W: Shawn O’Neill (2-1)
L: Heath Gray (3-1)
Eric Mason’s RBI single to right field broke a tie late in the game to complete Harrisonburg’s sweep of the Rockbridge Rapids.
Both teams scored in the third and fifth innings to tie the game at three runs apiece, but no one would break the stalemate until the top of the eighth inning. Roberts and Sheffield both snagged base hits on tough grounders that escaped the infield, prompting Rockbridge to relieve their weary starter, Heath Gray. The Rapids called on Valley saves leader Kevin McCulloh, but Mason immediately singled off of him. Mason advanced to second when Rockbridge right fielder erred in fielding the ball, and both Roberts and Sheffield were able to score.
Shawn O’Neill earned the win for Harrisonburg. The Turks called on O’Neill a little sooner than typical, opting for him over starter Trey Cochran-Gill after the Rapids put a runner in scoring position in the fourth inning. Cochran-Gill finished with two runs to his name and five strikeouts. O’Neill saved his best stuff for the playoffs, pitching the final 5 2/3 innings and striking out nine batters.
Heath Gray took the loss for Rockbridge, his only loss of the 2012 Valley League season. He had 12 K’s.
Harrisonburg was led at the plate by left fielder Ryan Brown, who had a big night in the Turks first clinching game of the playoffs. Brown finished 4 of 5 with an RBI. Mason finished 2 of 3 with an RBI.
Harrisonburg will travel to Waynesboro Sunday night to begin another best of three series. The series winner will represent the Southern Division in the Valley League Championship series.