06/16/2011 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA – Turks righthanded pitcher Justin Somers entered tonight’s game against the Staunton Braves in a bit of a cold streak, as his first two starts had been plagued by wildness. Somers snapped out of it and then some Thursday night, as he threw a complete-game shutout and the Turks improved to 9-3 with a 5-0 shutout of Staunton.
It didn’t always look good for Somers; in fact, the early part of the game threatened to turn into another early exit for the Wingate righthander. In the first inning, a single, hit batter, and walk loaded the bases before Somers got Staunton left fielder Hunter Pope to ground out. The Braves then got a one-out single and another hit batter to put two runners on with one out in the second, but Somers got two groundouts to get out of it. The third inning started with Somers’ third hit batter and second walk of the game, and it looked like he could only survive his mistakes for so long.
Surprisingly, Somers didn’t allow another free pass the rest of the game.
From the point of that second walk on, Somers threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two singles and striking out nine batters in a dominant performance.
The Turks gave Somers plenty of offensive support. After loading the bases with nobody out in the first and failing to score, Harrisonburg pushed two runs across in the third inning. Jay Gonzalez led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error before scoring on a single by Sam Dove that was misplayed in left, allowing Dove to move to second. Dodson McPherson then picked up an infield hit of his own before Mac Williamson doubled home Dove.
With two outs in the fourth, Gonzalez walk, stole second, and scored on a Dove double, putting the Turks up 3-0 and chasing Braves starting pitcher Samuel Peterson from the game after just 3 2/3 innings. Peterson ultimately took the loss.
The Turks struck again in the sixth when McPherson ripped a grounder off the first base bag and into right field for a two-run double off of Staunton reliever Charles Terry.
Gonzalez had three singles, a walk, and a stolen base for Harrisonburg, continuing his excellence at the top of the Turks order. Dove reached three times, with a single, double, and hit-by-pitch, and McPherson singled twice in addition to his double.
Harrisonburg travels to Waynesboro tomorrow night before returning home Saturday to host New Market for the third time this year. Make sure to come out to that game for Meet the Turks Night!