Charles Town falls to defending champion Waynesboro in finals
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – Charles Town Cannons manager Brett Fuller has been selected Valley Baseball League Manager of the Year, as voted on by league directors.
Fuller, who also serves as team president of the local nonprofit summer collegiate league franchise, led the Cannons to a deciding Game 3 in the championship series last week against the defending champion Waynesboro Generals.
The Generals repeated as VBL champions with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the ninth inning Aug. 6 in Waynesboro, Va. The Cannons had led by as much as 5-0 early on.
Waynesboro won the opening game of the championship series 11-1, but Charles Town forced a Game 3 with an 8-0 victory in Game 2 at Sager Field at Jefferson High School.
Charles Town finished the regular season 23-19 and earned the No. 5 seed in the eight-team playoffs.
The Cannons defeated the Staunton Braves 2-1 in a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals.
Charles Town swept the Strasburg Express with consecutive victories in the semifinals to earn a berth in the Lineweaver Cup championship series.
The Cannons just completed their second season in the 11-team VBL, a 44-game regular season summer league consisting of college players from around the country. The Valley Baseball League is sanctioned by the NCAA and sponsored in part by Major League Baseball.
Fuller and his father, Don, purchased the former Luray Wranglers franchise in 2012 and moved the team to Charles Town to begin play last year.
The Cannons are the only team from West Virginia in the league.
The VBL Manager of the Year Award is named after Maynard “Mo” Weber, a former head baseball coach at William and Mary and a longtime assistant coach and staple with the New Market Rebels of the VBL.
The Maynard “Mo” Weber Manager of the Year Award was established in 2008. Weber retired in 2011 after 65 years coaching baseball. His No. 1 jersey with the Rebels has been retired.
“Coach Weber epitomized sportsmanship, integrity and class for many seasons,” Fuller said. “I am humbled by this award and a sincere thank you to my fellow coaches and peers for this prestigious honor.”
In a news release issued by the Charles Town Cannons, Fuller acknowledged several people associated with the success of the second-year franchise.
“Our players make an award like this possible,” Fuller said. “The sacrifices made by these young men to compete in the VBL are many: the traveling, daily grind and physical toll are immense. The 2014 roster was built by general manager Mike Smith, who is most deserving of this award. Coach Smith spent countless hours researching players and formulating a winning combination, making my job filling out a line-up card a difficult task as we had so many meriting playing time.”
Fuller acknowledged appreciation for his assistant coaches Doug Walker and Ridge Fuller. He also addressed his fellow VBL competitors.
“I value your friendship and have learned to become a better coach by competing against each of you,” he said. “In addition, I am grateful for the guidance of Kay and Boyd Snyder, who have provided a blueprint on how to run a franchise. And finally, I am grateful to my mom and dad, who enabled me to pursue my dream of bringing Valley League Baseball to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.”