Turks Thrash Staunton 11-0
W: Sam Kmiec (3-1)
L: Cody Beck (1-3)
Trailing first-place Harrisonburg by 2.5 games, Staunton was looking to build some momentum of their own by stopping the hottest team in the Valley League. But the Turks proved far too much for the visiting Braves, as Harrisonburg walloped Staunton 11-0 to win its fourth straight game.
The Turks (16-6) were the beneficiary of another dominant pitching outing, this time orom Sam Kmiec. He had eerily similar numbers to fellow starter Justin Camp, Saturday night’s starter; both went for seven full innings, allowed five hits and gave up zero runs. Kmiec struck out six batters; Camp struck out four.
Harrisonburg has now posted back-to-back shutouts. The Turks haven’t allowed an earned run at home since the sixth inning of last Thursday’s 6-2 win over New Market.
As has been their modus operandi of late, the Turks jumped on Staunton early Sunday night and refused to ease up. Third baseman Andy Perez, Shortstop RJ Perucki, and first baseman Mike Warren all took back-to-back-to-back walks in the bottom of the first to load the bases, and fellow infielder Thomas Smith (2B) hit a slow-rolling gapper to shallow right field to score Perez. Joe Napolitano eased a sac bunt down the first base line to bring home Perucki and finish the scoring in the first frame.
In the second inning, catcher Josh Clark hit a leadoff single and was advanced to third after two straight groundouts. Perez hit an RBI double to knock Clark home, and when Perucki reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, Perez scored his second run of the game to make it 4-0.
Harrisonburg poured on four more in the sixth to make it a rout and three more in the eighth to make it official. 11-0 is the largest margin of victory for the Turks this season, breaking the previous mark tied on Saturday night when they won 7-0. Harrisonburg also defeated Aldie 7-0 on June 19.
Perez, who is making a strong case to start at second base in the VBL all-star game, nearly broke the box score on Sunday night. He finished 2 of 3 with 2 RBI and 3 runs; he also took two walks.
Clark finished 3 of 5 with 2 runs. Perucki finished 1 of 4, but reached twice on errors. He scored three times on Saturday night, and ranks among the league’s top 20 run scorers, along with Perez, Warren, and center fielder Thomas Spitz.
Harrisonburg is a narrow loss at Charles Town away from a 12-game winning streak. After starting 5-5, the Turks could potentially match the league’s best record on Monday when they play a double-header in Covington. The first game starts at 4:00 p.m.