06/28/2011 – Daily News Record
Late Homers Beat Bandits, 4-3 Written by John Galle Sports Department, Daily News Record
WOODSTOCK – Coasting with a 3-1 lead and working off his go-to changeup, Woodstock right-hander Chris Devenski was mowing down the Turks – the same lineup that averaged over 10 hits per game entering Monday and still leads the Valley League in hitting (.291) and home runs (20).
“A three run lead felt safe,” Woodstock left fielder Michael Vinson said. “But the way our season’s going, nothing seems to be safe with us.”
A two-out error in the eighth inning started an downhill domino effect for Woodstock, culminating with back-to-back solo home runs by Harrisonburg right fielder Mac Williamson and designated hitter Chris Marconcini in the top of the ninth inning, giving the Turks a 4-3 win Monday night.
“We were very fortunate to get out of here with a win,” Turks manager Bob Wease said.
Harrisonburg (16-5) scratched out a run on a single by Robert Perucki in the eighth, following an error and a walk.
The only defensive miscue of the game for Woodstock (8-13) proved costly. Charging a short hopper, River Bandits’ first baseman Bobby Johnson couldn’t handle the ball, allowing Casey Goss to reach and eventually score.
“The error killed us,” Woodstock manager Brent Haring said. “…We make that routine play, we’re out of the inning and we’d run [Devenski] back out in the ninth – and he’s on fire. He’s the best prospect in the league in my opinion as far as stuff goes.”
Perucki’s RBI hit cut the Turks’ deficit to 3-2, but more importantly for the visitors, it chased Devenski.
“He was carving us up for most of the game,” Williamson said of Devenski, who allowed just one earned run on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. “I mean, he was throwing every pitch you can think of, and he was definitely controlling the game.”
Right-hander Anthony York spelled Devenski and promptly escaped a two-on, two-out jam, gloving a comebacker on his first pitch. York, who hadn’t given up a run all summer, only lasted four more pitches though.
Williamson blasted his league-leading sixth home run (tied with teammate Dodson McPherson) to left field to leadoff the ninth, and Marconcini tagged his third of the summer toward the “338 feet” sign in dead-center field.
“It’s a shock that we lost that game,” said Devenski, who admitted to running out of gas after nearly eight stellar innings.
Harrisonburg relievers Joe Charest and Patrick Christensen each pitched an inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn a win and a save, respectively.
Michael Vinson led Woodstock, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs including a solo home run in the first inning. Center fielder Tanner Leighton scored Derek Vigoa with a double in the third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Vinson, putting the Bandits ahead 3-1.
But three runs wasn’t quite enough against the power-hitting Turks.
“I don’t think we got frustrated,” Williamson said. “I think we knew we’re a team where anything can happen. …At any point our two through seven hitters can put it out of pretty much any park in the league.”
Harrisonburg 100 000 012 – 4 6 1
Woodstock 102 000 000 – 3 7 1
Luchterhand, Charez (8), Christensen (9) and Austin; Devenski, York (8), Kennett (9) and Burkett. W – Charest (1-0). L – York (0-1). S – Christensen (3). HR – W: Vinson; H: Williamson, Marconcini.