Our last matchup was won by Jerry Downs; he will face Andrew Eyster in the next round.
- Rick Spiers joined the Tom Sox after his junior year at D-III Randoph Macon. He was a crucial player in the Sox’s first championship season, hitting .333/.391/.487 in 117 at-bats, with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and eight stolen bases. On the mound, he went 4-0, 0.78, with a 2.0 BB/9 and 10.6 K/9 in 23 innings pitched. He was on the bump for the final out of the final game of the 2017 championship series, after the Tom Sox went 32-10 in the regular season. Over his four years in school, Spiers hit .349/.399/.489 in 570 at-bats, with 33 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, 126 RBIs, a 52/96 BB/K ratio, and 50 stolen bases in 57 attempts. On the mound, he went 15-8, 2.83 in 178 innings, with six saves and 151 strikeouts. He was not drafted after his senior year in 2018. (To watch the VBL podcast with Rick, click here.)
- Shaun Cooper originally attended Arizona in 2009. After 80 at-bats that season, he transferred to Pima Community College for 2010, and after a .330/.421/.497 summer for the junior college, came to Harrisonburg for the summer. All he did that year is hit .303/.370/.600 in 165 at-bats, with 29 runs scored, 10 doubles, 13 home runs, 36 RBIs, and a 15/41 BB/K ratio. He tied for the league lead in home runs, and fourth in OPS. He transferred to Utah for his junior and senior years. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012, and spent that summer playing for Yakima in the Northwest League. After hitting .213/.343/.374 in 230 at-bats, he was released. He subsequently spent two summers playing in the independent Frontier League for both Traverse City and Florence. He’s been out of pro ball since 2016.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL.
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!