06/17/2011 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Rob Yeo James Madison University
WAYNESBORO, Va. – June 17, 2011 – The Harrisonburg Turks steal a game from the Waynesboro Generals 7-3 after scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Turks were assisted by two errors in the inning by the Generals that led to runs crossing the plate.
Harrisonburg trailed entering the ninth inning 3-2, and catcher Blake Austin (Auburn) led off the inning with a single off Generals’ pitcher Andrew Reck (Nebraska-Omaha). Third-baseman Ty McFarland (James Madison) laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. Austin was able to move to third after McFarland was put out at first base when Generals’ first-baseman Jordan Walton (Randolph-Macon) threw behind Austin at second and the ball sailed into left field. Brock Green (Ouachita Baptist) had a pinch-hit RBI single to drive in the tying run.
Colby Roberts (James Madison) was next at the plate and hit a ground ball to third base, and an errant throw was made trying to make the putout at second by Chase Worthington (Virginia Military Institute) – Green advanced to third on the play. Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) singled off of the pitcher Andrew Blackwell (Western Carolina) scoring Green as the go-ahead run. Sam Dove (Georgia Tech) grounded out, advancing both Roberts and Gonzalez. Dodson McPherson (Wingate) put the nail in the coffin with a two-RBI triple on a full count in the next at bat, and later scored on a wild pitch.
Gonzalez tied the game in the eighth inning after the Turks trailed 2-1. He drew a leadoff walk and took second base on a wild pitch. He was able to advance to third on the throw as Waynesboro catcher Jeb Weymouth (Randolph-Macon) attempted to throw out Gonzalez and threw the ball into center field. Gonzalez scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dove.
Lost in the sloppy play by each team late, was the strong starting pitching that held each team in check. Niko Spezial (Wake Forest) started for the Turks, going seven innings, allowing only two runs, neither of which were earned. Spezial was only touched for four hits, but also allowed five walks.
TJ Page (Western Carolina) was on the bump to start for Waynesboro and allowed two earned runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings and one batter of work. He held the Turks scoreless until the seventh, when McFarland hit a towering homerun to right field. He left the game with the lead, but the bullpen and defense were unable to secure the win.
Ryan Chapman (Rio Grande) recorded the win for the Turks in two innings of relief, giving up one earned on three hits with two strikeouts to end the game.
The Turks, however, were sloppy in the win as they had three defensive errors as well. Spezial was charged with a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, Roberts had a throwing error into the Turks dugout, and Michael Basil (Indiana) had a throwing error as well. This is the Turks second multi-error game in their last three, the other being Wednesday night’s game against the Winchester Royals.
With the win, the Turks move to 10-3, first in the Central Division. Harrisonburg returns home to play the New Market Rebels at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday before departing on a four-game road trip. Prior to Saturday’s home game is Meet the Turks autograph night from 6:15-6:45 p.m.