Bulldogs blow early lead to top-ranked Madison in hard fought, 9-7, district loss

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Landon Vile dives back for second base on May 16 against Madison. The LHS senior went 3-for-4 with three doubles and an RBI despite a tough 9-7 district loss.

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, May 16 — The Luray Bulldogs dropped out of a three-way tie for fifth place in the Bull Run District on Tuesday following a tough, 9-7, loss to top-ranked Madison. Luray’s regular season finale will be on the road Friday at Clarke (6-9, 8-11). The two schools are currently tied for sixth place just prior to next week’s Bull Run District tournament.

The Bulldogs have been on a roller coaster all season. After opening up with two losses, Luray then won two of three. They followed that up by dropping seven straight…and then launching a five-game winning streak. However, despite the current streak of back-to-back losses to two of the top three teams in the Bull Run, Luray has been playing its best baseball of the season in the past few weeks.

During their five-game winning streak, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 31-8, as the offense became more active than earlier in the season. A highlight of that streak came on May 2, with a dominating 8-0 win on the road over second-place East Rockingham.

On Thursday, Luray’s 2-1 loss at Mt. View was one of three one-run losses this season. It was their first loss since April 17.

On Tuesday, the Bulldogs dug into muddy conditions under a constant drizzle and gave the top team in the district a heckuva game. Luray batted around in the first inning and jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind a two-RBI double by junior Jacob Shenk and RBI singles from senior Christian Lentz and sophomore Josh Richards. The Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate in the first and recorded five hits. The big inning ended with the bases loaded.

Madison answered back and retook the lead in the top of the third, as the Mountaineers produced five runs off five hits and one Luray error. Seniors Morgan Tompkins and Wade Fox each belted a single that drove in two runs, while classmate Kody Dobyns also picked up a single and an RBI in the third.

Luray answered back with two runs in the fourth off a double from senior Landon Vile and a passed ball at the plate. The Bulldogs lead 6-5 heading into the fifth.

Big at-bats by Dobyns and sophomore William Dickey produced the game’s third lead change as Madison picked up three runs in the fifth and retook the lead 8-6. Dickey belted a triple that drove in a run just before Dobyns smacked a two-run home run.

The Bulldogs were only able to add one more unearned run in the sixth off a wild pitch, while Madison added an earned run off a solo homer from Dickey in the seventh and captured a tough, 9-7, district win.

Luray was lead by Vile at the plate, as the senior went 3-for-4 with three doubles and an RBI. Richards went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Lentz went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Shenk finished the game at 1-for-3 and two RBI.

Madison was lead by Dobyns at the plate  — one of four Mountaineers to go 2-for-4 on the day. The senior chalked up three RBI. Both Tompkins and Dickey went 2-for-4 and knocked in two runs each.

The Mountaineers (13-2, 14-5) hold a one-game lead over East Rockingham (12-3, 15-4) with one game left on Wednesday at Rappahannock before the start of the Bull Run District Tournament next week. Mt. View holds third place, while only two games separate the next five teams.

Luray is now 7-12 overall and 6-9 in the Bull Run. The Bulldogs are tied for sixth in the district with Clarke and sit just one game back of Page and Rappahannock, who are tied for fourth.

For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.



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