Turks Win, End Skid

07/09/2009 – Daily News Record

Beat Braves 7-4 in Staunton

Written By Mike Barber Daily News Record STAUNTON – Two loud thwacks signaled the end of Harrisonburg’s four-game losing streak. The first came when Mike Schwartz’s bat connected with a fastball from Staunton pitcher Nate Eppley. The second came on a forceful high-five from Schwartz to manager Bob Wease as he rounded third base after the ball landed over the right center-field fence.

“I was just kind of fired up,” Schwartz, a designated hitter from Tampa, said. “I was happy to get that one out over the fence where they couldn’t catch it.”

A sharp grounder by Florida State’s Jack Posey under the glove of Staunton’s second baseman broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth, and Schwartz’s blast an out later put the game away, as Harrisonburg topped rival Staunton 7-4 on Tuesday at John Moxie Field.

“Tonight, we hit the ball,” said Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, whose team pounded out 14 hits against the Braves, who boast the league’s best record. “The last three or four games, we’ve had the bases loaded, not getting a hit when we needed. Tonight, the guys came through late in the game. I think we played the best ballgame we’ve played all year.”

Schwartz’s home run was the third the Turks (13-14) hit in the game. Bobby Brown (Arizona) and Ryan Eden (New Orleans) hit solo shots earlier in the game, as starter Garrett Parker (Oklahoma City) kept Harrisonburg in the game.

Reliever Chris Sorce (Troy) came in for Parker in the eighth and earned the win, thanks to Schwartz’s team-leading fourth home run.

After a steady diet of offspeed pitches all game, Eppley started Schwartz with a fastball on the first pitch. When he offered a second fastball a few pitches later, Schwartz drilled it over the short fence.

“We wanted offspeed,” Staunton manager Lance Mauck said. “He struggled with offspeed all day long. We threw him the fastball and he hit the fastball. Bad pitch, bad call.”

The late-rally fireworks that ended the game were followed up with some post-game excitement, as Sorce exchanged heated words with Mauck, whose club fell to 15-8.

Sorce was upset he was left off the Valley League’s Mid-Atlantic all-star game roster, which was selected by a committee that included Mauck. That team – to be coached by Mauck – will play an all-star squad from the Cal Ripken Sr. League on July 15 in Waldorf, Md.

Mauck said each Valley League team was guaranteed one pitcher, and Harrisonburg’s choice was Bethune Cookman right-hander Rayan Gonzales.

“What do you want me to do?” said Mauck, who will manage Sorce and other Turks in another showcase, Sunday’s Valley League all-star game. “It’s out of my control. I’m sorry he feels that way. I’ve got to coach him on Sunday, so maybe he should stay quiet.”

Sorce downplayed the confrontation after the game.

“That was just messing around,” Sorce said. “That was just some playful, competitive words. I don’t even know his name, actually.”

Wednesday was the final regular-season meeting between Harrisonburg and Staunton. The Braves won the earlier meeting.

Harrisonburg 011 000 104 – 7 14 1

Staunton 101 010 001 – 4 8 0

Parker, Sorce (8) and Brunelle; Polizzano, Slutsky (7), Ferguson (9), Eppley (9) and Mahoney, Porter (9). W- Sorce (3-0). L- Ferguson (0-1). HR: H, Brown (3); Eden (1); Schwartz (4).

STAUNTON – Two loud thwacks signaled the end of Harrisonburg’s four-game losing streak. The first came when Mike Schwartz’s bat connected with a fastball from Staunton pitcher Nate Eppley. The second came on a forceful high-five from Schwartz to manager Bob Wease as he rounded third base after the ball landed over the right center-field fence.

“I was just kind of fired up,” Schwartz, a designated hitter from Tampa, said. “I was happy to get that one out over the fence where they couldn’t catch it.”

A sharp grounder by Florida State’s Jack Posey under the glove of Staunton’s second baseman broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth, and Schwartz’s blast an out later put the game away, as Harrisonburg topped rival Staunton 7-4 on Tuesday at John Moxie Field.

“Tonight, we hit the ball,” said Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, whose team pounded out 14 hits against the Braves, who boast the league’s best record. “The last three or four games, we’ve had the bases loaded, not getting a hit when we needed. Tonight, the guys came through late in the game. I think we played the best ballgame we’ve played all year.”

