Yesterday, Brandon Murray won the first matchup; he’ll move on to face Cory Spangenberg in the next round.
Today, we have Weyers Cave, Virginia native Blake Sipe (Staunton 2012) going up against Thomas Smith (Harrisonburg 2013).
- Blake Sipe was Staunton’s best hitter in 2012, slashing .396/.516/.483 in 149 at-bats, with 38 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple, 26 RBIs, an other-worldly 26/7 BB/K ratio, and he added 20 stolen bases. Sipe played at Radford for four years, hitting a combined .239/.369/.288 in 468 at-bats (and with a 68/56 BB/K ratio, too). Staunton went 21-23 and did not make the playoffs. He was not drafted after his last season in 2014. He’s been playing in the Rockingham County League (RCBL), though, and was the 2017 League MVP for Clover Hill. He now works with Upper Deck Sports Academy and lives in Bridgewater.
- Thomas Smith, orginially a walk-on, was a four-year starter at Georgia Tech (2012-2015). In 2013 for the Turks, he hit a robust .341/.428/.492 in 132 at-bats, with 23 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 23 RBIs, four stolen bases, and an excellent 22/15 BB/K ratio. He was ATVL’s 2nd best hitter that summer (behind Jordan Tarsovich). The Turks went 32-12 that summer, won the South, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. In his four years for the Yellow Jackets, Smith hit .287/.387/.364 in 662 at-bats, with a 88/86 BB/K ratio. Alas, he was not drafted after his senior year.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL! (Closes Wednesday morning)
And by the way, if you want to read a ton about either the 2015 or 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out the 2019 Valley League Annual!