6/16/2009 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Matthew Vanover James Madison University Intern
Harrisonburg, VA – The Turks were able to fight off Luray to even their record at (4-4) with a thriller at Long Field Mauck Stadium. Starting pitcher Rayan Gonzalez (Arecibo, Puerto Rico/Bethune Cookman) gave the Turks the solid starting pitching they needed. Gonzalez made his first start of the season and pitched six and a third innings giving up two earned runs on four hits. “Starting tonight, I had my mind made up to try and get ahead of hitters and dominate them,” Gonzalez said. Despite giving up five walks, Gonzalez was confident his pitch location kept batters on their heels. “My curveball and change up were hitting the spots that I wanted, which was exciting,” Gonzalez said. The Turks broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth. With the Turks leading 2-1, Ryan Eden (Slidell, Lahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Univ. of New Orleans) led the inning off with a walk. Nathan Weglarz (Homewood, Illhttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/St. Joseph’s) was able to make it first and second with no outs when he was hit by a pitch. Next batter Bobby Brown (San Diego, Calif/Arizona) managed an infield single to load the bases. Just a few pitches later, Mike Schwartz (Tampa, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Tampa) gave the fans what they come out to see with a grand slam home run over the right field fence. Although Schwartz has started out slow this season at the plate, he has remained patient drawing numerous walks. “It has been a little frustrating, but I’ll take my walks,” Schwartz said with a smile after the game. Schwartz went 3-4 for on the day with two doubles to accompany his grand slam. When asked how it felt to finally have that breakthrough game, Schwartz responded with enthusiasm. “I knew it would come. Yesterday at batting practice I worked with Assistant Coach Steven Sanchez and my swing finally felt right, and I knew this would come eventually.” Despite ballooning the lead to 6-1, the Luray Wranglers did not quit fighting. After scoring a run in the seventh, the Wranglers put four runs up in the eighth to even the score at six. An error helped Jacob Wilson (Arlington, Tennhttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Memphis) reach base and start the big inning for the Wranglers. With Wilson on first with one out, the Wranglers were able to do what most teams have not yet been able to do. That is, get to Turks relief pitcher Gabriel Grinder (Zelienople, Pahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Southeastern). The Wranglers stringed together four straight hits from Cory Johnson (Lake Worth, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Warner Southern), Casey Hanrahan (Englewood, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Florida International), Garrett Wittels (Bay Harbor, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Florida International) and Pablo Bermudez (Miami Shores, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Florida International) to tie the game. With one out and Bermudez on second, Coach Zak Kinnison looked to recent MLB draftee Chris Sorce (Pace, Flahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Troy) to get the Turks out of a jam. Sorce did just that, fanning the next two hitters and sending the game to the ninth, knotted up at six. Sorce dominated the ninth and tenth innings on the mound striking out five, giving up no hits, in two and two thirds innings of work. The Turks had four errors on the evening, but only one of those proved to be costly. On the other hand, the Wranglers played error free ball until the bottom of the tenth. Victor Croglio (Fayetville, N.Yhttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Richmond)led the inning off and reached on a throwing error from the shortstop. The ball went out of play and Croglio advanced to second with no outs. Next batter Ryan Eden (Slidell, Lahttp://www.HarrisonburgTurks.com/NewsManager/Univ. of New Orleans) ended the drama quickly when he doubled to right field to drive in Croglio for the walk off base hit. The Turks next home game is this Sunday evening at 5 p.m against Haymarket. Fans, bring your Dad out to the game and celebrate Father’s Day with us.