Big Inning Propels Turks Past River Bandits (Game 2)
W: Logan Onda (3-0)
L: Ryan Griffith (1-2)
A 5-run sixth inning rallied Harrisonburg from an early 5-1 deficit, and Harrisonburg held on to beat Woodstock, 9-6, for the third time in three games this summer.
Turks starter Garrett Ford (1-1, 4.15 ERA) allowed five runs through five innings, including a 3-run fifth inning where Woodstock (17-9) piled up three extra base hits. Harrisonburg (22-7) had just one hit since it had scored its only run in the bottom of the second, but a pitching change in the bottom of the sixth sparked the Turks bats into action. First baseman Mike Warren singled and designated hitter Thomas Smith walked to set the table for left fielder and Game 1 hero Eric Kalbfleisch, whose first hit of the game brought Warren home for the first score of the inning and put both Smith and Kalbfleisch in scoring position. When third baseman Joe Napolitano’s shallow blooper to center scored Smith and advanced Kalbfleisch to third, Woodstock opted for a pitching change, replacing Chris Thorsen with Ryan Griffith.
Griffith wouldn’t fare much better. Kalbfleisch scored on a wild pitch during Griffith’s first faced batter, just before pinch hitter Jace Whitley doubled into right center to score Napolitano and tie the game at five runs apiece.
But the inning wasn’t over yet. Center fielder Thomas Spitz tripled deep into right field to score Whitley and give the Turks their first lead of the game.
Late in the eighth, with Woodstock trailing 7-6, shortstop RJ Perucki blasted a hard hit into center field. With Spitz waiting on second base to push the lead up to two runs, River Bandits center fielder Nick Walker went for the big play, but couldn’t quite catch the ball cleanly. The ball rolled far behind him, all the way to the center field wall, and Perucki moved more than fast enough to notch the season’s first inside-the-park home run. The Turks 9-6 lead would stick.
Neither Ford nor Woodstock starter Cody Tollison received a decision Saturday night. Turks reliever Logan Onda (3.56 ERA) earned his second win of the season behind three strikeouts, no walks, and 4.0 innings pitched.
Harrisonburg (22-7) finished with 13 hits, most of which came in the sixth inning or later. Six players finished with multi-hit games, five of whom were Turks.
Kalbfleisch finished 2 of 3 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Smith finished 2 of 3 with 2 runs and 1 BB.
The Turks are off tomorrow and Monday for the Valley League All-Star festivities, but seven Harrisonburg players have been selected to represent the Southern Division. The Turks will be back in action Tuesday night in Strasburg (11-15).