7/25/2010 – Turks Tidbits
TURKS Prevent Plunder of Their Home Turf, Take Down Bandits 9-3
By Thomas Cornwell Boston College Intern
Harrisonburg, VA – Sunday Night at Eagle Field found two teams, the Harrisonburg TURKS and the Woodstock River Bandits, take the field with each desperately needing a win. The TURKS July struggles brought them into the game barely holding on to fourth place in the VBL standings and in turn home field advantage in the first round of the league playoffs. The River Bandits on the other hand enter the game in ninth position, one-half game out of the final VBL playoff spot. This night however, proved to be a rather one sided affair as the TURKS (19-17) scored runs in the each of the first five innings en route to a 9-3 victory over the visiting Bandits (15-21).
Following a solid start from pitcher Zach Brewster (Georgia Tech), the TURKS plated their first run in the bottom of the first inning when Shaun Cooper belted his tenth homerun of the season just over the outstretched are of Bandits centerfielder Chris Cowell (Richmond), giving the TURKS a lead they would not relinquish. The TURKS added to their slim lead in the bottom of the second inning, ignited by a Scott Dalrymple (Oklhoma City) one out single. J.J. Loker (USC-Aiken) followed Dalrymple with a single of his own to give the TURKS two bases runners. Austin Erb (Ashland) then doubled down the left field line, scoring Dalrymple from third and giving the TURKS a 2-0 lead. Joe Huber then grounded out, scoring Loker from third, extending the TURKS lead to 3-0. The final TURKS run of the inning came on the very next at bat when Terrance Jackson (Oklahoma City) hit a hard grounder that bounced off the pitcher’s mound and through the middle of the infield, allowing Huber to score from third, making the score 4-0 in favor of Harrisonburg.
Woodstock got on the board in the top of third inning with a Matt Garza (Georgetown) groundout that scored Karl Johnston (Rider) from third. Not to be outdone, the TURKS came right back in the bottom of the frame, plating their fifth run on a Scott Dalrymple single with one out to score Patrick Savage (Auburn) from second. The bottom of the fourth inning saw the TURKS score three more runs. With one out, a Terrance Jackson double followed by a Connor Winn (Georgia Tech) and a Shaun Cooper walk loaded the bases. Following a Patrick Savage strikeout, a Bobby Brown (Arizona) infield single scored Jackson and Winn, who displayed his speed as he scored from second. Scott Dalrymple then doubled to left center, scoring Cooper from second, making the score 8-1 in favor of the good guys.
The top of the fifth found the TURKS in a bases loaded jam with no outs, however, Stephen Styck (St. Joe’s, IN) calmly entered the game and limited the Bandits best threat of the night to a mere two runs. The TURKs answered again, this time with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a bases loaded passed ball that allowed Joe Huber to score from third, giving the TURKS their ninth run of the evening.
From there Styck shut down the River Bandits, securing a much needed victory for the TURKs, serving justice on a scheming, plunder-minded Woodstock team. The win also kept the TURKS in the upper half of the league standings, giving them the opportunity to tremendously improve their playoff position with three games coming up against the league’s top three teams. Before facing, Winchester, Luray, then Haymarket, the TURKS face the Staunton Braves at home tomorrow night in a rain make-up from last week.
With more performances like tonight the possibilities are limitless as to how far the TURKS can carry their season, leaving fans to wonder, are the TURKS once again taking flight, this time at the most important time of the season?