Happy fourth from your Harrisonburg Turks! Since there’s no baseball game this evening, here are some great Turks-centric news and notes to whet your appetite… if there’s any room left after all the hot dogs.
After averaging one strikeout every 3.4 batters for eight full innings on Wednesday, Connor Kaden now leads the league in strikeouts with 41K. Harrisonburg ace Justin Camp also cracks the top 10, checking in at No. 6 in the league with 35 whiffs.
Speaking of Camp…
As of today, Justin Camp is one of only four VBL pitchers to earn 4+ wins before the all-star break. (He might have a chance to go for his fifth tomorrow in Winchester, or on Saturday against Woodstock.) Camp is the only valley league pitcher to appear in all three of the pitching categories on the VBL leader chart, ranking him in the top 7 for league wins, strikeouts, and ERA.
All They Do is Win:
Harrisonburg rattled off two notable win streaks over the last couple of weeks. The Turks rode a seven-game stretch from June 16-June 24 where they outscored opponents 40-19 and threw a set of back-to-back shutouts (Aldie on 6/19, Front Royal on 6/20). Just when a 3-2 home loss to Charles Town looked like it might cool the Turks hot bats, Harrisonburg won six more, outscoring opponents a combined 37-8. The second streak also happened to include back-to-back shutout victories, this time on June 29 against Waynesboro and June 30 against Staunton.
Good Luck Getting Home:
The Turks have thrown a VBL-best seven shutouts (two against Aldie and two against Staunton, once against Waynesboro, Front Royal and Covington). New Market has thrown six; Charles Town and Front Royal have both thrown four. Harrisonburg gives up, on average, 2.81 runs per game; the pitching staff as a whole holds a meager 2.52 ERA.
Something about a Cape:
Northeastern teams often dominate PerfectGame’s list of the 30 best summer league teams, but two VBL teams have popped up inside the top 20. Harrisonburg moved up seven spots to #18 in the country, while northern division-leading Woodstock checks in at #14. Both teams will play in Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday night, first finishing a suspended rainout from June 23, then playing a regularly scheduled north/south match. Both teams feature seven players in Sunday’s VBL All-Star game, more than any other team.
Warren-ting a Second Look:
The Turks are built around dominant pitching, but first baseman Mike Warren is developing a reputation as one of the best hitters in the league. Warren is batting .351, tied for the fifth-best mark in the league, and has only failed to register at least one hit in a game only three times this season. In fact, before Wednesday night’s 1-0 shutout victory over Aldie, Warren was sporting an 11-game hit streak. He has seven multi-hit games so far, including a 3 for 4 outing in Waynesboro on June 24.
I suppose that’s why he may have been named the Turks’ most recent Player of the Week.
Running in Circles:
Harrisonburg runs the bases pretty well. In fact, the Turks have lead the league in stolen bases by double digits — Harrisonburg’s 63 bags are 12 more than second-best Staunton’s 51. Harrisonburg’s .361 OBP is the best mark in the league, and though Woodstock, Staunton, and New Market all have scored more runs than the Turks, Harrisonburg has four players in the top 16 scorers.
Friday, July 5- Harrisonburg at Winchester
Saturday, July 6- Woodstock at Harrisonburg (Game 1 picks up at 6:00 p.m.)
Saturday, July 6- Woodstock at Harrisonburg (Game 2 will begin after Game 1)
Sunday, July 7- Valley League All-Star game at Harrisonburg’s Veterans Memorial Park