7/09/2007 – Daily News Record
Harrisonburg’s Offense Comes Out Swinging Written By Matthew Stoss Daily News Record HARRISONBURG – By the time the light bulbs on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard were arranged into a glowing five signaling the fifth inning, Monday night’s Valley Baseball League game between the Harrisonburg Turks and Haymarket Senators was effectively over. The Turks were up 10-0 and stayed ahead, winning 10-1 after Haymarket pushed a run across in the sixth. "The game was over after the first inning," Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease said. The Turks (19-8) scored six runs in that first, sending 10 men to the plate and gave starter Tim Wheeler runs, for which he was quite appreciative. "As a pitcher, you can’t ask for more," the right-hander from Troy said. "There isn’t a better feeling than going out there with a 10-run lead behind you." And Wheeler’s happiness was apparent. He breezed through five innings, needing only – he estimated – 50-some pitches. Wheeler, who was selected to the All-Star game but didn’t play, struck out five, walked one, scattered three hits and allowed no runs. He came out after the fifth inning for family reasons. On Thursday night, Wheeler’s father, who has only seen his son pitch once since Wheeler was a junior in high school, is visiting from Denver. Wheeler will either pitch at New Market on Friday or at home against Staunton on Saturday, so his dad – who will be joined by his step mom, mom and step dad – can watch 6-foot-3, 215-pounder play. The one time this year Wheeler said his father saw him pitch was at Troy in a game against New Orleans – and it went well. Wheeler struck out nine in 4 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs – both unearned. Wease thought Monday went well too. "He was on," he said. "He was throwing hard. I think the word is, he had some hair on it." Wheeler also made use of a good change up until being relieved by Chase Sonen (Saint Joseph) in the sixth. Sonen worked four no-hit innings, striking out six. He allowed the Senators’ only run in the sixth inning when Haymarket (7-22) scored on a throwing error by shortstop Charlie Calamia (Troy). Sonen also picked up his first save of the year. "That was good for Chase," Wease said of Sonen’s performance. "He struggled a bit to start the season and now he’s starting to come out of it. "He’s going to be fine for us." Wheeler and Sonen’s run support came early. In the first inning, the Turks scored on two-run singles from Brett Stewart (Appalachian State) and Alex Lyons (Taft). They also scored on an RBI single from Sammy Lee (Redlands Community College) and an error. Harrisonburg added one more in the second inning on a Robert Taylor (Arkansas-Little Rock) home run that floated over the left-field wall. It was Taylor’s third of the season. In the fourth inning, the Turks benefited again from the long ball when Mike Pericht (Saint Joseph’s College) connected on a three-run blast, also his third. "Mike’s going to be a big-time catcher," Wease said. That was it for the offense. Both teams were hitless after the fifth inning. Haymarket 000 001 000 – 1 3 3 Harrisonburg 610 300 00x – 10 7 2 Modica, Yoder (2), Hildreth (5), Hammock (7) and Reed; Wheeler, Sonen (6) and Pericht. W – Wheeler (3-1). L – Modica (1-2). S – Sonen (1). HR – H: Taylor (3), Pericht (3).