7/28/04 – Staunton News Leader
Staunton locked into second seed for playoffs By Shep Critzer Sports Writer STAUNTON — In the words of Bull Durham, baseball’s an easy game; you catch the ball, you throw the ball, you hit the ball. Well, sort of. The Staunton Braves did none of the above consistently Wednesday night at Moxie Stadium as they gave up 17 hits, committed four errors, and got drubbed by South Division-winner Harrisonburg 9-4 in their last home game before the Valley Baseball League playoffs. With skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt watching from the stands while serving a one-game suspension for bumping an umpire, interim manager Lance Mauck and company looked to have things well in hand early. Behind an RBI double from Paul Winterling and run-scoring single by Drake Wade, the Braves took a 2-1 lead going into the third inning. Then the wheels began to wobble. The Turks picked up two runs, one on a throwing error, in the top of the fourth and widened the gap to 5-3 by the start of the seventh. The wheels were then kicked off by Gered Mochizuki. After three consecutive singles loaded the bases in the seventh, the Turks’ shortstop, who went 4-for-5 with two runs and four RBIs, threaded a triple up the first base line that drove in three runs and widened Staunton’s deficit to 8-3. "I think Mochizuki has probably beaten us four of the past five times we’ve played them," Mauck said. "He’s definitely their spark." Things got no better in the eighth as Staunton’s Caleb Glafenhein hit two batters and Harrisonburg again loaded the bases. Staunton escaped the inning with only one run of damage and, in its last at bat, looked like it might make a contest of things. George Hanger and Billy Richardson picked up singles and Shane Justis walked to load the bases with only one out, but a sacrifice fly from Jon Jay was as close as the Braves could get as they succumbed to the 9-4 loss. "They (Harrisonbug) did the little things tonight," Mauck said. "They weren’t hitting balls hard, and they just found holes. They pretty much hit everyone we put on the mound. We beat ourselves early. Pitchers weren’t getting ahead on the counts, and we weren’t making the plays in the field. Balls are gonna find holes if you don’t make plays. HARRISONBURG 010 211 310 — 9 17 0 STAUNTON 011 010 001 — 4 7 4 Salcedo, Claybrook (6), Gudex (7), Brune (9) and Sluder. Ingram, Morrison (5), Blacksher (7), Glafenhein (9) and Baisley. W — Salcedo. L — Morrison. HR — none.