Rangers Elude Turks

6/10/04 – by Aaron Gray, Daily News-Record

By Aaron Gray Daily News-Record During the two-hour drive from Middleburg, the Loudoun Rangers’ team van was pulled over for speeding. Later, the Valley League squad showed just as much speed on the bath paths. Third baseman Brandon Reichert hit two doubles and drove in two runs to lead the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Harrisonburg Turks in front of about 300 fans Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. With the game tied in the ninth inning, Loudoun center fielder Jeremy Bellotti tried to steal second base and got caught in a rundown. But the speedy South Florida sophomore eluded the tag and was safe at second base. "It was a little shake-and-bake," Bellotti said. "The second baseman was near the in-field grass, so I had a good chance of jumping out of the way." The potential second out of the inning came back to haunt the Turks (2-1). Bellotti later scored the go-ahead run off a sacrifice fly from shortstop Parker Brooks, who was 2-for-4 with a walk. "That play changed the complexion of the game," Turks manager Bob Wease said of the rundown. "We were supposed to win this game." Reichert’s second double of the night drove in another insurance run. The Turks started to rally in the bottom of the ninth with consecutive lead-off hits from shortstop Gered Mochizuki and center fielder Kevin Koski. A sacrifice bunt from Corby Heckman advanced the runners, but Rangers closer Yuri Higgins struck out the last two batters to earn his first save of the season. The Turks recorded eight hits in the game but left 12 runners stranded. The expansion Rangers improved to 2-2. Loudoun 110 000 002 – 4 8 1 Harrisonburg 000 020 000 – 2 8 4 Kiley, Knight (6), Papelbon (7), Higgins (9) and Jamison; Gudex, Caldwell (7) and Sluder. W – Papelbon (1-0); L – Caldwell (0-1). Sv – Higgins (1).