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07/08/2011 – Daily News Record
Late Heroics Lift Turks Double In 9th Nets 7-6 Win Written by Mike Barber Sports Department, Daily News Record
Harrisonburg – It’s getting to be a broken record, but the Harrisonburg Turks sure don’t mind the same tune.
First-place Harrisonburg once again staged a late rally, coming from behind to beat Strasburg 7-6 on Chris Marconcini’s walk-off double to left field.
“We just have great confidence right now,” Marconcini said. “No matter what the inning is, the ninth, the eigth, we’re going to come out and score the runs necessary to win the game.”
Strasburg led 6-3 going into the botton of the sixth inning, but Harrisonburg (22-7) began chipping away at the lead.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Jay Gonzalez chased an outside pitch, but was able to slap it the other way to left for an RBI, making it 6-4.
In the bottom of the eigth, R.J. Perucki made it a one-run game by drilling a double down the right-field line. That scored Marconcini, who led off the frame with a walk, to make it 6-5.
As usual, the late-inning offensive heroics were set up by outstanding relief pitching.
Dominic Sgroi didn’t allow a hit in 3 2/3 innings of work to improve to 4-0 on the season.
“I was throwing my off-speed a lot,” Sgroi, a left-hander from LaSalle, said. “That’s what I do. My changeup was big tonight.”
The express (9-19) had struck for six runs on seven hits and three walks against Harrisonburg starter Eric Meyerchick, who appeared headed for his first loss of the summer. First baseman Brad Zebedis (Presbyterian) hit a three-run triple in the third and a solo home run to lead off the sixth. But Sgroi and the Turks’ clutch hitts bailed Meyerchick out.
“We could be down, we could be up,” Sgroi said. “But just to know we have run support coming no matter what time it is in the game is a lot of fun.”
If was the Turks’ fifth one-run victory of the year. Harrisonburg has only lost back-fo-back games once this summer. But after loosing Wednesay at Haymarket, it looked like it might happen a second time.
But with one out in the ninth, Mac Williamson muscled a full-count pitch back up the middle for a single.
“Once we get that first base runner, when Mac got on, we knew something was going to happen,” Sgroi said.
After Brock Green flew out to right field for the second out, Ty McFarland hit a chopper up the middle that Strasburg second baseman Nicholas Barnes couldn’t handle.
McFarland was awarded an infield hit and the Turks had two runners on with two outs for Marconcini, an outfielder from Duke.
Strasburg closer Nick Bruns, who had entered the game with two outs in the eighth, went right after Marconcini, who fouled a first-pitch fastball straight back.
He didn’t miss the next offering from Bruns, a right-hander from Bowling Green who has four saves this summer.
“The first one was right down the middle and I was mad at myself for missing it,” Marconcini said. “The second one, he came back there in the same place and I just got good wood on the ball.”
On the second pitch, he slammed the ball high and deep to left, where it carried over the head of Benjamin Verlander, scoring Williamson.
Verlander bobbled the ball as he tried to pick it up off the warning track, allowing McFarland to score the winning run unthreatened and sending the Harrisonburg players rushing out of the dugout toward Marconcini, who was standing on second base.
“It’s a great feeling just to see everyone come charging at you,” he said.
Strasburg 003 003 000 – 6 7 1 Harrisonburg 003 001 012 – 7 13 0
Meier, Murphy (5), White (7), Haines (8), Bruns (8) and Molina. Such (8); Meyerchick, Sgroi (6) and Mason, Blake (9). W- Sgroi (4-0). L – Bruns (0-2). HR – Zebedis