Baseball America has released their 2015 Top 10 Valley Baseball League Prospect List. Four Harrisonburg Turks were ranked in the top 10.
Turks OF Shane Billings (Wingate) was named the #1 Prospect from the VBL. Billings earned the MVP Award for the 2015 VBL season. He was named to the All Valley League First Team. He represented the Turks on the South All Star Team. Billings led the VBL with a outstanding .418 batting average, and was second with 21 stolen bases.
Turks LHP James Ziemba (Duke) was named the #2 Prospect from the VBL. Ziemba was named to the All Valley League Second Team. He represented the Turks on the South All Star Team. He had a 3-1 record in 34.2 innings pitched posting an impressive 2.08 ERA.
Turks 3B Tyler Straub (Texas San Antonio) was named the #8 Prospect from the VBL. Straub was also named to the All Valley League Second Team. He posted a .317 batting average in 39 games with 142 at bats. 45 hits, 21 RBIs, 1 home run, 9 doubles, scoring 19 runs and stealing 9 bases.
Turks RHP Matt Hartman (Arizona) was named the #10 Prospect from the VBL. Hartman put together a dominant summer campaign for the Turks compiling a 5-1 overall record, while recording a 3.45 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 41.2 innings pitched. His five wins were tied for the most in the Valley League, while his 38 punch outs were tied for eighth most. Hartman was named to the All-Valley League Second Team and represented the Turks on the South Division All-Star team. He pitched a scoreless inning, as the South Division defeated the North Division 5-4.
Billings and Crew Stand in the Gateway
By Dave Norman
Turks Play by Play Announcer
It was very clear to Turks coaches, teammates and fans early in the season that Turks leadoff hitter and centerfielder Shane Billings (Wingate) was a special athlete with budding abilities.
Shane made the league take notice as well and his terrific season has been recognized with the 2015 Valley Baseball League Most Valuable Player Award.
Billings led the league in batting (.418), hits (64), runs (45) and tied for the league stolen base crown (21). A converted infielder, Shane continued the legacy of great players to patrol centerfield for the Harrisonburg Turks. That is an article unto itself. Read more
By Nick Sunderland
HARRISONBURG – Bob Wease is as passionate as can be when it comes to baseball, and the Harrisonburg Turks’ longtime manager absolutely hates losing.
Choked up and with tears in his eyes, Wease – a Valley Baseball League fixture – stood speechless near the home dugout at Veterans Memorial Park following the Turks’ 3-2 season ending loss Friday night to the Waynesboro Generals.
Then, one by one, Harrisonburg’s players came by to exchange hugs with Wease and individually thank him for his time and efforts this summer.
Though the Turks had again failed to advance in the VBL playoffs – Waynesboro won the series, 2-1, as Harrisonburg was eliminated in the first round for a third straight year – the moment was a brief reminder of what keeps the 71 year old Wease coming back to coach season after season.
“That’s the only reason I do it, you know?” an emotional Wease said in reference to the new relationships he builds each season. The 14th year manager then paused for a moment to compose himself. “I probably won’t see a lot of these guys again. But that’s what summer ball’s about. Some of ’em will go on to play pro baseball, and some of ’em will go on to teach, coach, whatever. That’s just the way it is.” Read more
WP: Horkey (4-1)- 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
LP: McCoy (3-2)- 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
S: Romano (6)
HARRISONBURG, Va., July 31, 2015 – The 2015 Turks season has come to an end with a 3-2 loss to the Waynesboro Generals at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday night.
After a slow start by both teams, Waynesboro was first to strike in the fourth. Jeremy Taylor got things started with a one-out single off of Turks starter Tucker McCoy. During the next at-bat, Taylor took off for and stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error by Eric Garcia behind the plate. Joseph Garcia then singled to bring him home, giving the Generals a 1-0 lead.
With the win the Generals take the series, 2-1 and advance to the Valley Baseball League semifinals where they will face the winner of the Staunton-Covington series. The Turks finish the year with a 30-16 record including the regular season and the playoffs. Read more
Gens Beat Burg, 5-4
By Nick Sunderland
WAYNESBORO – The Harrisonburg Turks are one loss away from making a third consecutive first-round exit from the Valley Baseball League playoffs. In the opinion of Waynesboro center fielder Jeremy Taylor, such a fate might be just fine with the Turks.
Taylor – an East Tennessee State rising senior – plated Thursday night’s tie breaking run on an eighth-inning drag bunt up the first base line as the third-seeded Generals beat No. 2 seed Harrisonburg 5-4 at Kate Collins Field to force a winner-take-all match up in the teams’ best-of-three series.
“I mean, we’re pretty motivated. We feel like Harrisonburg’s trying to give (the series) to us, so we’re gong to take it,” said Taylor, who – when asked by a reporter to expound on his comments – added, “I mean, their play speaks for itself.”
Harrisonburg will hot Game 3 at Veterans Memorial Park today at 7:30 pm with James Madison left-hander Tucker McCoy starting on the mound. Read more