6/27/2007 – Daily News Record
Written By Mike Barber Daily News Record HARRISONBURG – After suffering a rare loss Sunday, the Harrisonburg Turks spent Monday’s off day relaxing. They didn’t have to work much harder Tuesday night. Staked to an early lead, Tim Wheeler threw seven innings of one-run baseball to put the Turks back in the win column with a 6-1 victory over Fauquier at Memorial Stadium. "Now, we’re going to try to win five or six in a row," Harrisonburg owner/manager Bob Wease said. "The first 15 ballgames, I didn’t think we should have lost a one." The first-place Turks (14-4) had won six in a row before a 2-0 setback against Waynesboro. "The day off yesterday did us all good," catcher Robert Taylor of Arkansas-Little Rock said. "We all relaxed, laid around. Playing every day, your body takes some wear and tear." Tuesday, it was Fauquier starter Kyle Clayton (Kennesaw State) being worn out. Clayton labored early on, needing 58 pitches to get through the first three innings. He departed after throwing 99, allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings. "I know he was at 39 through the first two, which is tough duty," Fauquier coach Paul Koch said. Taylor helped make things hard on Clayton. He singled in each of his first three at-bats and finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a stolen base. The best ball he hit all game was in his fourth at-bat when he drove a pitch back to the center-field wall, where it was caught, missing a home run by a few feet. Jon Moore (Purdue) went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Moore was also involved in a feisty exchange at first base in the fourth inning. With Harrisonburg already leading 2-1, Alex Lyons led off the inning with a double. Moore than hit a grounder to third, but the throw pulled Fauquier first baseman Kurt Lipton (Vanderbilt) off the bag. Lipton and Moore collided and the ball got away, allowing Lyons to score. The Harrisonburg dugout emptied as Lipton and Moore exchanged words at first, with Turks first base coach Mark Percosky stepping between them. "The throw was off line and it was incidental contact," said Koch, whose team has lost 11 of its last 13 games and is in last place at 4-13. "The guys just chattered at each other." The incident quickly died down and Moore and Lipton shook hands before play resumed. Two outs later, Taylor’s RBI single put Harrisonburg up 4-1. The Turks added a run in the fifth on Moore’s RBI single and another in the eighth on a fielder’s choice by Taylor. After the game, Taylor gave the credit for the team’s bounce-back win to the pitching staff, especially Wheeler. "Our pitching staff is unbelievable," Taylor said. "We here lately haven’t been swinging it that good, but our pitching staff is keeping us in games." Knuckleballer Jon Vallen (Potomac State) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Ty Pryor (North Florida) ended it with a perfect ninth, striking out the last two batters. "That’s a pretty good ball club we faced tonight, the best we’ve seen," Koch, the coach at Fauquier High School, said. Fauquier 000 100 000 – 1 6 2 Harrisonburg 101 210 010 – 6 13 0 Clayton, Rigney (7) and Johnson; Wheeler, Vallen (8), Pryor (9) and Taylor. W- Wheeler (2-0). L- Clayton (0-3).