Turks’ Stars Shine Brightest

UNC-G’s Kalbfleish Named Game MVP

Daily News Record

HARRISONBURG – The Harrisonburg Turks had the Valley Baseball League’s best record at the All-Star break — and their representatives sure played like it.

Eric Kalbfleisch (North Carolina-Greensboro) was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and Justin Camp (Auburn) recorded the win on the mound as the South defeated the North 5-1 at Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday night. 

Kalbfleisch, a reserve outfielder for the South, replaced Waynesboro’s Jomarcus Woods in the top of the sixth inning in left field. The rising junior went 2-for-2 with two RBIs as the South pulled away with the win.

“I got some good pitches to hit and there happened to be people on base,” Kalbfleisch said. “I got two RBIs out of that, so I guess it all fell in my favor.”

Five of the South’s nine hits came off Turks’ bats. Second baseman Andy Perez (Duke) tripled and scored a run, and designated hitter Mike Warren went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base.

“It was big for us, it really was,” Turks manager Bob Wease said of his players’ performance in front of their home crowd.

Perez’s triple led off the bottom of the first for the South, and New Market’s Brandon Gum promptly singled him home to make it 1-0. Landon Prentiss of New Market hit a sacrifice fly later that inning to give the South a 2-0 lead.

Camp, who pitched Friday night at Winchester, started the game for the South. After going seven innings two nights before in an 8-3 win, he wasn’t the sharpest.

“He threw two nights ago, so he wasn’t his best tonight,” Wease said. “He was good enough to still win – that’s Justin.”

The South carried its 2-0 lead into the sixth before extending it with a Kalbfleisch RBI single to left.

“Basically, it was like any other game,” Kalbfleisch said as he clutched his MVP plaque. “It’s more of a fun environment this time, not more of a get after it type. In the end, it all went well.”

The lone South hiccup came in the seventh, when Waynesboro’s Joshua Thorne loaded the bases, then hit Aldie outfielder Matthew Malacane to force in a run.

“The main thing was to get all the players in the game so they have fun,” Wease said, noting that all of his healthy pitchers saw action as well as his entire complement of hitters.

Matt Hockenberry (one inning, three hits, two runs) of Woodstock took the loss for the North team. The game was closed out by Max Povse (one inning, one hit) of Staunton.

Warren, the Turks’ regular first baseman, played all nine innings for Wease at designated hitter, the only player to do so.

“Bob asked me if I wanted to play half the game at first or DH,” Warren, a rising senior at Texas San-Antonio, said. “I was like, ‘Is that even a question? I want some AB’s.’”

Needless to say, as a member of the first-place Turks (22-7), Warren liked seeing his teammates play well.

“It’s cool,” Warren said of his five teammates who saw action Sunday. “We’re one of the better teams in the league, so I think kids from that team should definitely perform.”

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