James Ziemba (Duke) - Week Three Turks Player of the Week
James Ziemba tosses a no hitter in a rain shortened game to earn 1-0 win over Winchester
OKC, Turks Linked
Tripp Shelton (UNCG) - Week One Turks Player of the Week
WP: Lindsay (1-0)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
LP: Gammon (2-1)- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Full Boxscore: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=246066
HARRISONBURG, Va., July 6, 2015 – It took 10 innings and a walk-off hit, but the Turks continued their winning ways with a 5-4 victory over the Front Royal Cardinals at Veterans Memorial Park on Monday night.
Leading off an inning for the fifth time, Shane Billings knocked a single into right field to get things started in the bottom of the 10th. Joe Lytle got the sign from Manager Bob Wease and followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner into scoring position. Then two batters later, Kameron Esthay singled past a diving second baseman to score Billings in walk-off fashion.
The win marks the Turks’ seventh in a row and 13th in their last 14 games moving them to 19-6 on the season. The Cardinals of Front Royal fell to 13-11 with the loss in their first trip to Harrisonburg in 2015.
The Cardinals scored four runs (one earned) off of Turks starter Kale Morton as the lefty from Arizona allowed four hits, walked four and struck out four over five innings. Jared Datoc was integral to Harrisonburg’s efforts with four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Donte Lindsay struck out two, the second of which capped an eight-pitch battle to strand a runner in scoring position, in one inning of relief.
Down 4-0 entering the inning, Wardy Polanco lead off the fifth inning with a double to deep center field. The hit proved to be a rally-starter as the Cardinals followed with two walks and another double in a four-run inning to tie the game.
Drew Small, Bobby Lang and Chase Lunceford each collected two hits to highlight an otherwise lackluster offensive performance for Front Royal.
Joe Lytle anchored the Turks’ offensive production, taking full advantage of a rare opportunity to hit in the two-hole. The lefty catcher finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored on a night on which the Turks had a single-digit run total for only the third time in their last six contests.
Cardinals starting pitcher Corey Sessions came into tonight with a 4-0 record and an impressive 0.74 earned run average. The Turks more than doubled it to 1.54 however, as the Sparta, Michigan native gave up three earned runs (four runs total) over four innings. The bullpen was tested as well, with four different pitchers accounting for the final six innings.
The Turks are back at it tomorrow night in a clash of two of the hottest teams in the Valley Baseball League. The Aldie Senators, who have won six games in a row following a 9-0 victory over New Market Monday night, come to Harrisonburg for a 7:30 game time. As always, we hope to see you there and go Turks!
Harrisonburg Turks outfielder Shane Billings, a junior from Wingate University, is the Valley Baseball League D-BAT Player of the Week for the preceding week’s games from June 28-July 4.
As lead-off hitter, Billings has helped the Turks maintain their hot pace in the top of the South Division standings. The Turks were 5-1 this last week, on a 17-6 season record [as of July 4]. Billings, from Kernersville, North Carolina, hit .440/.464/.760. In six games, he was 11-25 with a triple and two homeruns, 7 RBI, 2 walks and 2 Ks. He had two sacrifices and three stolen bases, as well as 9 runs scored.
In the Turks July 1 game against New Market, with the score tied at 4-4, Billings got a two-out walk in the ninth inning, advanced to second on a pitcher’s error, moved to third on a single from Tyler Straub and eventually across for the plate for the 5-4 win by Jesse Baker’s game-winning single.
Billings is the fourth recipient this season, selected from candidates nominated by coaches and VBL media relations staff. The first three selections were Strasburg Express first baseman Ryan Flick, Front Royal RHP Indalecio Romo, and Charlottesville Tom Sox outfielder Kevin Conway.
The next D-Bat Player of the Week will be announced on July 13 and be selected from action in games from Sunday, July 5 through Saturday, July 11.
Photo credit: Ken Pullen