Turks Fall to the Cardinals 5-4
Written By: Adam Cherry
Front Royal- It was a hot, muggy night at Bing Crosby Stadium as the Harrisonburg Turks took on the Front Royal Cardinals. The Turks are climbing up the Valley League standing and are riding a three game winning streak with victories over Waynesboro, Strasburg, and Staunton. The Front Royal Cardinals are playing equally as well winning the last two games they have played.
Manager Bob Wease has decided to continue the sequence in the pitching rotation. The tall, lanky, left-hander James Ziemba (Duke) was penciled in to start the game on the mound for the Turks. The Cardinals decided to send Brian Barry to the slab.
Luke Czajkowski (Wake Forest) was able to start the Turks third inning by flaring a base hit that was just out of reach of the shortstop. Czajkowski was immediately pinch ran for by Jace Whitley (Winthrop). Steven McLean (Baylor) was the next batter of the inning. He hit a hard ground ball right at the shortstop who bobbled the ball before tossing it to second to get the fielders choice. That brought Thomas Spitz (Wingate) up to bat. Brian Barry attempted to pick McLean off from first but threw it away down the first baseline. McLean was able to score from first, putting the Turks ahead 1-0
James Ziemba was able to work ahead of Chris Stevens before walking him on four consecutive balls in the third inning. Nick Perez was able to follow the walk with a hard hit ground ball that found a hole into left field. With one out and runners on first and second, Nick Sinay lined a base hit up the middle, loading the bases. Tyler Tichenor was able to hit a slow roller to McLean at shortstop allowing Stevens to score from third. After three innings the score was tied, 1-1.
Matt Rose (Georgia State) started the Turks off in the fourth inning with a single. Jesse Baker (UTSA) ripped a 3-1 offering from Barry for a double in the left center field gap. With runners on second and third, Brandon Gold (Georgia Tech) ripped a single into right field scoring Rose from third. Gold was able to advance on a wild pitch, moving runners back to second and third with one out. Eric Kalbfleisch (UNCG) was able to put the ball in play advancing Baker from third home and moving Gold to third. Going into the bottom of the fourth, the Turks took the lead 3-1.
Shell Mcain started the Cardinals comeback in the bottom of the fourth with a one out single up the middle. Zarley Zakewski was able to float a single into right field and an error allowed both runners to move up one base. With runners on second and third, Chris Stevens hit a long ball that bounced off the wall scoring McCain and Zakewski. After four innings of play, the game was tied 3-3.
Thomas Spitz was able to rip a line drive with one out into left center field for a double in the fifth inning. The next hitter tapped a ground ball to the Cardinals second basemen, advancing Spitz to third. Matt Rose was able to flare a single into center field, scoring Spitz from third. The Turks were able to gain control of the lead once again, 4-3.
Nick Sinay started the fifth inning for the Cardinals by hitting a double down the left field line. The next Cardinal hitter hit a slow ground ball to the Turks shortstop advancing Sinay to third. Hunter Newman was able to hit a double just out of the reach of Jesse Baker in right field scoring Sinay from second. The Turks decided to bring in Brett Morgan (Wingate) in to the game to relieve Ziemba to try to stop the Cardinal rally. Morgan walked the first batter he faced, placing runners on first and third. Zarley Zakewski hit a single scoring the go ahead run for the Cardinals. At the end of the fifth inning, the Cardinals took the lead 5-4.
Cris Perez (Duke) was able to start the Turks seventh inning by working a full count and getting a walk. Thomas Spitz continued his hot hitting on the year an dropped another double, moving Perez to third, with one out. The Cardinals manager decided to pull Barry and bring in reliever Evan Bickett to try to stop the Turks offense. Bickett was able to get Thomas Smith to fly out to right field. Perez tried to score on the fly ball to right, but the Cardinals right fielder threw a laser to home plate just in time for the catcher to apply the tag on Perez.
The Turks were shut out for the final four innings of the game and were not able to make a comeback in the ninth. James Ziemba was tagged with his second loss of the season after giving up five earned runs to the Cardinals. The winning pitcher for the Cardinals was Brian Barry. The Turks fall to 7-6 on the season and the Cardinals go to 11-4. The Turks will travel tomorrow for a double header against Covington.