7/24/04 – Written by Denise Wampler, JMU Communications Intern
The Harrisonburg TURKS (26-13) and leaders of the Southern Division, played host to the Winchester Royals (26-14) leaders of the Northern Division, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Harrisonburg, on July 24, where the TURKS were handed their thirteenth loss of the season, losing 5-3. The Royals jumped to an early lead, scoring one in the first. The one run route began with the lead-off batter reaching first on a walk. TURKS starter, Will Mann (Sophomore, Florida Atlantic), was able to strike the next two batters out, before a single was hitch, which advanced the runner from first to third and set up the two-out situation with runners on first and third. A double steal was executed when the Royals number five hitter was up to bat, advancing the runner from first to second, and from third to home. Mann was able to get the next batter to ground out two pitches later, but the Royals were already on the board. The TURKS were able to keep the Royals at one through the fifth, before giving up three runs in the sixth, and another one in the seventh. The TURKS made their first offensive threat in the fifth. Second baseman, Joe Yeager (Sophomore, Florida Atlantic) lead off the inning with a double followed by an infield single by left-fielder Jeff Halbert (Junior, Rollins College), which advanced Yeager to third. With one out, center-fielder, Reggie Watson (Junior, Indiana University), executed a perfect suicide squeeze, scoring Yeager and putting the home squad on the board. The TURKS rallied for another two runs in the seventh, off four scattered hits, but the TURKS effort fell short, as the Royals went on to win 5-3. The TURKS out hit the visitors 13-7; however failed to collect the needed runs, leaving 11 runners stranded on the base paths. The TURKS were lead offensively by Watson who was 3-4 on the night, and batted in all three of the TURKS runs. Halbert was a perfect 3-3 on the night, while first baseman, Joe Kemp (Junior, Indiana University) added three hits (3-5). Will Mann made the start for the TURKS, going seven complete innings, giving up five runs, off seven hits, striking out five and walking three. Relief came from Andrew Weber in the eighth, who went the final two inings for the TURKS, allowing zero runs, off zero hits, striking out two, and walking one. Mann was charged with the loss, and fell to 1-2 on the season. The TURKS still occupy the top spot in the Northern Division and look to hold on to that position as they travel to New Market tomorrow to play the Rebels. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Come out and support your Harrisonburg TURKS. GO TURKS!