6/09/04 – Written by Denise Wampler, JMU Communication Intern
The Harrisonburg TURKS, now 2-1, suffered their first loss of the 2004 season, to one of the League’s new expansion teams, the Loudoun Rangers, now 3-1 on Wednesday, June 9th at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Harrisonburg. The Rangers defeated the TURKS 4-2 in nine complete innings of play. TURKS pitcher Tim Gudex (Sophomore, Iowa University) made his second appearance of the 2004 season, giving the TURKS six complete innings, giving up six hits, striking out eight and walking none. Gudex was relieved by TURKS pitcher, Pat Caldwell (Freshman, Yavapai Junior College) who started the seventh inning with the TURKS and Rangers tied 2-2. Caldwell went the final three innings for the TURKS, giving up just two hits, striking out three, and walking three. Caldwell was charged with the loss, his first of the season, after a controversial ninth inning, when the Rangers scored the go ahead and winning two runs. After walking the Rangers lead off batter, a rundown between first and second occurred, in which the runner appeared to run out of the base path, yet the runner was ruled safe. An utterance of disagreement swarmed the TURKS home stands and escalated after the runner advanced to third stealing another base. Fans and TURKS manager, Bob Wease, were certain that TURKS catcher’s Matt Sluder (Sophomore, James Madison University) throw had beaten the runner to the base. Again however, the runner was called safe. A long fly ball scored the go ahead run for the Rangers, followed by a double two batters later that added the Ranger’s fourth and final run of the night. Offensive standouts for the TURKS were right fielder, Ryan Gotcher (Sophomore, SW Missouri State) who went 2-3 for the TURKS, and centerfielder, Kevin Koski (Freshman, Southern Illinois) who produced two hits in three at bats. The TURKS continued to be aggressive on the bases tonight however, production of just eight hits and leaving 12 runners stranded on the base paths, caused the TURKS to come up short. Ranger’s pitcher, A.J. Patrick (Junior, Florida A&M)was credited with the win for the Rangers and Freshman, Yuri Higgins (South Florida) got the save. The TURKS next game will be Thursday, June 10, a make-up game against the Woodstock River Bandits at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Game time is 7:30 p.m.