Turks Still Winless

6/7/2006 – Daily News Record

Waynesboro beat Harrisonburg 4-3 in a Valley League baseball game Tuesday. Daily News Record Written By Dustin Dopirak When third baseman Gary Martoccio singled to right in the bottom of the ninth inning, Harrisonburg Turks manager Bob Wease didn’t hesitate to send pinch runner Patrick Freeman, who represented the tying run, home from second base. "You’ve gotta send him on that play," Wease said. "It’s the bottom of the ninth inning. It takes a perfect throw." And that’s what Waynesboro got. Right fielder Chris Anninos threw Freeman out at the plate and the Turks lost 4-3 to the Generals on Tuesday night in front of about 350 fans at Memorial Stadium. They fell to 0-4, remaining the only winless team in the Valley League. The Turks struggled to convert opportunities all night, leaving nine men on base, so Wease had reason to believe this would be his best chance to tie the game. Martoccio bounced a one-out grounder past diving Waynesboro second baseman Adam Vrable, and Wease waved Freeman in. However, Waynesboro right fielder Chris Anninos came up throwing. His throw wasn’t exactly a laser. It needed a few hops to reach catcher John Dennis, but it came in just a bit left of the plate and in plenty of time to beat Freeman, who plays for Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College. "It wasn’t a five-star throw, but it was on target and he got enough on it to get the job done," Waynesboro coach Lawrence Nesslrodt said. Dennis said the throw helped him brace himself for the impending impact with Freeman. Though the runner tried to bowl him over, Dennis blocked the plate and held on, then got up and almost threw out Martoccio, who took second base. "I just wanted to make sure I blocked all the plate," Dennis said. "It was close. The kid came in hard, but I hung on to the ball." Harrisonburg still had a chance after that. Bobby Spain (Oklahoma City University), who had three of the Turks’ four RBIs before Tuesday’s game, came up to bat with Martoccio on second base. He watched two fastballs from Waynesboro reliever John Iverson cross the plate, including strike three, so the Turks lost in what was probably their best performance to date. After making 11 errors in its first three games, Harrisonburg made just one Tuesday, and it finally got production from someone other than Spain. Catcher Matt Denker (Arizona) who was playing in just his second game, was 2-for-2 with a home run, double and two runs scored. He also caught one runner stealing and another trying to advance on a passed ball. Designated hitter Brandon Harrigan and center fielder Ryan Rachal also drove in runs. But the Turks never recovered from two early mistakes made by pitcher Tim Wheeler. After leaving a fastball up to Anninos in the second inning, which he ripped to the gap for a double, he threw another one up in the zone to designated hitter Ryan Cunningham. He deposited that one over the left-field fence for a two-run homer. First baseman Kurt Davidson had an RBI single in the fifth, and Cunningham drove in another run with a sacrifice fly, and the Turks never came all the way back. Waynesboro 020 020 000 — 4 9 1 Harrisonburg 110 001 000 — 3 9 1 Durst, Diaz (7), Iverson (8) and Dennis; Wheeler, Wells (8) and Denker. W-Durst (1-0). L-Wheeler (0-1). S-Iverson (1). HR-W: Cunningham (1). H: Denker (1)