6/29/04 – Daily News Record
Turks Suddenly Roll By ANDY MENDLOWITZ Daily News-Record LURAY – With the hit parade still marching, Harrisonburg Turks pitcher Nick Pereria wanted to join the fun. The right-hander threw the team’s first complete-game of the season in a 16-1 win over Luray in a Valley League baseball game before 412 fans Monday at Bulldog Field. "We’ve been using our bullpen so much lately it was nice to give them a rest," Pereria said. "Coach asked me in the seventh inning, he said, ‘How are you feeling?’ "I said, ‘We’re going to give the bullpen a rest today and I’ll go ahead and finish this game." For Pereria, it was also nice to get the run support. Corby Heckman went 3-for-6 with a three-run home run, and Cameron Clarke went 2-for-4 with a three-run shot of his own. The Turks (11-8) have now scored 41 runs and belted out 40 hits in their last three games. That includes a 9-3 win over Waynesboro on Saturday and a 16-6 win Sunday against Staunton. "I don’t think I can explain that at all," Heckman said. "It’s kind of a different mindset here the past few games. We’re a little more focused than we were there for a little bit when we were struggling. I think everything in baseball is contagious so we’ll take it." The Turks used a seven-run sixth inning to break open what had been a pitching duel between Pereria and Josh Gerstel. The attack was highlighted by the three-run home run by Heckman to left field off reliever Jason Cairnes. Clarke and Kevin Koski added RBI singles, and two runs scored via a passed ball and a wild pitch. Clarke added the exclamation point in a seven-run ninth inning with his three-run blast to right field. "They’ve got a good ball club," Turks manager Bob Wease said. "This is what happens in baseball. What happened over there tonight snowballed." Luray (11-8) also made four errors. "Their pitcher threw a great game," said Luray manager Mike Bocock, who is also Harrisonburg High School’s coach. "I’m not going to say anything about that our mistakes and our debacle of pitching and errors had anything to do with the game. I thought they pitched well and played well and they deserved to win the ball game. No ifs, ands, or buts about it." Pereria (San Francisco) entered the game with a 2-0 record, a .49 ERA with 23 strikeouts and four walks in 18.1 innings. Last college season, he was a set-up man. So far the experiment to make him a starter is going well. Pereria threw 103 pitches and was determined to go the distance, no matter the score. "He wanted to stay in and finish it, and that’s exactly what he did," Wease said. "He’s from the old school. Guys today want to pitch five or six innings and they want to get out of the game. This guy here, he just wanted to finish the whole thing." Pereria allowed four hits and struck out 12, including five of the first six hitters. "I was tired before I started the game," Pereria said. "It just went away. The fourth inning came around and the stiffness kind of went out. "I just settled down and got comfortable out there. My offense started scoring runs and as soon as you get there you get a little more comfortable out there knowing you got run support from your offense." NOTES: Luray’s Brian Bocock, the former Turner Ashby High School star, went 0-for-3. …Luray left fielder Dee Brown (Central Florida) is the son of former NFL player Jerome Brown. Harrisonburg 000 117 007 – 16 19 0 Luray 001 000 000 – 1 4 4 Pereria and Weglarz; Gerstel, Whitten (6), Cairns (7), Polzin (8), Robinson (9) and Torres, Saunders (8). W – Pereria. L – Whitten. HR – H: Clarke, Heckman.