Turks Top Royals

By JOHN GALLE
Daily News Record


 HARRISONBURG– A tailing triple by Joseph Odom to the right-field corner off Dillon Ortman’s 83rd pitch did little to stifle the starting pitcher’s confidence – even if Winchester’s designated hitter did break up his no-hitter in the top of the seventh inning.  And it certainly didn’t cause Harrisonburg’s spirit to dip in a pitcher’s duel between the two first-place teams in the Valley Baseball League.  Turks starter Dillon Ortman fires a pitch during Friday’s 4-1 win over Winchester at Veterans Memorial Park.“It was like you were playing in the College World Series tonight,” Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease said of his team’s enthusiasm.  Feeding off Ortman’s energy on the mound, the Turks tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh inning with three consecutive doubles, and reliever Joshua Karr fired three strikes for his fifth save, as Harrisonburg snapped Winchester’s six-game win streak with a 4-1 win Friday night at Veterans Memorial Park.
“He pitched one great ball game,” Wease said of Ortman. “We’ve got 11 pitchers and [pitching coach John Radosevich] and I aren’t afraid to put any of them in there in any situation.   We had 10 hits tonight.   I tell you, this was the best team effort I think we had all year long.
“I mean, everybody on the bench was in the game.   Usually, you have people sitting around talking about what they’re going to do after the game – what’s happened to them today.   Today, everybody on this team was in the ball game – everybody.   Even the bullpen.”
Even Wease, who threw off his helmet and hurried over to hug Karr after the game.
Second baseman Thomas Smith batted in the Turks’ first three runs, scoring shortstop RJ Perucki in the fifth before lining a two-run double into left field in the seventh.   Perucki finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the nine-hole for Harrisonburg, which had a last-minute lineup change that only fueled its emotional outing.
Originally slated to bat leadoff, Ryan Brown was scratched in favor of David Perkins (Duke/Jacksonville, Fla.) about 20 minutes before the first pitch.   Wease said Perkins was going to start Saturday against Covington, but he made the switch when learning that Perkins’ father was in the stands.
The move paid off.
Perkins went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, combining with Smith and center fielder Ryan Lee in the seventh for three straight doubles – the eighth, ninth and 10th hits of the game for the South Division-leading Turks (23-12).
Harrisonburg’s Thomas Smith belts an RBIsingle Friday against Winchester. He had three RBIs.
“We’re both good clubs.   They obviously got the better of us tonight,” Odom said.   “It’s actually kinda whoever shows up and plays, you know?   Tonight was a pitching match.   The next game might be a hitting match.   We’re confident with the lineup we have, so we’re just going to keep playing.”
Ortman had never pitched a no-hitter, but cruised through six innings with five strikeouts, two walks and a hit batsman.
“Mason called a great game, and everything he put down, I just threw it to a spot,” said Ortman, who later said his focus was to keep “throwing up zeros” on Harrisonburg’s scoreboard.
He allowed four hits over 8 2/3 innings and surrendered just one run – Jimmy Yezzo’s 10th home run of the season, which just cleared the left field wall to put the Royals (25-10) on the board.
“Their starter obviously did a fantastic job on the mound,” Winchester manager Steve Sabins said.   “Both pitchers had a good game tonight.   It was fun to see, just a good baseball game.   They ended up having a couple more knocks than us, drove in some big runs, had some big hits.”
The error-free Harrisonburg defense picked up Ortman in the seventh.   With runners at the corners, the Turks doubled up Odom at third base as Smith got the force-out at second base on a fielder’s choice and fired to catcher Eric Mason, catching Winchester’s lead runner off-balance between the bases.
“We had a little bit of a base-running blunder,” Sabins said. “…  If you’re over-aggressive and you’re trying to make something happen, I think we can all live with that.”
The Turks will get another chance to knock off a hot team today when Covington visits, bringing its six-game winning streak to Harrisonburg.   The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
 (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Winchester          000 000 001 – 1   4 0 Harrisonburg      000 010 30x – 4 10 0
Neely, Green (7) and Filauro; Ortman, Karr (9) and Mason. W – Ortman (4-2). L – Neely (4-2). S – Karr (5). HR – Winchester: Yezzo (10).

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