Turks Hold Off Waynesboro

7/17/2006 – Daily News Record

Generals Strand 13 Runners in 13-7 Loss to Harrisonburg Written By Joe Lemire WAYNESBORO – Tallying 17 hits and three walks is impressive, until you consider the 13 runners Waynesboro left on base. Add in five errors and a 7-0 deficit by the second inning, and the Generals’ fate was sealed despite a valiant comeback bid against the Turks. Harrisonburg, on the other hand, made no defensive miscues, smacked 11 hits of its own and left only five runners on base en route to a 13-7 victory that brought the Turks (19-15) within three games of Waynesboro (22-12) in the Valley Baseball League’s Southern Division. "Situational hitting is everything," Waynesboro coach Lawrence Nesselrodt said. "The good side is that we got guys on base, but we’ve got to settle the emotions and keep hitting when we get guys in scoring position." The first inning was indicative of the night. Two errors and a close call at the plate all went against the Generals in the top half, as the Turks pushed across four runs. In the bottom half, Waynesboro began the inning with three straight hits, added a walk and still managed not to score. Harrisonburg jumped all over Waynesboro starter Ryan Cooper, a Stuarts Draft High School graduate and Ferrum College pitcher who entered the contest with a 3-1 record and a 0.78 ERA in 10 relief appearances. But Cooper, who made a throwing error on the game’s first batter, was visibly distressed as he allowed seven runs, four earned, and didn’t make it out of the second inning. "He had been great all year and deserved to start but let his emotions get the best of him," Nesselrodt said. Five players had at least three hits in the game, including Bobby Spain – who also scored four runs – and Clint Robinson of Harrisonburg and Adam White, Justin Jenkins and Ryan Cunningham from Waynesboro. White and Jenkins each had four. Though the Turks recorded a zero in the error column, they made plenty of miscues. Three pop-ups fell for hits after fielders lost them in the lights, and catcher Brandon Harrigan’s inability to hang on to the third strike on one of starting pitcher Matt Baugh’s eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings opened the door four runs to score in the bottom of the fourth – all with two outs. "They battled back all night long," Harrisonburg coach Bob Wease said. "… Of course, they don’t get [most of] those runs if we don’t lose those three balls in the lights." Harrisonburg reliever Danny Wells improved to 4-0 with 2 2/3 innings of relief, yielding one run and striking out five. Left fielder Evan Leblanc went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs. Afterward, the Turks were pleased with the win that kept them in the pennant race but disappointed in their late-innings performance. "We never should have let them get back into it," said Robinson, a right fielder from Troy University. "… We’re chasing them in the division race, so if we go up by seven runs we should want to bury them." Harrisonburg 430 002 004 — 13 11 0 Waynesboro 001 411 000 — 7 17 5 Baugh, Wells (5), Joy (8), Wood (9) and Harrigan; Cooper, Iverson (2), Thorne (7), Jennings (9) and Davidson. W – Wells (4-0). L – Cooper (3-2). HR – None.