7/9/04 – Written by Denise Wampler, JMU Communications Intern
The Harrisonburg TURKS seem to enjoy the come from behind wins as they collected their seventh of the year, beating the visiting New Market Rebels (12-17) 11-10 in 11 innings of play, on July 9. It was another back and forth game, as the Rebels and TURKS produced a combined 31 hits on the night. The Rebels struck early, as lead off batter, Ben Crowell hit an in the park homerun off the first pitch delivered by TURKS starting pitcher, Will Mann. The long fly ball was chased by TURKS centerfielder, Kevin Koski (Freshman, Southern Illinois), who collided into the wall and was later assisted off the field and replaced by Reggie Watson (Junior, Indiana University). Watson later left the game to receive x-rays after taking a bunted ball off the side of his face. The Koski collision allowed Crowell to advance from second to home and gave the Rebels early to take the 1-0 lead. The Rebels went on to score three more runs in the first, as New Market’s Rawell Rivera, drove a three-homer over the leftfield wall. The TURKS trailed 4-0 leading into the bottom of the first. The TURKS answered back, scoring two in the bottom of the first, off three singles, putting the home squad within two. The TURKS defense was stellar through the next six innings of play, not giving up a run through the seventh inning. In the mean time, the TURKS added five more runs in the next six innings to give the TURKS the 7-4 advantage. New Market went on to score four runs, off three hits, and one TURKS error in the eighth, and two more in the ninth. The TURKS had managed to manufacture a total of three runs of their own in the eighth and ninth, tying the game at 10-10 and calling for extra innings. The TURKS had entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 10-8, but a two out single by right fielder, Ryan Gotcher (Freshman, SW Missouri State), scored Gered Mochizuki (Freshman, Yavapai JC) and Matt Weglarz (Sophomore, SW Missouri State), which had both singled to start the inning. Both teams failed to score in the 10th, and the TURKS fourth pitcher of the night, Andrew Weber, (So. Illinois), was able to retire the Rebels in order to start the 11th. The TURKS began the 11th inning rally, with second baseman,Cameron Clark (Junior, Oklahoma City), being hit by a pitch and reaching first. Next batter, Joe Kemp (junior, Indiana), who led the TURKS hitting spree, going 5-7 on the night, singled to left, advancing Clarke to second. Ryan Parker (Junior, Indiana) reached first on an error, loading the bases for Corby Heckman (Junior, Indiana). Heckman worked pitcher, Sammy Hart, the Rebels fifth pitcher of the night, to 3-1, before being handed ball four, scoring Clarke, and giving the TURKS their 20th win of the season. The TURKS offensively posted 19 hits on the night and were led by Kemp (5-7, 1 RBI) and leftfielder, Jeff Halbert (Junior, Rollins College) who was 3-6. Six other TURKS batters had hits on the night. Will Mann started the night for the TURKS going seven complete innings, giving up six runs, off four hits, striking out seven, and walking three. Relief came from Adam Poole (Sophomore, Lincoln Trail) .2 innings, Scott Brune (Freshman, Iowa) .1 innings, and Andrew Weber (Junior Southern Illinois) 3.0 innings. Weber was credited with the win, and improved to 3-2 on the season. The TURKS will travel to Loudoun County tomorrow, Saturday, July 10, to take on the Loudoun Rangers. Game time is 5:00 p.m. GO TURKS! The TURKS also invite fans out to Kate Collins field on Sunday, July 11th to the Valley Baseball League All-Star Game. Come out and see some of the Valley’s best talent. The TURKS All Stars are: Pitchers Nick Pereria (U. San Francisco), Tim Gudex (U. Iowa), and Damian Salcedo (Oklahoma State), position players are 1st baseman, Joe Kemp (U. Indiana), OF, Reggie Watson (U.Indiana), and Catcher, Matt Weglarz (SW Missouri State). Pre-game activities; Homerun Derby,and the 60-yard dash, begins at 4:00 p.m. Game time is 7:30 p.m. The TURKS are off on Monday, July 12 and Tuesday, July 13. They return to play on Wednesday, July 14 in Staunton and are back at home on Thursday, July 15 hosting the Front Royal Cardinals. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Come out and support your Harrisonburg TURKS!