2020 RCBL Preview: Bridgewater Reds
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The 2020 Bridgewater Reds appear to have a roster built for making a run at a fourth consecutive appearance in the RCBL Finals.
The Reds lost to Clover Hill in the championship series in 2019 but took home league titles in 2017 & 2018. Manager Robert Sherfey believes the current squad has the talent to compete for a championship in 2020.
“No doubt in my mind this is going to be a competitive team and this team does have a shot at the title this year,” said Sherfey.
Bridgewater is expected to have one of the best and deepest pitching staffs in the RCBL this summer. League veteran Derek Shifflett is back after throwing 66.1 innings for the Reds in 2019 while compiling a 3.79 ERA with 82 strikeouts. Former Turner Ashby High School standout and current JMU baseball star Justin Showalter will pitch for Bridgewater. He was off to an outstanding start for the Dukes in 2020 with a 4-0 record, 0.67 ERA, and 21 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched before the season was shut down early due to COVID-19. Showalter’s JMU teammate RHP Lliam Grubbs joins the Reds this summer as does LHP Matt Shobe, who pitches at NCAA Division I Bucknell University. Bridgewater’s pitching staff also features Chris Huffman, the former Fort Defiance High school and JMU star, who has pitched as high as AAA in Minor League Baseball. Huffman, who has recovered from Tommy John surgery, is expected to pitch anywhere from one to a few innings at a time as he works his way back to pro baseball.
“I think we have a really strong starting rotation,” said Showalter. “I think we have probably eight or nine guys who could be a starting pitcher as well a lot of guys who can come out of back end of the (bullpen) and kind of shut down games for us. So I am pretty excited to see how that stands up against some of the better hitting we are going to see this year in the RCBL.”
The Reds return 2019 RCBL MVP Corbin Lucas (OF) who will again be an important part of the lineup. He batted .425 with five home runs and 30 RBI last season. Fellow league veterans Grey Sherfey (OF) and Jacob Grabeel (OF) also return as key members of Bridgewater’s offense in 2020. Adding some pop to the lineup is Tyler Mahone (1B), who plays baseball at Division I Longwood University. Mahone played for the Reds in 2018 and batted .354 with five home runs and 32 RBI.
Due to VHSL rules regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridgewater is unable to use its normal home field at Turner Ashby High School. The Reds’ home games in 2020 will be split between Montezuma’s Ruritan Field and Clover Hill’s Buck Bowman Park. Bridgewater opens the season Saturday night with a road game at Stuarts Draft. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.
2020 Bridgewater Reds Team Preview
Manager: Robert Sherfey
2019 Season: 12-16 Overall (Lost to Clover Hill, 4-2, in RCBL Finals)
Key Hitters (2019 Stats)
Corbin Lucas (OF): .425 Batting Average, 5 Home Runs, 30 RBI - 2019 RCBL MVP
Grey Sherfey (OF): .326 Batting Average, 22 Runs, 20 Walks
Tyler Mahone (1B): Longwood University baseball player
Key Pitchers (2019 Stats)
Derek Shifflett (RHP): 66.1 Innings Pitched, 3.79 ERA, 82 Strikeouts
Justin Showalter (RHP): JMU baseball player
Matt Shobe (LHP): Bucknell University baseball player
For more information on the Bridgewater Reds, click here.
2020 RCBL Previews
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