Yesterday I travelled up to Winchester with a friend to watch my first live baseball game in a long, long time- the ODAC semifinals between 4th seed Shenandoah and 8th seed Eastern Mennonite.

Not only was it glorious to watch baseball again, but it was a glorious day…. and, as an added bonus, there were five seven people there with connections to the Valley League. Two birds with one stone!

First of all, Shenandoah was victorious in the game, 7-4, eliminating the Royals and cashing the Hornets’ ticket to the ODAC finals (against either Bridgewater or Lynchburg). (Is that the correct phrase? “Cashing a ticket?” Do people cash tickets in any way these days? Hmm.)

Anyway, let’s take a look at the three players and two four coaches with ties with the VBL:

  • Kevin Anderson is the head coach of the Shenandoah Hornets. He was the head coach of the Winchester Royals for five seasons and New Market for two. Anderson has been the SU head coach since 2003, and was elected to the VBL Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • Bailey Hall is an assistant coach for EMU. He played for Staunton in both 2018 and 2019, and is slated to be the team’s pitching coach this summer.
  • Shenandoah’s Grant Thompson played for Winchester in 2019. The senior was named third team All-ODAC this season, and first team in 2018. Thompson went 3-5 with a run scored in this game, and made a diving catch in right field in the fourth inning to save a run. He’s hitting .340/.420/.455 in 156 at-bats this spring, with seven doubles, three home runs, and 21 walks against only 16 K’s.
  • Keegan Woolford, also a senior for the Hornets, played for Charlottesville in 2019. He was named second team All-ODAC this spring, first team in 2018, and third team in 2019. He went 1-5 yesterday, with a huge two-run double. He’s hitting .313/.438/.646 in 147 at-bats this spring, with 10 doubles, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 31 walks.
  • EMU’s only league alumnus (on the field) is Ray Tricarico, who played for Waynesboro in 2019. The senior catcher went 2-4 yesterday, with an RBI triple. He also gunned two would-be base stealers, one at second and one at third. He was second team All-ODAC in 2019, and made two All-Academic teams in his time at EMU as well. Tricarico hit .241/.341/.329 in 79 at-bats this spring.
  • **Addition** EMu’s head coach, Adam Posey, also spent time coaching in the VBL. He just completed his second year at the helm of the Royals.
  • **Addition** EMU coach Ryan Tierney also coached in the VBL, both for the Harrisonburg Turks and Front Royal Cardinals. He’s been on EMU’s staff for four years. (I also met Ryan after the game!)

I took some photos during this one. Keep in mind that I’m no photographer!