07/27/2009 – Daily News Record
Written by Marcus Helton Sports Department Daily News Record
HARRISONBURG – It started out well but didn’t stay that way for long, and that proved to be the difference.
After Harrisonburg Turks starting pitcher Clint Dempster retired the first two batters in Sunday’s Valley Baseball League game with New Market, things fell apart. The Rebels built an early six-run lead, which stood up despite a furious Harrisonburg rally that produced seven unanswered runs, as New Market closer Brian Burgess retired four batters to earn his ninth save of the season and give the Rebels a 10-9 win.
The Rebels, who led by as much as 10-2, scored their six runs on three hits, four walks, an error and a hit batter.
“We made too many mistakes in the first inning,” Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease said. “… I thought both teams played hard – they happened to score six runs there in the first inning with two outs. We got in the hole, we’re lucky we came back like we did. But we had several chances to win the ballgame there in the seventh, eighth, ninth inning.”
The Rebels (21-15) used four relievers in between starter Eric Alessio (Marist) and Burgess (West Alabama), who has yet to allow a run this season. Those four combined to allow seven runs before Burgess sealed the win to earn his ninth save. Alessio improved to 5-0.
“In the middle of the gamegame we were hoping we wouldn’t have to use him,” Rebels manager Lucas Jones said of Burgess, “But that’s just how it goes. There were nine outs in there that we had a tough time getting.”
The Turks (19-20) came in with a one-game lead over Covington for the eighth and final VBL playoff spot. Harrisonburg’s final regular-season home game is also against New Market on Wednesday, and its final game is scheduled for Saturday at Luray.
New Market 600 220 000 – 10 12 4
Harrisonburg 001 103 310 – 9 9 3
Alessio, Hoffman (6), Lively (6), Clifft (7), Guengerich (7), Burgess (8) and Cooper; Dempster, Riddle (4), Grinder (6), Posey (7), Nichols (9) and Brunelle. W – Alession (5-0). L – Dempster (1-3). S – NM: Burgess (9).
Marcus Helton Sports Writer Sports Department firstname.lastname@example.org 540-574-6285