Terminate the Braves

8/2/05 – Staunton News Leader

Turks Thump Staunton 14-3 to Advance in Playoffs By Ron Hartlaub Sports Writer Today: Harrisonburg advances to a Valley Baseball League semifinal series against Covington, beginning today at Covington. New Market visits Luray today in the other semifinal series opener. HARRISONBURG — For the first 20 minutes of their Valley Baseball League playoff elimination game Monday night, it looked like the Staunton Braves may be destined to make it to the second round. But then things changed — big time. The Harrisonburg Turks rallied for 14 consecutive runs and ousted the Braves from the playoffs, 14-3, taking the opening-round series two games to one. Spike Austin and Sean McCahill opened the contest with back-to-back singles, and Joe Angelberger singled home the first run one out later. With two outs and the bases full, Chase Tucker lined an 0-2 pitch up the middle, scoring two more Braves, and it was quickly 3-0. After that, the visitors would muster just one more hit the rest of the game. Nick Massari beat out a bunt leading off the third. Harrisonburg quickly answered during the bottom of the fourth off Staunton starter Wade Korpi, who wouldn’t make it out of the inning. Matt Denker singled home the first two, Lucas Delong’s double tied the game, and an infield groundout put the Turks ahead for good. The third inning was a nightmare come true for Staunton fans,. Nine straight hitters reached base after the first two were retired. Six singles, two walks and a hit batter later, Harrisonburg was in control with a 10-3 advantage, and the Turks coasted from there. "We hit the ball early, and I thought we’d be off to a good start," said Staunton manager Lance Mauck. "After that, we hit the ball hard right at them, and they hit little dinkers that found holes." Denker, who had a pinch-hit, three-run homer in Sunday’s game, followed it up by going 4-for-6 with 5 RBIs. All told, the Turks put together 16 hits and took advantage of six walks and four errors by the Braves. Shawn Benson got the win in relief, striking out 10 during 6 2/3 innings after replacing starter Eric Fussell during the first. Harrisonburg will now open a best-of-three semifinal series at Covington tonight. Staunton finishes the season at 22-24. STAUNTON 300 000 000 — 3 5 4 HARRISONBURG 406 020 02x — 14 16 1 Korpi, McGahey (1), Wade (3), Bedrosian (3), Torcise (5) and Bieneman, Engelhardt (7). Fussell, Benson (1), Wheeler (8), Butts (9) and Denker. W — Benson. L — Korpi. HR — none.