Welcome to Friday, and the last of the first round matchups of the best relievers in the last decade of Valley League play! (Well that was a mouthful.)
- Mike Grace came to Front Royal in the summer of 2010, just after his junior season at Lipscomb, where he went 1-3, 6.45 in 51 2/3 innings pitched. For the Cardinals, he appeared in 17 games, all in relief, and completed 34 1/3 innings. He went 2-0, 2.62, with two saves, a 0.875 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 8.9 K/9. He was ATVL’s 2nd best reliever from that summer. He returned to Lipscomb in 2011, and went 3-4, 3.93, with a save, 1.56 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9, and 6.5 K/9 in 52 2/3 innings. He did not go on to pro ball after college.
- In the summer of 2018, New Market righthander Trevin Eubanks got to experience something that most pitchers don’t- he struck out the last batter for a championship team. This meant he was the victim of the dogpile, but I can’t imagine that it wasn’t worth it. But lest we forget, the big, physical senior also was lights-out all summer. In fact, when the second game of the finals was beginning (the same game that Trevin ended with a K), a general manager of another VBL team said to me, “Charlottesville better get ahead in this game, because if they don’t, and [New Market] gets to Eubanks in the pen… it’s over.” Well, he was exactly right. In the regular season, Eubanks went 2-0, 1.50, with a 0.833 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, and 18.0 K/9 in 18 innings (9 walks and 36 K’s). In the playoffs, he went 0-0, 4.50, with one save and four more K’s in four more innings. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the league’s 2nd best reliever. In 2019, he transferred to Valdosta State for his senior year, and went 0-4, 5.40, with 14 walks and 41 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. After his college career, he signed with Schaumburg of the independent Frontier League, where he appeared in 10 games in 2019, striking out 13 in 13 2/3 innings.
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And by the way, if you want to read a ton about either the 2015 or 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out this post on the 2019 Valley League Annual.
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