06/17/2011 – Daily News Record
By TIM CHAPMAN Special Correspondent Daily News Record
HARRISONBURG – Turks manager Bob Wease can’t remember the last time one of his pitchers threw a complete-game shutout.
On Thursday, his Harrisonburg Turks (9-3) pretended to not remember the name of the latest to complete the feat.
“Great game Justin Somers,” pitching coach Britt Echols said in the post-game huddle, following Somers’ 5-0 win over the Staunton Braves (6-6).
“Who?” joked many of the Turks.
The right-hander from Wingate University barely cracked a smile, as if he still had an inning to go.
It was still sinking in.
“I’ve never had a complete game,” Somers said. “There was a couple times this year when I got into the ninth inning, but ended up having a high pitch count and had to be taken out.”
His pitch count reached 128, but Wease allowed an eager Somers to pitch the final frame after he struck out the side in the eighth.
Somers (1-1) fanned two more to end the game and finished with nine strikeouts, allowing just four hits.
“He saved a lot of our pitchers, did a great job and I’m really proud of him tonight,” Wease said.
Harrisonburg second baseman Sam Dove also had his breakout performance of the season with two RBIs and a run scored.
Dove, a Georgia Tech walk-on, hadn’t recorded an RBI in his first four games since joining the Turks.
“When I first got up here, I had taken a week off,” Dove said. “I was seeing the pitches fine and was getting plenty of pitches to hit, but I wasn’t putting that bat on the ball like I normally do.”
Dove’s patience at the plate paid off. In a seven-pitch at-bat in the third inning, he fouled two balls up the third base line before connecting on a blooper to left. Jay Gonzalez scored the game’s first run and one of two courtesy of Dove.
“My first swing I fouled one,” Dove said. “It went over and that’s when I was kind of like OK, here I am, I’m back and squaring balls up.”
Dove finished 2-for-4 and Dodson McPherson led the Turks going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Staunton 000 000 000 0 4 2
Harrisonburg 002 102 00x 5 9 0
Peterson, Terry (4), Adams (6), Justice (8) and Wright; Somers and Mason. W – Somers. L – Peterson.