06/16/2010 – Turks Tidbits
TURKS fall back to .500, Ending Four-Game Win Streak
By Thomas Cornwell Boston College Intern
Harrisonburg–Wednesday evening at Eagle Field began well for the Harrisonburg TURKS (5-5) as starting pitcher Kurt Wunderlich (Michigan State) easily retired the first two Haymarket Senators (6-4) batters he faced. Unfortunately for Wunderlich and the TURKS those outs were two of night’s greatest highlights as the Senators put together a two out rally to grab the early 3-0 lead, which they never relinquished, in route to an 11 – 3 win.
After retiring the games first two batters, Wunderlich gave up a two out single to Haymarket Third Baseman Brant Jones (Longwood). He then walked Rudy Flores (Florida International). While facing Senators Shortstop Austin Schultz (Western Carolina), Wunderlich hurled a wild pitch past battery mate Brett Armour (Young Harris), allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Schultz ultimately doubled to right, scoring Jones and Flores, giving Haymarket an improbable early two run lead. Following another walk, Senators Centerfielder Scott Ferrara (St. John’s), singled to center, plating Schultz and extending the Haymarket lead to 3-0. Haymarket pitcher Steve Simon (Southern Connecticut) followed the offenses two out rally with a one, two, three inning to preserve the lead for the Senators.
The top of the third inning saw the Haymarket offense again come alive as Jones and Flores led off the inning with back-to-back singles. A Schultz fly out advanced the runners to second and third with one out. A Ferrara sacrifice fly scored Jones from third, adding to the Senators lead. The bottom half of the third inning brought forth a glimmer of hope for the TURKS as Austin Erb (Ashland) was walked to start the inning. A Brett Armour groundout moved Erb to second. Joe Huber then singled to move Erb to third. One of the TURKS newest arrivals, Reuben Sosa (Western Oklahoma), grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Erb from third, cutting the Haymarket lead to 4-1.
Haymarket answered the TURKS run with two of their own in the top of the fourth inning. Following an Eric Stamets (Evansville) single, Senators Second Baseman Zeth Stone (Tennessee) grounded out, bringing Brant Jones to the plate. Three pitches into the at bat Jones was hit in the face by a Wunderlich pitch, which forced him to leave the game. Rudy Flores then stepped up to the plate, doubling to right, plating Stamets and Jones’ replacement, pinch runner Tyler White (Western Carolina), stretching the Senators lead to 6-1. Later in the inning Joeseph Hollowell (Yavapai) replaced Wunderlich on the mound for the TURKS.
The Senators added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning, triggered by a Scott Ferrara lead-off single and steal of second. A groundout advanced Ferrara to third. Hollowell then walked Stamets to place runners on first and third with two outs. A Zeth Stone infield single scored Ferrara, pushing the Haymarket lead to 7-1. The lead was extended to 8-1on the very next at bat as Tyler White singled to left, scoring Stamets from second. The TURKS put one run on the board in the bottom half of the inning on a Terrance Jackson (Oklahoma City) single that scored Joe Huber from second, following a Reuben Sosa walk.
Haymarket tacked on three more runs, one each in the sixth, seventh, and ninth innings to build an 11-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. The TURKS were able to plate one more run in the game’s final frame as Shaun Cooper (Pima C.C.) led off the inning with a double, ultimately scoring when Brett Armour grounded into a double play.
Although the winning streak is over, more than three-fourths of the VBL season lays ahead and tonight will prove to be a minor bump in the road for a TURKS team that is continuing to find itself with every game and every new addition. And for those of you, who wish to see the TURKS as the second quarter of the Valley League season draws near, be sure pick-up a Daily News-Record this Friday and clip out the TURKS Booster Coupon. Fans presenting the coupon at Friday’s game against Rockbridge (7:30pm) will be admitted free as guests of these generous TURKS boosters: Wease Auto Exchange, Wood Grill Buffett, Farm Bureau Insurance, Smoothie King, and Advantage Physical Therapy.