Schwartz’s home run was the third the Turks (13-14) hit in the game. Bobby Brown (Arizona) and Ryan Eden (New Orleans) hit solo shots earlier in the game, as starter Garrett Parker (Oklahoma City) kept Harrisonburg in the game.

Reliever Chris Sorce (Troy) came in for Parker in the eighth and earned the win, thanks to Schwartz’s team-leading fourth home run.

After a steady diet of offspeed pitches all game, Eppley started Schwartz with a fastball on the first pitch. When he offered a second fastball a few pitches later, Schwartz drilled it over the short fence.

“We wanted offspeed,” Staunton manager Lance Mauck said. “He struggled with offspeed all day long. We threw him the fastball and he hit the fastball. Bad pitch, bad call.”

The late-rally fireworks that ended the game were followed up with some post-game excitement, as Sorce exchanged heated words with Mauck, whose club fell to 15-8.

Sorce was upset he was left off the Valley League’s Mid-Atlantic all-star game roster, which was selected by a committee that included Mauck. That team – to be coached by Mauck – will play an all-star squad from the Cal Ripken Sr. League on July 15 in Waldorf, Md.

Mauck said each Valley League team was guaranteed one pitcher, and Harrisonburg’s choice was Bethune Cookman right-hander Rayan Gonzales.

“What do you want me to do?” said Mauck, who will manage Sorce and other Turks in another showcase, Sunday’s Valley League all-star game. “It’s out of my control. I’m sorry he feels that way. I’ve got to coach him on Sunday, so maybe he should stay quiet.”

Sorce downplayed the confrontation after the game.

“That was just messing around,” Sorce said. “That was just some playful, competitive words. I don’t even know his name, actually.”

Wednesday was the final regular-season meeting between Harrisonburg and Staunton. The Braves won the earlier meeting.

Harrisonburg 011 000 104 – 7 14 1

Staunton 101 010 001 – 4 8 0

Parker, Sorce (8) and Brunelle; Polizzano, Slutsky (7), Ferguson (9), Eppley (9) and Mahoney, Porter (9). W- Sorce (3-0). L- Ferguson (0-1). HR: H, Brown (3); Eden (1); Schwartz (4).

STAUNTON – Two loud thwacks signaled the end of Harrisonburg’s four-game losing streak. The first came when Mike Schwartz’s bat connected with a fastball from Staunton pitcher Nate Eppley. The second came on a forceful high-five from Schwartz to manager Bob Wease as he rounded third base after the ball landed over the right center-field fence.

“I was just kind of fired up,” Schwartz, a designated hitter from Tampa, said. “I was happy to get that one out over the fence where they couldn’t catch it.”

A sharp grounder by Florida State’s Jack Posey under the glove of Staunton’s second baseman broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth, and Schwartz’s blast an out later put the game away, as Harrisonburg topped rival Staunton 7-4 on Tuesday at John Moxie Field.

“Tonight, we hit the ball,” said Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, whose team pounded out 14 hits against the Braves, who boast the league’s best record. “The last three or four games, we’ve had the bases loaded, not getting a hit when we needed. Tonight, the guys came through late in the game. I think we played the best ballgame we’ve played all year.”

Schwartz’s home run was the third the Turks (13-14) hit in the game. Bobby Brown (Arizona) and Ryan Eden (New Orleans) hit solo shots earlier in the game, as starter Garrett Parker (Oklahoma City) kept Harrisonburg in the game.

Reliever Chris Sorce (Troy) came in for Parker in the eighth and earned the win, thanks to Schwartz’s team-leading fourth home run.

After a steady diet of offspeed pitches all game, Eppley started Schwartz with a fastball on the first pitch. When he offered a second fastball a few pitches later, Schwartz drilled it over the short fence.

“We wanted offspeed,” Staunton manager Lance Mauck said. “He struggled with offspeed all day long. We threw him the fastball and he hit the fastball. Bad pitch, bad call.”

The late-rally fireworks that ended the game were followed up with some post-game excitement, as Sorce exchanged heated words with Mauck, whose club fell to 15-8.

Sorce was upset he was left off the Valley League’s Mid-Atlantic all-star game roster, which was selected by a committee that included Mauck. That team – to be coached by Mauck – will play an all-star squad from the Cal Ripken Sr. League on July 15 in Waldorf, Md.

