really carried us tonight,” said Coach Tony Hurla. “We weathered the storm early on against a tough pitcher, but our bats got hot late. Some clutch hits really made the difference.”
The Cardinals’ bats were led tonight by Derek Orndorff, Patrick Baggett and Carson Bell, each with two hits. Orndorff, Dylan Menhennet and Bell each had a stolen base. Brent McMillion was the winning pitcher for the Cardinals.
Turks vs Cardinals 6.02.2019
CARDINALS HONOR HALL OF FAME MEMBERS, FALL SHORT AGAINST HARRISONBURG
The Valley Baseball League has been called “The Gateway to the Majors” and the Front Royal Cardinals celebrated that tonight, beginning the home opener with a ceremony to induct its first two Hall of Fame members. Inductees Roberto Hernandez and Dana Allison were both members of Front Royal Cardinals’ baseball teams on their way to professional baseball careers. Roberto Hernandez played for the Cardinals in 1984 and went on to a distinguished major league career, pitching in more than 1,000 games over 17 seasons, becoming the 11th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to do so. Hometown baseball star Dana Allison was a member of the 1986 Front Royal Cardinals’ VBL Championship Team, and accumulated several records during his career in professional baseball.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals were not able to follow the awards ceremony with a win. In what can only be described as a defensive duel, the Harrisonburg Turks got off to an early lead with a solo homerun in the first inning. The next score didn’t come until the eighth inning, although not for a lack of opportunity. Harrisonburg would put nine runners on base over the next six innings, while Front Royal would have six baserunners; however neither team was able to convert baserunners into runs.
Harrisonburg broke the game open in the eighth inning, scoring four runs. Front Royal’s only run was scored on a balk in the bottom of the eighth. Six Front Royal batters were credited with hits in the game; only Jose Hernandez, son of Hall of Fame Inductee Roberto Hernandez, had an extra base hit. Front Royal pitchers Kyle Choate, Sean Miller, and Trey Fields combined for five earned runs, seven walks and eight strikeouts during the evening. “It was a hard fought game. We battled but they got a big hit late in the game,” said Coach Tony Hurla. “Offensively we had an off night. We look forward to getting back after it on Tuesday.”
Cardinals vs Rebels 6.05.19
CARDINALS BOUNCE BACK TO WIN AGAINST THE NEW MARKET REBELS
After losing to the Purcellville Cannons at Bing Crosby Stadium on Tuesday evening, in a game where the Cardinals only score was the result of a bases loaded walk, the Redbirds came back Wednesday to break a two-game losing streak.
The New Market Rebels scored first, in the second inning, but the Cardinals fought back in the third, when Trip Willis scored on Trey Fields single, tying the game at one each. The Rebels answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third, to take a 4-1 lead. Not to be outdone, the Cardinals tied the game again in the top of the sixth inning. Amir Wright, Mason Nadeau, and Carson Bell each added a run. A seventh inning walk of Cardinals’ batter Dylan Menhennett proved costly for the Rebels, when he scored on an error in the seventh, giving the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. It was a short-lived lead, when the Rebels tied it up once again in the home half of the seventh. The Redbirds pulled ahead for good in the ninth inning, when leadoff hitter Steve Grober smacked a double, and went on to score the winning run.
Cardinals’ pitcher Sean Miller shut down the Rebels in the ninth inning, with two strikeouts and a ground ball to end the game. The Redbirds recorded ten hits tonight, and their bats were led by Trey Fields, who went 4-5, and Carson Bell, who went 3-4. Cardinal’s pitcher Sean Miller struck out six in just over two innings, earning tonight’s win.
Coach Hurla commented, “Tonight was a great team win. It’s always nice to come from behind to get a victory. We got contributions from just about everybody. Offensively, we broke through with several big hits and the bullpen was dominant.”
Braves vs Cardinals 6.06.2019
NAILBITER AT BING CROSBY STADIUM FAILS TO BRING THE CARDINALS FIRST HOME WIN
In a close game that saw plenty of action at Bing Crosby Stadium, the Cardinals lost a hard fought game to the Staunton Braves. The evening opened with the Virginia Police Benevolent Association Twins Little League Team joining the Cards on the field for the National Anthem – a heartwarming way to start the evening.
When game action began, the first innings kept Cardinals fans on the edge of their seat. Each team successfully worked out of jams to keep the game scoreless. The first score came in the fourth inning, when Staunton was able to push two across to take a 2-0 lead. The Cardinals threatened in the home half of the fourth, when Steve Grober and Dylan Manhennett reached base, but they weren’t able to complete the trip around the bases to even the score. Staunton’s winning pitcher, Lliam Grubbs, started strong, striking out seven batters in four and two thirds innings, but Cardinals’ Trey Fields changed the tide in the fifth inning when he connected with a bases loaded double to score Jose Hernandez and Arrison Perez, and tied the game at 2 each. Staunton broke things open again in the sixth inning, managing to plate four more runs, while the Cardinals were only able to get back two in their half of the inning. Those runs would be the last scored by the Braves for the night, as Cardinals’ relief pitchers Trey Parr and Brent McMillion were able to hold them for the rest of the game. The Redbirds rallied again in the eighth, when Perez’s single scored Derek Orndorff to bring the Cardinals within one run; however the Braves bullpen was able to keep the Birds off the bags in the 9th, ending their chances for the first home win.
