Turks Topple Senators Twice in Consecutive GamesChase Kiddy | Harrisonburg Turks Staff Writer
W: Boone Mokry (1-0)
L: Humberto Dellatorre (1-2)
The Turks notched a crucial win Monday night, controlling every aspect of their first home game in over a week for a 6-1 win over the visiting Aldie Senators. After a slow start, the Turks are now tied for second place with Waynesboro.
Harrisonburg (12-4) led 1-0 early after first baseman Christopher Barr’s home run over the right center fence in the bottom of the first, but really broke things open in the sixth. Aldie starting pitcher Humberto Dellatorre walked Barr and second baseman Thomas Smith at the beginning of the inning, and designated hitter Matt Rose singled in Barr for his second run of the evening.
The game really got out of hand after that. After left fielder Eric Kalbfleisch reached when Aldie’s Patrick Wright mishandled a ball at first, he was tagged out at second on third baseman Brandon Gold’s grounder up the middle. Smith scored on the error, and a couple of pitches later, a Dellatorre wild pitch scored Rose and advanced Gold all the way from first to third. Right fielder Luke Czajkowski hit what was somehow only the second single of the 4-run inning, scoring Gold, and Aldie finally opted to swap pitchers to finish out the inning.
The Turks added a sixth run in the bottom of the seventh. Speedy center fielder Thomas Spitz beat out a 5-4-3 double play, stole second, and then got all the way home on Smith’s outfield single during the next at bat.
Aldie tacked on one run in the ninth to avoid the shutout. Harrisonburg starter Boone Mokry was still on the mound in the final frame, already having all but secured his first decision of the summer, but hoping for a complete game as well. Aldie shortstop Garret Vrbanc did his part to evict Mokry from the field, bombing the second home run of the night over the Veterans Memorial Park fence.
After Mokry gave up two more hits — a double to DH Joe Giacchino and a single to Wright — Harrisonburg finally replaced him with reliever Tanner Shelton, who struck out two of the last three batters to end the game.
Smith had another Smith-like night, finishing 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Barr, who hit his first home run of the season, finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.
Vrbanc, who also posted his first blast of the summer, played a nice game for the Senators, finishing 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Harrisonburg has now played Aldie (6-10) in each of its last two games, with a high degree of success. The Turks have outscored the Senators 19-4, including Sunday night’s game in Aldie.
The Turks, probably the hottest team in the league right now, have won eight of their last nine games. The pitching has been particularly good in the latter half of the winning streak, allowing an average of only 1.75 runs over the last four games. The only game during the streak that the Turks have failed to win was a road contest with league-leading Front Royal (13-3). The Cardinals won that game on June 18 by a score of 5-4.
Harrisonburg went on a similar tear in June 2013, where it won 13 of 14 games from June 16-July1.
At the start of Monday, the Waynesboro Generals were second only to Front Royal with a 12-6 record, but had no make-up games to play on Monday night. Harrisonburg took advantage of the Generals’ idle time, winning a 12th game of their own to match their second-best record.
The Turks can keep pace or even take the lead Tuesday night, when they host the Charles Town Cannons (9-9) at 7:30pm. Waynesboro hosts Front Royal.
Chase Kiddy has served as the Harrisonburg Turks’ staff writer since Spring 2012. Contact him at email@example.com, or yell at him in the press box during home games at Veterans Memorial Park.