Mauck said each Valley League team was guaranteed one pitcher, and Harrisonburg’s choice was Bethune Cookman right-hander Rayan Gonzales.

“What do you want me to do?” said Mauck, who will manage Sorce and other Turks in another showcase, Sunday’s Valley League all-star game. “It’s out of my control. I’m sorry he feels that way. I’ve got to coach him on Sunday, so maybe he should stay quiet.”

Sorce downplayed the confrontation after the game.

“That was just messing around,” Sorce said. “That was just some playful, competitive words. I don’t even know his name, actually.”

Wednesday was the final regular-season meeting between Harrisonburg and Staunton. The Braves won the earlier meeting.

Harrisonburg 011 000 104 – 7 14 1

Staunton 101 010 001 – 4 8 0

Parker, Sorce (8) and Brunelle; Polizzano, Slutsky (7), Ferguson (9), Eppley (9) and Mahoney, Porter (9). W- Sorce (3-0). L- Ferguson (0-1). HR: H, Brown (3); Eden (1); Schwartz (4).

STAUNTON – Two loud thwacks signaled the end of Harrisonburg’s four-game losing streak. The first came when Mike Schwartz’s bat connected with a fastball from Staunton pitcher Nate Eppley. The second came on a forceful high-five from Schwartz to manager Bob Wease as he rounded third base after the ball landed over the right center-field fence.

“I was just kind of fired up,” Schwartz, a designated hitter from Tampa, said. “I was happy to get that one out over the fence where they couldn’t catch it.”

A sharp grounder by Florida State’s Jack Posey under the glove of Staunton’s second baseman broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth, and Schwartz’s blast an out later put the game away, as Harrisonburg topped rival Staunton 7-4 on Tuesday at John Moxie Field.

“Tonight, we hit the ball,” said Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, whose team pounded out 14 hits against the Braves, who boast the league’s best record. “The last three or four games, we’ve had the bases loaded, not getting a hit when we needed. Tonight, the guys came through late in the game. I think we played the best ballgame we’ve played all year.”

Schwartz’s home run was the third the Turks (13-14) hit in the game. Bobby Brown (Arizona) and Ryan Eden (New Orleans) hit solo shots earlier in the game, as starter Garrett Parker (Oklahoma City) kept Harrisonburg in the game.

Reliever Chris Sorce (Troy) came in for Parker in the eighth and earned the win, thanks to Schwartz’s team-leading fourth home run.

After a steady diet of offspeed pitches all game, Eppley started Schwartz with a fastball on the first pitch. When he offered a second fastball a few pitches later, Schwartz drilled it over the short fence.

“We wanted offspeed,” Staunton manager Lance Mauck said. “He struggled with offspeed all day long. We threw him the fastball and he hit the fastball. Bad pitch, bad call.”

The late-rally fireworks that ended the game were followed up with some post-game excitement, as Sorce exchanged heated words with Mauck, whose club fell to 15-8.

Sorce was upset he was left off the Valley League’s Mid-Atlantic all-star game roster, which was selected by a committee that included Mauck. That team – to be coached by Mauck – will play an all-star squad from the Cal Ripken Sr. League on July 15 in Waldorf, Md.

Mauck said each Valley League team was guaranteed one pitcher, and Harrisonburg’s choice was Bethune Cookman right-hander Rayan Gonzales.

“What do you want me to do?” said Mauck, who will manage Sorce and other Turks in another showcase, Sunday’s Valley League all-star game. “It’s out of my control. I’m sorry he feels that way. I’ve got to coach him on Sunday, so maybe he should stay quiet.”

Sorce downplayed the confrontation after the game.

“That was just messing around,” Sorce said. “That was just some playful, competitive words. I don’t even know his name, actually.”

Wednesday was the final regular-season meeting between Harrisonburg and Staunton. The Braves won the earlier meeting.

Harrisonburg 011 000 104 – 7 14 1

Staunton 101 010 001 – 4 8 0

Parker, Sorce (8) and Brunelle; Polizzano, Slutsky (7), Ferguson (9), Eppley (9) and Mahoney, Porter (9). W- Sorce (3-0). L- Ferguson (0-1). HR: H, Brown (3); Eden (1); Schwartz (4). Mike Barber Assistant Sports Editor Sports Department m barber@dnronline.com 540-574-6296


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