W: Derek Justice (4-2)
L: Jake Roberts (0-1)
The Staunton Braves’ big hitting and dominant pitching once again did in the Harrisonburg Turks for the second time in under a week. This time, the Braves defeated the Turks by a score of 9-2.
After last Thursday night’s 19-3 home drubbing of the Turks, Staunton (21-23) traveled back to Harrisonburg to conclude its regular season in spectacular fashion. Starter Derek Justice played a big role, pitching a dominant five innings before giving up a sacrifice fly in the sixth and a solo home run shot in the seventh. He struck out seven Turks and walked only two batters after a full seven innings of service.
Brett Schreiber finished the game for the visitors. He allowed no runs or hits and threw 3 k’s.
Staunton’s top performer at the plate, second baseman Alex Fernandez, finished 3 of 5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Center fielder Blake Siple also finished 2 of 4 with an RBI and 4 scores.
The Turks failed to reach six runs, dropping the team to 5-16 when scoring five runs or less. Harrisonburg (27-16) ended the game with 7 hits, but couldn’t capitalize on the runners on base when it mattered to keep the game close.
The Braves faced similar issues, leaving numerous runners (12) on base after roves of Staunton walks and hits (21) got runners on base frequently. However, the Braves still converted runs much more often than the home Turks, accouting for the lopsided final score.
Jake Roberts takes the loss for Harrisonburg tonight. Roberts is not typically a pitcher– instead, he is usually found at third base or lining up as the designated hitter– but continuous rainouts and make-ups places the Turks bullpen and starting rotation in unusually stressful circumstances. Roberts’ start is one particular remedy to that added workload.
With the loss, the Waynesboro Generals are able to clinch the #1 VBL Southern Division playoff seed. Harrisonburg will play as the second seed in the 3-round VBL playoffs, which are slated to begin this Friday night. Should the series go to three games, the final game will be decided Sunday night in Harrisonburg.