By Nick Sunderland
Daily News Record
Wease Now In 14th Year As Skipper; ‘Burg Romps, 8-1
HARRISONBURG – Bob Wease believes in playing baseball the right way. Beginning his 25th season as owner of the Harrisonburg Turks, Wease – who also managed his 14th home opener with the club Sunday – remains as particular as ever when it comes to the game he loves.
The 71-year old demonstrated that point behind the scenes against newcomer Charlottesville, sending two separate intermediaries to the press box at Veterans Memorial Park in between the early innings to voice his displeasure over a ruling made by the official scorer.
The irony here was Wease, known for his larger-than-life personality, was peeved because an error hadn’t been charged to one of his own players.
” I can get fired up,” Wease said.
Wease won out – the hit in question was changed to an error in the official scorebook – and by the end of the night, his team had too.
Oklahoma City University catcher Joe Lytle finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Carlos Chavez, his college teammate and battery mate, didn’t allow an earned run in five innings of work as the Turks cruised to an 8-1 victory.
Left fielder Jared Baker, another player from the NAIA school, contributed three more hits as Harrisonburg (2-1) outhit the TomSox 13-3 on it’s way to a runaway victory.
“It’s never going to get old for me,” Wease said. “Never, Never.”
Through 27 innings of play, the Turks have yet to allow an earned run this summer.
Harrisonburg took control in the fifth, with Baker – one of four Oklahoma City players to start Sunday for the Turks – opening what turned out to be a three-run frame with a bloop triple down the left-field line. Harrisonburg’s next four batters all reached base, and Lytle did the buld of the damage with his two-run, bases loaded single to put Wease’s club ahead 3-1.
The Turks pushed their advantage to 6-1 in the fifth, plating two runs on the same play because of a pair of Charlottesville throwing errors. Lytle capped off the fram with another RBI single.
That would be more than enough run support Chavez.
He struck out seven batters while issuing four walks over 101 pitches. The hardest throwing righty recorded his final out when he struck out James Madison first baseman Brett Johnson to end a bases-loaded, fifth-inning threat.
Two of the three hits Chavez allowed were infield singles.
“His curveball was really on,” Lytle said.
Turner Ashby High School graduate Eric Yankey – a James Madison left-hander – Georgia Tech right-hander Patrick Wiseman and Wingate University right-hander Tyler Brown later came in on combine for four scoreless innings of relief for the Turks.
“I feel like we’re pretty good, and we’re going to have a lot of fun this year,” Lytle said.
Charlottesville – in it’s inaugural season in the VBL, – fell to 0-3, but Manager Mike Goldberg is currently without four players whose teams are sill alive in the NCAA playoffs.
Charlottesville 100 000 000 – 1 3 3
Harrisonburg 003 300 11x – 8 13 3
Manion, McBreaiarty (4), Ellis (6), Scott (7) and Clayton; Chavez, Yankey (6), Wiseman (8), Brown (9) and Lytle W-Chavez, 1-0 L-Manion, 0-1