Braves Stop Turks

8/1/05 – Daily News Record

Deciding Game Set For Tonight By JUSTIN GERMAN Special Correspondent STAUNTON – You would think that after a long summer of Valley League baseball, preceded by a long season of college ball, that even the most loyal of players would be ready to head home. Unfortunately for the Harrisonburg Turks, that was not the case Sunday night at Moxie Stadium in Staunton. Trailing 1-0 and facing elimination, the Staunton Braves rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Harrisonburg 7-6 and extend their season at least one more game. "We have a lot of young kids on this team that are trying to get better playing baseball," said new Braves manager Lance Mauck, whose team tied the best-of-three series at 1-1. "We don’t have the traditional sophomore or junior starter who plays a 50-game college season and says, ‘I’m tired’ and wants to go home. We’ve got kids who just want to play and get more at-bats and get better." Staunton scored the winning run with the game tied 6-6 in the eighth. First baseman Drew Bunting drove in Joey Angleberger on a line drive up the middle to give the Braves a lead they would not relinquish. The win sends the series back to Harrisonburg for the deciding game at 7:30 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium. For Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, the turning point came in the sixth inning, when the Turks scored four runs but could have added more. With no outs, Tony Thomas hit a pop up to right, which allowed a run to score, yet Joshua Richardson was thrown out trying to reach second. "That’s the difference in the ballgame right there," said Wease. "I don’t know what happened, but that should never happen." Later in the inning, Matt Denker hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run — his fourth of the season — to tie the game at six. Had Richardson not been thrown out, the Turks would have had a one-run lead. Harrisonburg wouldn’t score any more runs after the sixth inning, thanks to a combined relief effort by Andy Svitak and Chase Tucker. The duo allowed no hits and struck out seven batters in 3 1/3 combined innings. The winner of tonight’s game will face Covington, which completed a two game sweep of Woodstock Sunday night.