Dive Keeps Braves Upright

7/22/05 – Staunton News Leader

By Al Samuels Sports Writer Staunton News Leader STAUNTON — Kade Keowen’s diving catch along the right-field line Thursday night preserved a big, 6-4 Staunton win over the second-place Harrisonburg Turks in the Valley Baseball League’s South Division. The 19-17 Braves are now only half a game behind the 21-18 Turks. Staunton was nursing a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth. With two out, Lucas Delong doubled off reliever Matt McGahey of Virginia Tech and James Madison’s Matt Bristow walked. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and went McGahey went 1-1 on James Madison’s Matt Sluder the Braves went to the bullpen for the much-used Andy Svitak. Sluder worked the count to 2-2 before lining a pitch down the right-field line. Keowen made a sliding catch in fair territory to preserve the victory. "I was a starter in college, but I’ve been used in both roles here in Staunton," said Svitak, who was appearing in his third game this week. "The arm is a little tender, but I told them I could get one man out. And Kade made a great catch out there to end the inning." "Boy, this was a great team win," Staunton manager Lawrence Nesselrodt said. "We got big hits from Andy (Bennett), Sean (McCahill), Brandon (Marsh) and Drew (Bunting), and tonight, we played defense with only one error. This was a big win to get us back in this thing." Staunton jumped on top during the third with one run, but it could have been more. McCahill, who led the Braves with a 3-for-4 night, led off with a single up the middle and scored on Marsh’s double down the left-field line. Marsh tried to go to third when the throw got away but was nailed for the first out. The Braves went on to load the bases with two outs but could do no further damage. After Luis Martinez’s RBI single tied the game for the Turks in the fourth, the Braves retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Keowen reached on a one-out single and went to third on McCahill’s line single to right. Keowen then scored on a wild pitch to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. The speed of Turks’ second baseman Tony Thomas tied the score in the top of the fifth. He walked and stole second and came all the way around to score when the pickoff throw to first by Staunton starter Wade Korpi went down the right-field line for an error. A big, three-run sixth put the Braves ahead for good. McCahill singled with one out, and Marsh followed with a single to right. Bunting came through with the big, go-ahead single to right, and one out later, Joe Angelberger lined an 0-2 pitch to center for another run. Bunting would score on an error later to give the Braves a 5-2 lead. A big, two-run double by Brett Munster in the top of the seventh cut the lead to 5-4 and brought on reliever Kyle Bedrosian. After a walk, he got Matt Denker to line into a double play to end the inning. The Braves added a big insurance run in the eighth on Bennett’s two-out double to right to make the score 6-4. Marsh, Bunting and Bennett all had two hits for the Braves. Korpi got the win for the Braves on 6 1/3 innings of work. He allowed four runs on seven hits, while walking four and striking out eight. The Braves travel to New Market tonight to take on the Rebels. HARRISONBURG 000 110 200 — 4 9 1 STAUNTON 001 103 01x — 6 12 1 Ochs, Jarrett (6), Seefeld (8) and Martinez. Korpi, Bedrosian (7), McGahey (8), Svitak (9) and Engelhardt. W — Korpi. L — Ochs. S — Svitak.