TURKS Get Past Loudoun

7/22/04 – Daily News Record

By AARON GRAY Daily News-Record With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Turks newcomer C.J. Webb stepped to the plate and wanted to be the hero. Loudoun pitcher Yuri Higgins didn’t give him that chance. A passed ball from Higgins scored right fielder Ryan Gotcher from third base, securing a sloppy 11-10 victory for Harrisonburg over Loudoun in a Valley League baseball game Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. "It was a typical Turks finish," said Harrisonburg assistant coach Marty Dean. "But we’ve been finishing strong recently, so I guess we want to continue that." It was the second consecutive one-run victory for the Turks (25-12), who have also won five straight. After leading off the top of the ninth with a double to left-center, Rangers catcher Danny Diaz scored off an error to knot the game at 10. Higgins walked Gotcher (Southwest Missouri State) to start the bottom half of the ninth. Gotcher, who went 1-for-3, reached second base on a passed ball and center fielder Jeff Halbert (Rollins) advanced him to third on a groundout. Higgins (South Florida) worked a 1-2 count on Webb before his second passed ball of the inning cost his team the game. "I was pretty confident up there in that situation," said Webb, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. "But hey, we’ll take it." The Turks jumped ahead 8-6 in the fifth behind RBI doubles from designated hitter Matt Weglarz (Southwest Missouri State) and Webb. Gotcher scored off another Loudoun error to cap the five-run inning. The Rangers committed five errors in the game, which proved to be the difference. "To be honest with you, we shouldn’t have even been in this ballgame," Loudoun manager Chris Hart said. "We kept bouncing back but it was the miscues on defense that hurt us." Turks pitcher Nick Pereria (San Francisco) struck out three of the first four batters he faced but was shelled in the third. RBI singles from designated hitter Phillip Beall (Virginia Tech) and right fielder Matt Street (Virginia) gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Turks reliever Scott Brune (Iowa) may have blown the save in the ninth but was credited with the win, his third of the season. Loudoun fell to 13-22. Loudoun 004 200 301 – 10 14 5 Harrisonburg 120 511 001 – 11 11 2 Pereria, Claybrook (7), Brune (8) and Sluder; Antelo, Higgins (5) and Diaz. W – Brune (3-1); L – Higgins (0-4).