7/6/04 – Staunton News Leader
Strange eighth inning ends Staunton’s win streak at three By Al Samuels Sports Writer HARRISONBURG — After battling back for a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning, the Staunton Braves suffered a heart-breaking 5-4 loss when the Harrisonburg Turks got a run in turmoil-filled bottom of the eighth Monday night in Valley Baseball League play. Brian Baisley’s sacrifice fly to short left scored Jon Jay with the tying run in the top of the frame. But in the bottom of the inning, reliever Chris Perez gave up a leadoff single to Corby Heckman. Kevin Koski went in as a pinch-runner and the turmoil started. After the first pitch to the next batter Joe Kemp, Staunton manager Lawrence Nesselrodt came out to protest that Koski was next on the lineup card because he was scratched from the starting lineup. Neither umpire seemed to know what to do and play continued. After going 1-1 to Kemp, Perez was replaced by Chase Tucker, and Kemp dumped a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease then sent up a pinch-hitter for Matt Weglarz, who was 3-for-3. Pinch-hitter Ryan Parker laid down a perfect bunt to move the runners up. The Braves walked the next batter, and with the infield drawn in, Gered Mochizuki grounded to short and Shane Justis made the throw home to force the lead runner for the second out. Tucker went 2-2 on catcher Matt Sluder. The next two pitches were very close with Tucker thinking both were strike three, but the plate umpire had a different view and the walk forced home the winning run. "It’s ashame a great game had to come down to that," Nesselrodt said. "Every night everybody is talking about the umpiring, and they should be talking about the kids and the game. We played out tails off. This one is really hard to take, but we have all our players now and we are starting to gell. We’ll see those guys again." The Braves got an RBI single and RBI double from Drake Wade in the first and third innings to battle to a 2-2 deadlock. In the fourth, the Braves went ahead on back-to-back doubles by Chris Hyde and D.J. Prevatt. However, the Turks tied the game at 3-3 on Mochizuki’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Turks took the lead in the sixth off Staunton starter Tyler Rhoden. Mochizuki came through again with a run-scoring single to center for a 4-3 advantage. Harrisonburg has won the first four games in the season series from Staunton, and lead the South Division with a 16-9 record. The Braves fall to 13-11 and 2 1/2 games behind the Turks. STAUNTON 101 101 010 — 4 8 1 HARRISONBURG 020 101 01x — 5 12 1 Rhoden, Perez (7), Tucker (8) and Baisley. Pereria, Brune (8) and Sluder. W — Brune. L — Tucker. HR — Clarke (H) 2nd, one on.