Down 4-0 heading into the 7th inning against the Waynesboro Generals, the Express used 5 hits and a dropped 3rd strike to score 5 runs and head into the final 9 outs with a one-run lead. Tyler Green and Erick Delgado each hit a 2-run double in the big inning.
Benjamin Dum, Strasburg’s starter, pitched into the 8th, and Abraham Almonte got the last out in the 8th and pitched a scoreless 9th to finish off the win. Almonte struck out the final two batters with the tying run on second base in the 9th.
The Express was an expansion team just in 2011, but the team has improved just about each year, and is now clearly one of the heavyweights in the league. The history:
2011: 15-29, last in the North Division, no playoffs
2012: 17-26, 4th in the North, lost in first round to Winchester, 2-0
2013: 22-21, 3rd in the North, won first round vs Charles Town 2-1, won second round vs Aldie 2-0, lost in championship series vs Waynesboro
2014: 21-22, 6th overall (no divisions this year), won first round vs Front Royal 2-1, lost in second round vs Charles Town 2-0
2015: 21-21, tied for 2nd in North, won first round vs Aldie 2-0, won second round vs Front Royal 2-1, won championship round vs Staunton 2-1
2016: 30-12, first in North, won first round vs Purcellville 2-0, second round vs Front Royal 2-1, won title vs Waynesboro 2-0.
So, with the exception of 2014, the team has achieved a little bit more each year. What’s left for 2017? 35-7, another title? An undefeated regular season?
Whatever the future may hold, the Strasburg Express are now the winners of the 2016 Valley League season. Congratulations to all Express players, front office folks, and fans!