2021 Preview: Front Royal Cardinals

Organizational Details

  • Last VBL Title: 1986; Last finals appearance was in 2010
  • General Manager/Do Most Things Person: Donna Settle
  • Recruiter/Head Coach: Tony Hurla, head coach at Kansas Christian, also coached Front Royal in 2019.
  • Key Alumni: Randy Dobnak (2015), Justin Anderson (2013), Dominic Canzone (2017)

2019 Recap

Front Royal CardinalsThe 2019 version of the Front Royal Cardinals finished 14-28, four games behind Winchester for the final playoff spot in the North Division, and 12 games behind Division-winning Strasburg. The team MVP was Dylan Menhennett (West Florida), team Cy Young was Shane Scott (Arkansas Tech), and the squad’s “Glue Guy” was Arrison Perez (Barry).

Returners

Key Hitters

  • Cole McConnell (Louisiana Tech)- Should have a major impact on the lineup; hit .357/.421/.488 in 129 at-bats, with nine doubles and two home runs.
  • Kasey Caras (Messiah)- A solid bat from D-III; hit .381/.441/.794 in 97 at-bats, with eight doubles and 10 home runs.
  • Niko Amory (Marist)- Was going to play in the Valley in 2020; Hit .329 in 70 at-bats this spring.
  • Will Schroeder (North Carolina)- “We’re excited to have him,” Hurla said. He had three hits in nine at-bats this spring.

Key Pitchers

  • Papeo- Had a 7/35 BB/K ratio in 33 2/3 innings this spring.
  • Danny Kirwin (Rider)- Appeared in 11 games out of the bullpen this spring, and struck out 23 batters in 21 innings.
  • Salvatore Ferro (Long Island)- Struck out 22 batters in 16 innings out of the bullpen.
  • Ryan Neuwiler (Long Island)- Has appeared in eight games, three of them starts.

Other Notes

  • Trent Jeffcoat’s (Tallahassee CC) father, Mike, is the head coach at West Florida. (Oh, and he hit .368 with 21 stolen bases this spring, too.)
  • Neuwiler’s twin brother, Charlie, was drafted by Kansas City in 2017, and is still active in the minor leagues.
  • Hurla built the Kansas Christian program from scratch, and has had remarkable success in a very short amount of time. In 2021, the team’s first full season, the squad finished 33-13, won the NCCAA Independent Tournament Championship, and advanced to the National Christian College World Series, in which the team won its first game (against Concordia Ann Arbor). In the Tournament, Hurla’s team lost the first game, and roared back to win six games in a row to claim the title.

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