Turks Down Cards, 5-1

07/10/2008 – Daily News Record

Wheeler Keys Burg’s Offense Written by Mike Barber Daily News Record Harrisonburg – The team that can’t catch a break decided to make its own breaks Wednesday night. B.J. Wheeler went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Jim Kennedy turned in a dominant start, and the Harrisonburg Turks scored all of their runs with two outs during a 5-1 triumph over Front Royal. "We’ve been hitting the ball hard a lot, but hitting balls right at guys," said, Kennedy, after improving his record to 2-3. "We’re just waiting for our luck to turn around a little bit." Harrisonburg (10-18) had lost three straight and hand’t scored more than four runs in a game since June 24, a stretch of eight games that saw the Turks go 2-6. But Wednesday, Harrisonburg pounded out 10 hits and played sterling defense in support of Kennedy, a right-hander from Rider. After making a run-saving diving catch from a low liner to end the top of the third inning, shortstop Mark Brooks hit a two-out single in the bottom of the frame. Drew Johnson followed with a liner into center-field, bringing Wheeler up with two on and two out. In the type of situation Harrisonburg has floundered all season, Oklahoma city’s Wheeler flourished. He served a dart of a shot down the left-field line to put the Turks up 2-0. "I cannot believe we finally got a two-out hit," Turks owner/manager bob Wease said, with a chuckle. "Last night we had all those hits, left all those men on base, couldn’t get a break." "Tonight we got two or three breaks and got fortunate enought to win the ballgame." In the fourth, Harrisonburg mounted another two out rally. Brett Stewart doubled to open the inning, but the next two hitters got out. Mike Pericht was hit by a pitch, before Turner Ashby standout Josh Tutwiler hit a line drive down the right-field line to put the Turks up 3-0. Finally, in the seventh, Wheeler and Michael Precise had back-to-back two-out RBIs to put Harrisonburg up 5-0. "We’ve been swingint the bat pretty well the past few days," Wheeler said. "Just continue that and it will come eventually." The loss left Front Royal manager bob Brotherton clearly perturbed and questioning his 10-19 team’s desire to win. The Cardinals are just 1-5 in their last six games. "It’s been frustrating all year but you have to have people that want to play the game, want to come out here every day and do the things that need to be done," Brotherton said, leaning over the rail in front of the visiting dugout. "We’re worried about how good we are. How good we were at our schools. Yet out here we don’t get it done. I would say the talent’s here. I don’t think the hearts are here right now." Kennedy got into his only real jam of the game in the eighth. after retiring the leadoff hitter, he gave up base hits to Jacob Fabry and Chad Cunningham. Harrisonburg pitching coach Jacob cook waved his cap toward the Turks’ bullpen to see if reliever Austin Sloan was ready, but Sloan didn’t wave back until Kennedy was three pitches into the next batter. It didn’t really matter. Kennedy got that hitter, Casey albanese to ground out softly to second, scoring the Cardinals’ lone run. Sloan came in and got the third out, then pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the win. Kennedy finished allowing one run on six hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six and walked just one while throwing 98 pitches in his longest outing of the summer. Front Royal 000 000 010 – 1 7 1 Harrisonburg 002 100 20x – 5 10 0 Gray, Riemschneider (7) and Maines; Kennedy, Sloan (8) and Pericht. W-Kennedy (2-3) L-Gray (1-4)


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