When the dust settled, Coach Tony Hurla said, “The guys really dug deep tonight after getting behind early. I’m proud of the effort we played with. A few defensive miscues cost us and we didn’t get any breaks on some close calls.” Overall, Cardinals’ Arrison Perez led the offensive change tonight, going 2-3 at the plate, followed by Grober (2-4) and Menhennett (2-5). Each of the Redbird pitchers had two strikeouts in tonight’s game.
Cardinals vs River Bandits 6.07.2019
FRONT ROYAL CARDINALS BOUNCE BACK BIG
The Front Royal Cardinals offense claimed a big win tonight against the Woodstock River Bandits, scoring 14 runs on 15 hits. The action started early, when Cardinals’ Patrick Baggett scored in the first inning on Steve Grober’s sacrifice fly. Carson Bell followed with a two-run homerun, and the Cardinals had three runs on the board in the first. Levi Leisenring gave the Redbirds another run in the second. The Cardinals were able to hold the lead throughout the remainder of the game.
Cardinals’ starting pitcher Trey Fields held the River Bandits to three runs through the first four innings. In the fourth inning, Leisenring smacked a single, then Will Ahrens and Baggett each worked a walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, Ahrens was picked off at first base, but Dylan Menhennett’s subsequent double, scored one. Three batters later, Derek Orndorff’s grand slam, his second homerun of the season, scored four more. Not yet satisfied, David Willis, Leisenring and Menhennet scored in the fifth, making the score 12-3 in favor of the Cardinals in the middle of the fifth inning.
The Front Royal Cardinals made a pitching change in the bottom of the fifth, bringing in Henri Pratt, with two River Bandits on base, and one out. Pratt was able to handle the pressure, and got two quick outs to end the inning. The River Bandit’s threatened again in the seventh inning, when Pratt gave up a couple of walks and a single that allowed the River Bandits to score one on a sacrifice fly. Then, Woodstock’s Aidan Nagle took a 2-1 count for a grand slam home run, cutting the Cardinals lead to 14 to 9. Pratt was able to get out of the inning, preserving the Redbird lead.
“The bats came out hot tonight, and we needed every bit of it,” said Coach Hurla, “It’s great to get another big road win. The guys continue to impress me with how they show up willing to work hard each and every day, no matter the outcome from the night before.”
The Cardinals’ bats were led tonight by Dylan Menhennett, who went 3-4 on the night, and is batting .370 on the season. Two Cardinals went yard tonight; Carson Bell had his first homerun of the season and Derek Orndorff hit his second of the season. Cardinal pitcher Henri Pratt earned the win, supported by Trey Fields, who struck out five River Bandits in 4.1 innings, and Peter Schuldt, who fanned two in his two innings of work.
Rebels vs Cardinals 6.08.2019
FIRST HOME WIN REMAINS ELUSIVE FOR FRONT ROYAL CARDINALS
The trouble started early for the Cardinals, when starting pitcher Kyle Choate, who hurt his back and subsequently struggled to find the strike zone in the first inning, faced nine Rebels batters and gave up four runs in the process. The Cardinals attempted to come back in the home half of the inning. Dylan Menhennett singled, then scored on Carson Bell’s single, and Steve Grober worked a walk, then scored on Arrison Perez’s single. At the end of the inning, the Rebels lead was cut in half.
A pitching change an the top of the second inning brought Trey Parr to the mound for the Cardinals. Parr managed to get three quick outs. In the bottom of the inning, Rebels pitcher Will Moore hit a batter, then issued three subsequent walks to allow the Cardinals to score, cutting the Rebels’ lead to one run.
After a quiet third inning, the Rebels pushed one more across in the fourth. Front Royal made another pitching change, bringing in lefthanded pitcher Andrew Hoguet, who was able to get the next two batters out in order. Rebels’ pitching remained dominant, and the Cardinals went down in order in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The sixth and seventh innings were particularly long for Cardinals’ pitchers Hoguet and Sean Miller. The duo faced 19 Rebels’ batters in those two innings, and the Cardinals committed seven errors. When the dust settled, the Rebels had scored an additional ten runs, and the score was 15-3.
In the eighth inning, looking to make a big change, the Cardinals brought in Levi Leisenring, typically a first baseman, to try to close out the game. Leisenring proved effective, striking out three batters and allowing no runs in his pitching debut. In the bottom of the eighth, Leisenring struck a single, scoring teammate Matt Cedarburg from third base. Although the Cardinals attempted a two out rally in the ninth inning, they were unsuccessful, and Leisenring’s RBI would be the last run of the game. The Cardinals fell to the New Market Rebels 15-4.
Coach Tony Hurla explained, “Our starter hurt his back in the first, and that played a big impact tonight. Defensively, we weren’t sharp and it was just a tough game for us. We will reset on the off day tomorrow, and look to come back strong on Monday.”