Turks’ Bats Go cold, Royals Win

06/19/2008 – Daily News Record

Written By Marcus Helton Daily News Record Harrisonburg – The Harrisonburg Turks came into Wednesday’s Valley Baseball League game with Winchester riding a four-game winning streak that was fueld by clutch hitting and solid pitching. The Royals made sure it didn’t reach five. Three Winchester pitchers combined to limit Harrisonburg to six hits, a total that royals’ third baseman Mickey Wiswall nearly matched by himself in an 11-2 victory. Wiswall – a rising sophomore from Boston College – went 4-for-5 with a pair of two-run home runs, a double, and four RBIs to lead the Royals, who combined for 14 hits. "It was a good night, definitely," Wiswall said. "I don’t know, I just felt locked in tonight; I felt good." The Royals (10-4) blew the game – which had been close – open late, scoring two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings and three in the ninth. "It was a good game up until the seventh inning," Turks manager Bob Wease said. "Oour pitcher (Rider’s Jim Kennedy) threw two bad pitches – two home runs – and of course Mickey from Boston College, the only thing you can say about him is, he’s a good-looking ballplayer. He’s got the sweetest swing I’ve seen all year long." Winchester, which has the best record in the Valley League, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, as Tyler Townsend (Florida International) singled to score Wiswall. Harrisonburg (6-10) tied the game up at 1-1 in the third inning, with Oklahoma city University’s Dave Mann scoring from third base on an RBI groundout by former Turner Ashby High School star Daniel Heatwole. The Royals retook the lead at 2-1 in the fourth inning, but the Turks tied things up again, this time on a solo home run by Mike Precise (Troy). Wiswall put the Royals ahead to stay in the fifth, hitting his first homer over the fence in left field center field. "The kid left me an 0-2 fastball up and out," said Wiswall, who came into the game hitting a team-best .394. "It wasn’t a great 0-2 pitch, and I kind of just let my hands do the work, and with some luck, it flew out of the park." Winchester Coach John Lowery and Wiswall both said the team got an advanced scouting report on Kennedy from center fielder Matt McCollum and infielder Sean Olson, Kennedy’s teammates at Rider University. "I think he’s working on some stuff," Lowery said of Kennedy. "Some of our guys play with him at school and I know he’s trying to develop a second and third pitch. We were able to get on the fastball a little bit, which was good, and we were able to place eigth left-handers in the lineup, so I think that was a definite advantage, too." Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Winchester pitching staff had held opposing hitters to a .217 batting average, lowest in the Valley League. Andrew white (Charleston Southern), Michael Dufek (Michigan), and Devin Campbell (Gardner-Webb) kept that up. Of Harrisonburg’s six hits, only one came in the final five innings. The Turks will try to start a new streak today, when they travel to Woodstock. Wease said that, after his team’s 2-9 start, he hoped to be 10-10 after 20 games, which the Turks are still on pace to do. The only key players the team is missing, he said, are left-handed pitchers Danny Wells of Southern Illinois and Chris Chapman from Bethune-Cookman. "We had Woodstock beat over here one night and blew it," Wease said, "and then there were two other games I thought we should have won. I think right now, to be honest with you, we should be 8-8… We’ve got a nice team, I think we’re got just as good a team (as Winchester), it just snowballed on us." Winchester 100 120 223 — 11 14 0 Harrisonburg 001 100 000 — 2 8 1 White, Dufek (7), Campbell (9)and Dudley, Berset (8); Kennedy, Sloan (8) and Tutwiler. W- White (3-1) L- Kennedy (1-2), HR – W: Wiswall 2 (2). H: Precise (3)


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