Turks Elude Generals

6/19/2006 – Daily News Record

Daily News Record Written By JUSTIN GERMAN Special Correspondent Harrisonburg beat Waynesboro 3-1 in a Valley League baseball game Sunday. Sunday night’s game was a story of missed opportunities for both the Harrisonburg Turks and the Waynesboro Generals. Waynesboro stranded eight runners, while Harrisonburg left seven on base. The Turks, however, managed to score early and held on to beat the Generals 3-1 in a Valley League baseball game at Memorial Stadium. "Their pitcher did a great job and we just didn’t get the timely opportunistic hits we needed," Generals coach Lawrence Nesselrodt said. Turks starter Brandon Johnson pitched seven effective innings, striking out 10 while allowing only four hits. Though Johnson seemed a bit wild at times – he walked five batters and allowed the lead-off hitter to reach base in five of seven innings — Harrisonburg coach Bob Wease didn’t mind. "Brandon Johnson pitched very well," he said. "Brandon is just wild enough to keep a hitter on his toes." Johnson, who recently completed his freshman season at New Orleans, was forced to change schools temporarily when Hurricane Katrina hit. But it didn’t end up jeopardizing his freshman year. "Two weeks after I got there, the hurricane hit and we all scattered and everyone went home," Johnson said. "Then, they sent us out to New Mexico State University to practice there. We came back in the spring and they finally got our field ready and we finished on our turf." Johnson almost let Monday’s game slip away in the top of the fourth. The Generals loaded the bases with two outs, but Johnson got third baseman Andy Warren to ground to third baseman Josh Dew (Troy), who bobbled the ball but still made the throw to first. Harrisonburg loaded the bases two times in the bottom of the seventh but failed to get a run across. Dew did his best impression of a star Little Leaguer by hitting a home run in the first inning and later coming in to close the game in the ninth. "Everybody begs for a closer, a guy who can come in in the ninth inning and throw strikes and get people out," Wease said. "He’s just a great pitcher and a great competitor." The Turks (7-7) have won seven of their last eight and will try to extend that streak tonight at home against Winchester. Waynesboro fell to 11-4. Waynesboro 000 001 000 — 1 4 1 Harrisonburg 210 000 00x — 3 8 1 Weldon, Diaz (4) and Hulett; Johnson, Wells (7), Dew (9) and Denker. W-Johnson (1-0). L-Weldon (0-2). S- Dew (1). HR-Dew (NA).