7/29/2010 – Turks Tidbits
By Todd Jones James Madison University Intern
Haymarket, VA – The town of Haymarket provided an eerie setting for America ‘s pastime on Thursday night. After several thunderstorms swept through the area delaying the start time an hour, a large blanket of fog formed, looming over the field. The fog was so thick that several missed catches can likely be attributed to it, and the mystic visual it created provoked one to envision past baseball legends such as ‘Shoeless Joe’ or Mickey emerging from the veil, ala ‘Field of Dreams’. Alas, there would be no divine intervention from the baseball greats of Ol’ on this night, and after losing their previous three contests against Haymarket the Turks would have to rely on each other.
Harrisonburg got off to a good start in the top of the 2nd inning when Bobby Brown ( Ariz ) led off by knocking a triple into the right field wall. Scott Dalrymple (Okl. City) followed up with an RBI single, sending Brown home and giving Harrisonburg the 1-0 lead. Two outs later Emilio Pagan (Gardner-Webb) was walked and Joshua Band (Rollins) hit an RBI single bringing home Dalrymple and extending the Turks’ advantage to 2-0. The bottom of the second inning would bring a momentum shift in favor of the Senators.
After walking the first batter and striking out the second Terrance Jackson (Okl. City) gave up a double which was then followed by a 3 run homer hit by Jimmy Vahalik providing the Senators with the 3-2 lead. After walking another batter and giving up a single Jackson looked as if something was causing him discomfort physically and decided to pull himself for the better of the team. Mario Mena (W.Okl.) replaced Jackson on the mound and after a sacrifice pop fly scored another run for Haymarket, Mena closed the inning by fielding a grounder and tagging the runner out at home. Harrisonburg was 3 up and 3 down in the top of the 3rd setting the stage for the Senators to come back at bat. As the dense fog lifted in the bottom of the 3rd, Haymarket began to knock hits into the night sky almost as if a ceiling had been removed from the field. After all was said and done Haymarket boasted 6 hits in the inning off 5 singles and a double, as well as two walked batters. The Senators tallied 6 runs in the inning and built a commanding 10-2 lead.
Dalrymple led off with a pop out to right field to start the 4th inning but JJ Loker ( USC -Aiken) dug in on an in-field grounder, just beating the throw at 1st base. Cole Harrison ( Fla. ) then hit a double into left field, allowing Loker to advance to 3rd. JJ was called home on an RBI groundout from Emilio Pagan, bringing the Turks within seven runs of the Senators. A revolving door of pitchers (Hollowell, A. Johnson, Pagan) helped to stem the bleeding while holding Haymarket to just two runs the rest of the way; however Loker’s score would be the last of the night for Turks, who fell 3-12 to Haymarket.
With the loss Harrisonburg falls into a tie for fourth place in the VBL with Front Royal. Four games remain on the schedule with the Turks next traveling to face the Rockbridge Rapids tonight, July 30th at 7pm . Playoff excitement is in the air, come out to JMU Veterans Memorial Park as Harrisonburg returns home on Saturday, July 31st to square off against the Rapids, game time is 7:30.