7/30/04 – Daily News Record
By JIM GORDON Special Correspondent WAYNESBORO – After another win on the road, the Harrisonburg Turks will have home-field advantage throughout the Valley League playoffs. The Turks (30-14), who clinched the Southern Division earlier this week, finished the regular season one win ahead of Northern champion Winchester (29-15) by pounding out 15 hits on the way to an 8-3 victory over the Waynesboro Generals on Friday. The past two seasons, despite Southern titles, Harrisonburg had to hit the road in the playoffs – and lost. Not this year. "It’s about time," said Turks manager Bob Wease. "I thought we might be a little flat coming into this game but I was pleased with the 15 hits and the fact the guys came out and played hard." Last season, without home-field advantage, Harrisonburg was swept out of the playoffs by Winchester. Covington knocked Harrisonburg out in the semifinals a year earlier, also with the home-field advantage. The Turks host Covington tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in the first round of the Valley League playoffs. Joe Kemp led the Turks at the plate with three hits including a two-run single in the three-run fifth frame, an RBI triple in the seventh and a lead-off base hit in the ninth, and ended up scoring two runs. "He can be a contact hitter or a power hitter after banging out five home runs and multiple extra base hits," Wease said. "He is our candidate for league MVP." The Turks got solid pitching from first-time starter Derek Gudex of Pittsburgh State, who went the first five innings and scattered three runs off of seven hits and a lone walk while striking out three batters. Chuck Claybrook worked the next three innings, and Andrew Webber finished up in the ninth. It was the first start of the season for Gudex who also sees action at second base for the Turks. "I had the good curve and change-up tonight," Gudex said. "I was having fun out there, but Coach Wease took me out because my arm started to get sore after working five innings since I had not pitched any lately." Matt Fairweather went five innings for the Generals and was charged with the loss after being touched for five runs off five hits and two walks. Harrisonburg took the lead on a solo homer to left center Cameron Clarke in the second, but the Generals tied the score in the bottom of the same frame when Irvin McFarland parked one to about the same spot. Harrisonburg 011 030 102 – 8 15 1 Waynesboro 011 010 000 – 3 11 2 Gudex, Claybrook (6), Webber (9) and Sluder; Fairweather, Drew (8), Bickford (9) and Bieneman. W – Gudex (1-0). L – Fairweather. HR – H: Clarke. W: McFarland.