VMI Pitcher Keys 3-2 Win
By MATTHEW STOSS
Daily News Record
NEW MARKET — Reed Garrett had persevered through eight innings and 91 pitches, surviving a delayed double steal that led to a run and one poorly located fastball that turned into a no-doubt home run over Rebel Park’s left-field wall.
Garrett was rewarded for his gutty effort, as the Rebels squeezed two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on an error and groundout to pull out a 3-2 win over Harrisonburg on Sunday night, sending the Turks to their fourth loss in just over a week.
The Rebels (23-10) and the Turks (24-11) are now tied for first place in the Valley League’s South Division.
“I knew I was getting some run support that inning,” said Garrett, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander from VMI. “I knew the guys would come through because we’ve done it before and we’d do it again.”
Garrett (2-0) allowed two runs (both earned) and eight hits while striking out eight to keep the Rebels close.
“I had good command of all my pitches,” said Garrett, who throws a high-80s fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup. “I knew I could throw any pitch at any time, and there was a couple times when I was down in counts and came back and threw off-speed pitches in like 2-1, 3-0 counts. I was going after them and kept them off-balance tonight.”
Turks starter Justin Camp gave up one-out singles to T.J. Costen and Brandon Gum in the bottom of the eighth. Then Camp walked Kevin Casey to the load the bases. The next batter, Derek Peterson, hit a groundball back to the mound that Camp booted, allowing Costen to score from third and tie the game at 2-2.
The Rebels then took the lead on an RBI groundout to second base by Landon Prentiss.
“Just rushed it,” Camp said of the error. “I got in a hurry trying to get the guy out at home. Just mishandled it. Didn’t handle it well. … I was trying to go to home, so we had a chance to turn two and keep them from scoring and get out of that inning without any damage, but I rushed it.”
The error was one of few blemishes for Camp on Sunday.
The 6-foot-1, 244-pound right-hander from Auburn tossed 7 1/3 innings and gave up just five hits — two of which came in the eighth. Camp (5-1) allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three. He walked four while working out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning. New Market scored its first run on a double steal in the second inning.
“Like I said, he pitched a great ballgame,” Turks manager Bob Wease said. “There was one play that turned the whole game around. It was that little groundball back to the mound that he didn’t make the play on. Other than that, we’re going into the inning up two to one.”
Thomas Smith led Harrisonburg, going 1-for-4 with a solo home run — the designated hitter from Georgia Tech’s second of the year — in the second inning to give the Turks a 2-1 lead. Taylor Nichols, a catcher from Louisiana Tech, went 2-for-3 with a double for the Turks, who scored their first run on a delayed double steal in the first inning.
Mike Warren took off for second base, drew the throw and got in a rundown that allowed Eric Kalbfleisch to score from third to make it 1-0.
The steal and the homer were it for Harrisonburg’s offense as Garrett cruised through the third through eighth innings.
Harrisonburg 110 000 000 – 2 8 2
New Market 010 000 02x – 3 5 0
Camp, Cherry (8) and Nichols; Garrett, Zipko (9) and Haymaker. W – Garrett (2-0). L – Camp (5-1). Sv – Zipko (13). HR – Harrisonburg: Smith (2).