Strasburg edges Harrisonburg late, 3-2
W: Adam Emerson (1-0)
L: Brett Morgan (1-2)
S: Daniel Bridgeman (3)
The Turks had trouble capitalizing on scoring opportunities against the Express on Wednesday night, dropping a close 3-2 game after some late Straburg heroics.
Harrisonburg (4-4) had trailed 2-1 since the top of the fourth, but it mounted a promising comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Strasburg opted to replace starter Patrick McGavin with Evan Kirsch, but Kirsch immediately hit Turks left fielder John Welborn. Right fielder Jace Whitley grounded into a fielder’s choice that advanced Welborn to second, and he stole third soon after. The bases were loaded after Kirsch walked center fielder Thomas Spitz and hit DH Andy Perez.
After the bases were loaded courtesy of a walk and two HBP, the Express swapped Kirsch for Adam Emerson. Second baseman Thomas Smith hit a sac fly into center that scored Welborn to knot the score at 2 apiece.
But the fanfare wouldn’t last long. Shortstop RJ Perucki flew out to third to end the inning, and in the top of the eight, Express first baseman Erik Armstrong blasted his first homer of the season off Turks reliever Brett Morgan, who had just entered the game one batter earlier. The solo shot would eventually be the difference; Harrisonburg grounded into a double play to end the eighth inning, and another infield flyout doomed a second bases loaded scenario in the bottom of the ninth.
Strasburg’s offense came largely from Armstrong, second baseman Terry McClinton, and center fielder Jordan Tarsovich. Those three finished 6 of 13, while the rest of the Express were 5 of 23.
Seven Turks registered a hit, but no Harrisonburg player had a multi-hit game.
Brett Morgan takes the loss for Harrisonburg. Starter Garrett Ford receives his second straight no decision, allowing two runs and striking out two batters in seven innings on the mound.
Harrisonburg is scheduled to play a doubleheader in Covington on Thursday, if the weather cooperates. The first of the 7-inning doubleheaders will start at 4:00 p.m.