Extra BP Wakes Braves’ Bats

6/17/2006 – Staunton News Leader

Staunton News Leader Written By Ken Bosserman Sports Writer STAUNTON — They call it a laugher. And for the Staunton Braves, easy wins this season have been few and far between. But Friday night at John Moxie Memorial Stadium, a benevolent Harrisonburg Turks team dished up 18 hits, issued nine walks, committed seven errors, allowed a pair of passed balls and hit a batter as the Braves pounded the Turks 19-4 in Valley Baseball League play. All told, 58 batters went to the plate for the Braves, and they never were retired in order. Hits came in every frame except the eighth, and even with 19 runs, 13 base runners were stranded. The 18 hits matched a season high for the Braves. Kade Keowen had a 4-for-5 effort that included a double and five runs batted in. Tyler Brown was 3-for-4, while Chris Wilkins, Mike Mitchell, Matt Hacker, Chad Rice and Ryan Hudson each had two hits. "We hadn’t been swinging well," said Braves coach Lance Mauck. "So we had two hours of batting practice today." The practice apparently worked miracles, and an explosion of four runs during the first and six more during the second gave Braves’ starter Wade Korpi a big early cushion. "It’s definitely easier," Korpi said of the 10-0 early start. "You try to go right after them with the fastball. You don’t have to nibble around. But it is tougher between innings. With all that rest, your arm gets cold and it’s hard to stay on rhythm." But Korpi’s arm never got too cold. During his six shutout innings, he scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight. Relief pitcher Todd Ozog faded during the ninth, allowing the Turks their four runs. Staunton wasted little time settling the issue. Wilkins was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the first, and Mitchell followed with a bloop single to right. Hacker reached on an error, with Wilkins scoring, and Brown followed with a soft RBI single to center. Before the inning ended, Keowen lined a 1-2 pitch to left-center to plate the final two runs. The Braves then sent 11 batters to the plate during a six-run second to salt the game away. Hacker and Keowen each had two-run singles, while Josh LeRoy and Wilkins plated solo runs with hits. Ahead 10-0, the Braves continued to pull away against a quintet of Harrisonburg pitchers, posting three-run rallies during the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. "We came out swinging our bats and got good starting pitching," Mauck said. "We have to get on a roll and keep it going." HARRISONBURG 000 000 004 — 4 12 7 STAUNTON 460 033 30x — 19 18 1 Marshall, VanZant (2), Ochs (3), Vallen (6), Morales (8) and Denker. Korpi, Ozog (7) and Hudson. W — Korpi. L — Marshall. HR — none.