Turks Start Early

6/30/2006 – Daily News Record

Harrisonburg scored five runs in the first two innings en route to a 8-4 VBL Win Over Covington Daily News Record Written By Joe Lemire On Wednesday night, the Turks didn’t tally a hit until the sixth inning or score a run until the eighth. On Thursday, however, they got down to business quickly, battering Covington starting pitcher Ben Wade for five runs on seven hits in the first two innings, and staved off the pesky Lumberjacks for an 8-4 Valley League baseball victory. "The guy was around the plate," Harrisonburg first baseman Clint Robinson of Troy University said. "He was throwing strikes early in the count, giving us pitches to hit and we capitalized on it. … It’s something we haven’t been able to do – come out of the gate and score runs early." No one capitalized early more than the left-handed hitting Robinson, who poked an opposite-field single in the first inning for his first RBI of the game and crushed an outside fastball on a barely-arcing line drive off the center-field wall for a two-run double in the second. Robinson was one of four Turks (11-8) with multiple hits, led by catcher Brandon Harrigan, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Harrigan had been slumping and entered the game batting just .224 in 49 at-bats. "I’d been struggling some at the dish – at the plate," Harrigan, who plays for Oklahoma City University, said. "I made some adjustments in my swing and figured some stuff out, so hopefully the hitting can get back where it should be." Harrisonburg left-handed starter Justin Wood – currently of James Madison University and formerly of Turner Ashby High School – relied on a sharp curve ball and threw six strong innings, striking out four and allowing four hits and three walks to improve his record to 2-1. "Honestly, tonight I didn’t think he had his best stuff," Harrigan said, "but if one pitch is there, he finds ways to carve batters up with that one pitch." Despite falling behind 5-0 and failing to attain a base runner in the first two innings, Covington (9-11) started plugging away against Wood. The Lumberjacks scored one run in the third on a Harrigan passed ball, added a second run in the fourth on Michael Young’s RBI-double and tacked on two more in the ninth off Turks reliever Brett Butts. "We came back right away and put pressure on them," Covington manager Anthony Everman said. "We had runners in scoring position numerous times tonight. … That shows a lot about their character, coming out in the ninth down six runs and putting two on the board." Harrisonburg has won 11 of its last 14 and now leads Covington three games to two in the season series. Covington 001 100 002 – 4 5 1 Harrisonburg 230 002 01x – 8 10 1 Wade, M. Young (7), Burge (8) and Spitzfaden; Wood, Ochs (7), Butts (9) and Harrigan. W – Wood (2-1). L – Wade (0-3). HR – None.