2/16/2007 – Daily News Record
New Market Stymies Harrisonburg’s Hot Offense Written By Marcus Helton Daily News Record HARRISONBURG — The Harrisonburg Turks came into their game with New Market on Friday sporting one of the Valley Baseball League’s hottest offenses. For eight innings, though, it certainly didn’t look like it. New Market starter Daniel Malone baffled the Turks for seven innings – allowing one run on four hits while striking out nine – then watched his bullpen fight off a furious ninth-inning Harrisonburg rally to seal a 6-4 win at Memorial Stadium. "We played them earlier in the season and I knew they had a good first three or four guys in the lineup," Malone, a junior from Northwest Missouri State said. "I talked to the pitchers who threw against them last time and realized that a lot of them couldn’t hit off-speed stuff, so that’s basically all I threw." The Rebels (5-5) backed Malone up with several timely hits, scoring four of their six runs in two-out situations. Tampa junior first baseman Nolan Brannon – whose older brother Evan is New Market’s manager and younger brother Dale (Connecticut) started at second base – led the way, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Meanwhile Harrisonburg (7-3) looked little like the team that came in hitting .313 as a team and leading the league in runs scored. "We were just flat," Turks manager Bob Wease said. "We weren’t mentally ready to play the game tonight, and that happens. We played a bunch of nights in a row, and it’s hard for these kids to get up every night, it really is." The Turks tried to steal a win with a two-out rally in the ninth, though, scoring three runs on one hit and an error off of reliever Benjamin Dollar (Presbyterian) to close the gap. "I don’t know," Harrisonburg left fielder B.J. Wheeler (Clarendon) said. "I guess everybody started finally figuring out their swings once the game was on the line." With the bases loaded, Harrisonburg shortstop Ryan Wood (East Carolina) hit a liner to New Market third baseman Parker Neal (Christopher Newport) who dove into third with the tag for the final out. "We made it interesting," Evan Brannon said. "We kind of had the game in hand, [leading] 6-1 with two outs. That last out’s always the toughest one to get, it seems like." New Market 101 010 111 — 6 12 2 Harrisonburg 000 100 003 — 4 5 2 Malone, Meadus (8), Dollar (9) and Stanley. Chapman, Sonen (6), Reinhart (7), Pryor (8) and Pericht. W – Malone (2-0). L- Chapman (0-1). HR – none.