07/31/2009 – Turks Tidbits
Written By Matt Wojay James Madison University Intern
New Market, Va- The Turks lost another heart breaker tonight in extra innings. They lost to New Market 5-4 in ten innings. This loss means that the Turks will not make the playoffs, and have only next summer to look forward too.
The Turks bats started out with the urgency that they needed as their playoff lives were on the line tonight. They came through with three runs on six hits in the first inning. Raymond Quinones led off the game with a single, and then Thomas Nichols, who had three hits on the night, hit a two run home run that drove Quinones in, and made it 2-0. Nichols two run home run started a hit streak of five in a row for the Turks. The last of those hits came on Daniel Heatwole’s first RBI on the night that drove in Mike Schwartz to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the first New Market responded with two runs of their own, to cut the deficit to one. Sanchez Gartman got the Rebels on the board when he picked up an RBI by grounding out to second. Richard Gonzalez followed that with an RBI single to make it 3-2 after one inning.
In the seventh inning Turks pitcher Clint Dempster made a spectacular diving tag at home on the runner trying to score from third after he threw a wild pitch. That play kept the Turks ahead momentarily as Gonzalez hit a game tying RBI double soon after that happened. But, that was all New Market would get in the inning as Dempster recovered and struck out the final two hitters of the inning with runners on second and third.
Dempster showed a lot of fight on the mound tonight. He pitched eight innings giving up only three runs and striking out ten New Market hitters. His performance was exactly what the Turks needed in this must win game. Unfortunately it was not meant to be even after Heatwole got his second RBI on the night driving in Nichols in the eighth inning to give the Turks the lead 4-3.
With a man on third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth New Market got the life line they needed when Sanchez Gartman scored on a wild pitch from the Turks pitcher to tie the game at four. In the bottom of the tenth the Turks made one final mistake that could only leave people dazed and confused when New Market’s Kevin Rufus hit an innocent pop up to first that fell between the first baseman and the second baseman that should have been caught. This blunder led to the winning run, and marked the end of the Turks season. A lack of communication led to the ball harmlessly falling between the first baseman and second baseman, and left everyone asking what happened.
Perhaps this is a fitting way for the Turks to end their season, on a mistake that possibly cost them a win. Just like the case in so many other games this summer, everyone is left to wonder what if.