2020 RCBL Preview: Elkton Blue Sox
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In recent years, the Elkton Blue Sox have struggled at times with getting a large number of players to their games in the Rockingham County Baseball League. But the squad expects that to change in 2020.
“I like how deep we are this year,” said Elkton first-year manager J.J. Loker, who also plays for the Blue Sox. “I think that’s always been part of our problem in the past is we’d show up with 10 or 11 guys and it’s hard to beat teams that’s got 20 guys there every night. So I think this year we’ll be able to do a couple different things and have a little more relief pitching. A little deeper pitching staff.”
Elkton finished in seventh place (out of eight teams) after posting an 11-17 overall record during the 2019 RCBL regular season. The Blue Sox went on to upset New Market in the quarterfinals of the RCBL Playoffs and won a game against eventual league champion Clover Hill in the RCBL Semifinals. Elkton returns a pair of talented pitchers from last year’s squad with LHP Kris Lalk and RHP Jacob Rich. Lalk, the 2018 RCBL Pitcher of the Year, posted a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings pitched while striking out 56 batters for Elkton last summer. Rich struck out 63 batters in just 31.2 innings pitched in 2019 while registering a 4.26 ERA. Former Yale University right-handed pitcher Drew Scott is also expected to play a big role for the Blue Sox on the mound this summer.
“We got some pretty good arms this year,” said Elkton infielder/DH Christian Rodriguez. “I think we are deeper with that. In the past, that’s what we missed.”
Lee Carneal returns as one of Elkton’s top hitters. He batted .327 with six home runs in 2019 and owns a .393 career batting average in the RCBL since 2013. Former Page County High School catcher Tristan Gordon is expected to provide some power to the Blue Sox lineup while Elkton outfielder Will Decker is a former Roanoke College star who has experience playing professional baseball at the independent level.
Elkton’s season opener is Saturday night at New Market. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
2020 Elkton Blue Sox Team Preview
Manager: J.J. Loker
2019 Season: 11-17 Overall (Lost to Clover Hill, 3-1, in RCBL Semifinals)
Key Hitters (2019 Stats)
Lee Carneal (INF): .327 Batting Average, 6 Home Runs, 16 RBI
Tristan Gordon (C): Former Page County High School star
Will Decker (OF): Former professional (independent) baseball player & Roanoke College star
Key Pitchers (2019 Stats)
Kris Lalk (LHP): 30 Innings Pitched, 3.00 ERA, 56 Strikeouts
Jacob Rich (RHP): 31.2 Innings Pitched, 4.26 ERA, 63 Strikeouts
Drew Scott (RHP): Former Yale University baseball player
For more information on the Elkton Blue Sox, click here.
2020 RCBL Previews
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