07/17/2008 – Daily News Record
Written By Marcus Helton Daily News Record HARRISONBURG – After watching Winchester Royals pitcher Billy Morrison baffle his lineup for five innings, Harrisonburg Turks manager Bob Wease sidled up to him with a question. "I asked him in the sixth inning, I said, ‘Aren’t you getting tired?’" Wease said with a smile, "and he says, ‘No….’" Instead, Morrison – a 6-foot-4 right-hander from Western Michigan University – exhausted Harrisonburg’s batters, as he threw a complete-game, five-hit shutout while striking out 10 to lead the Royals to a 4-0 Valley League win Wednesday. "I got all my pitches over for the most part," Morrison said. "I just spotted up my fastball, and mixed in a couple off-speed and they chased some stuff. Everything worked, for the most part." The Royals (19-15) quickly gave Morrison all the support he would need, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a Mickey Wiswall single and two Turks errors. For a Harrisonburg team that came in hitting just .223 on the season, the early deficit proved too much to overcome. "It’s big," Wease said. "We don’t hit that well, and we don’t score a lot of runs, so when this team gets down 2-0, especially in a wooden bat league, that is so big. Especially when you’ve got a pitcher like that out there throwing. It’s hard to get runs off that guy, so when you come right out of the chute and give another team two runs, it’s hard to come back." The Turks (13-21) had their chances. They put runners on second and third base with just one out in the second inning but failed to capitalize, had a potential run thrown out at home plate in the third, and couldn’t move a runner past second with one out in the fourth. After yielding a leadoff single in the fourth inning, Morrison – a ninth round pick by the Seattle Mariners in June’s Major League Baseball Draft – didn’t allow another hit until the ninth, when former Turner Ashby High School standout Daniel Heatwole (Hagerstown Community College) reached on an infield single. "He threw three pitches for strikes," Winchester manager John Lowery, Jr. said, "and he commanded his fastball really well. This is like his fourth start, and I think he’s really starting to get stronger with each start. I think the key is he never threw more than 14 pitches in any inning, and when you do that, good things are going to happen." Winchester 200 000 020 – 4 5 0 Harrisonburg 000 000 000 – 0 5 3 Morrison and Dudley; Kennedy, Campbell (8) and Pericht. W – Morrison (2-1). L- Kennedy (2-4).