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OVL Elects New Leadership

The Ohio Valley League has chosen one of its original members to lead the wooden bat baseball circuit into the future.

Cubb Stokes, a part-owner and past general manager of the Fulton Railroaders, was elected president of the OVL at its annual meeting in Eddyville (Ky.) recently.

Stokes was involved in the rebirth of the KIT League in 2004 and when the league played its first games in 2005. He was part of a group that bought the Fulton franchise in July of 2005 and was the Railroaders’ general manager for four years (2009-12).  He has continued to help with player recruitment for the Fulton franchise, which is a charter member of the OVL, born three seasons ago.
Stokes will replace Marion’s Gordon Guess, who will remain active in league affairs as special assistant to the president. Steve Fowler will continue in his role of director of league development.

Charlie Pierce (Owensboro) was selected vice president, Tricia Noel (Madisonville) secretary and Mike Smith (Fulton) as the league’s treasurer.

Stokes said the league’s main purpose would continue to be player skills development with an emphasis on character of the group’s players and coaches as they pursue their dreams of advancing in baseball.

“With the current and future owners, we are dedicated to making the OVL one of the premier summer collegiate wooden bat leagues in the United States,” the new league president said. “We have come along way since a cold rainy February day meeting at the Fulton fire station. Several baseball enthusiasts had a dream that day and 11 years later it is still thriving.

“We have had towns come and go but, in the end, we are still providing good competitive baseball at a very low cost to the citizens of our towns and surrounding areas. Life-long friendships have been and are developed each year between the players and fans. It also shows the young local Little Leaguers, as well as the older boys who dream of being a major leaguer someday, what they need to do to reach our level.”

The OVL is currently comprised of five teams — Fulton, Madisonville, Hopkinsville, Owensboro and Dubois County (Ind.). League officials hope to add a sixth team for the 2015 season and two more for the following season before growing to a 10-team circuit by 2017.

Stokes’ passion for baseball runs deep — from growing up as a kid in Hickman with big-league dreams — to earning a full scholarship at the University of Tennessee. He played three summers in the Valley League, one of the four premier summer collegiate leagues in the early 1970s, and was drafted in the eighth round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 1975.

He lauded widespread support of the OVL, which has made the product successful, especially mentioning fans, sponsors, season ticket holders and host families as those critical to the league’s popularity.

“Whether you have a franchise in Fulton (smallest population) or in Owensboro (largest population), you cannot survive without great support from the local fans and surrounding communities, counties and even states,” he said.

“And any size community can become part of the league as long as they have the dedication and passion for baseball that our current owners exhibit.”

To play in the OVL, one must be a member of a college (any division or level) baseball roster and have eligibility left with that team. The age restriction is 18-23.

Miner’s Season Ends in Owensboro

July 25, 2014

Owensboro Oilers 1, Madisonville Miners 0.  The Oilers eliminated the Miners on Friday in Owensboro winning game two in the second round.  As in the night before the two teams battled in another close game with the only run scored by the Oilers in seventh inning.  The loss sends the Miners home for the season, and the Oilers move on to face the Hoptown Hoppers in the final playoff round.

     Bottom of the 7th, Braxton Brinkley singled and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Harold Diaz.  Brinkley made home plate on a two out RBI double by Taylor Mathews. 

     Both starting pitcher threw for a complete game.  Cameron Wallace won the shutout game allowing only 3 hits and one walk while striking out 9 batters.  Mike Steele takes the loss giving up just 4 hits, one earned run, 3 walks and had 2 strikeouts.  Box Scores Click Here.

Miners win play in game after beating Bombers

July 23, 2014

Playoff Round One – single game elimination

Madisonville Miners 6, Dubois County Bombers 1.  (From Dubois County) The Madisonville Miners eliminated the Dubois County Bombers from the Ohio Valley League playoffs last night with a dramatic 6-1 comeback victory at Huntingburg’s League Stadium.
Most of the night belonged to the starting pitchers. Tanner Koch for Madisonville held the Bombers scoreless through six innings. He retired eight Bombers on strikeouts, only giving up three hits through those first six frames.
Dubois County third baseman Chase Scott led off the seventh with a home run just to the left of the old-time scoreboard. It was the first home run hit in OVL action this season in League Stadium. When Joe Sturino followed with a single, Miners’ skipper Jared Franklin called on reliever Miles Wagner to replace Koch. Wagner escaped without further damage.
Meanwhile, Dubois County starting pitcher Ryan Dills was even more dominant. Dills limited the Miners to one hit and a walk through the first eight innings. Both were erased on the bases attempting to steal. Josh Wetzel was cut down at second base by Bomber catcher Rick Linton in the third inning.
In the 8th, Jackson Martin reached first base on the first walk Dills had allowed. Martin was sacrificed to second, and moved to third on a ground out. With two down, Martin broke for home in a delayed steal as Linton returned the ball to Dills after a pitch. The throw back to the plate from Dills was just in time, and Linton eliminated another baserunner by making the tag.
For the eighth consecutive frame, the Miners were retired with no runners left on base. Through eight, Dills had faced the minimum 24 hitters in a thoroughly impressive performance.
Dills returned to the mound in the ninth in an attempt to complete the shutout. The first Miner batter flied out to center. Then Adam Schuster walked. Pinch-hitter Colton Nussel rapped a single back through the box that glanced off of Dills’ leg.
Nick Calandra followed with another single to tie the game at 1-1. Dubois County head coach Wes Fink pulled Dills to a standing ovation from the home crowd.
In compiling their 10-30 season record, Madisonville had fallen just a bit short on numerous occasions. The whole league knew they were a better team than their record indicated. On this night, it was as if a season of frustration had been waiting on playoff action.
Eleven Miners came to the plate in the ninth inning, producing a six-run, six-hit bombardment off of four Bomber pitchers.
Miles Wagner gets the win in relief for the Miners. Ryan Dills gets tagged with as well-pitched of a loss as you are likely to find.
Dubois County’s season ends with a record of 19-21.
Madisonville will host the regular season league champion Owensboro Oilers tonight in the first game of a best-of-three playoff semifinal.
  Box Scores Click Here.

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