Turks Steal One, 2-0, From Staunton

6/12/2007 – Daily News Record

Peep’s Running Beats Braves, 2-0 Written by Mike Barber Daily News Record STAUNTON — A half-hour after Monday night’s Valley League Baseball game, a pair of police officers on bicycles were patrolling the parking lot outside of John Moxie Stadium. To hear Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease tell it, they might have been looking for Travis Peep. "We stole two runs," Wease said. "Travis absolutely stole the game. He really did." Peep, the Turks’ second baseman, scored from second on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning and then plated the game’s only other run in the top of the ninth, scoring from second on Jon Moore’s two-out bunt single as Harrisonburg beat Staunton 2-0. "I guess you could maybe say it like that," Peep, who plays at Arizona, said with a smile. Peep’s two manufactured runs were all the offense the Turks (5-1) could muster against Staunton. But that was all Harrisonburg needed, thanks to a trio of pitchers who worked through the game without issuing a run – or a walk. Starter Tim Wheeler (Troy) gave up three hits in six scoreless innings, striking out five. Side-armer Ian Reinhart (Southern Illinois) shut the Braves (4-3) out in the seventh and the eighth before hard-throwing closer Garrett Parker (Howard) ended the game with a perfect ninth inning. In the fifth, Peep drew a one-out walk, then stole second. Staunton starter Chad Sherman uncorked a pitch that got past catcher David Burns. Peep broke for third. "I saw the pitch. It didn’t hit the dirt – it hit him in the knee," Peep said. "When I was about 10 steps away from third, I noticed no one was even close to the ball. So I just decided: I’m going to go, and hopefully it’s going to work out for the best." That would be the Turks’ only run until the ninth. They managed just five hits and stranded 11 runners, but did steal six bases on seven attempts. Staunton pitchers combined to issue nine free passes – six walks and three hit batsmen. In the ninth, Peep hit a one-out double to deep left center. Then, with two outs, Moore (Purdue) lay down a bunt toward the third baseman. Zach Barrett fielded the ball, but his throw to first was low and bounced away from first baseman Aaron Crittenden. That allowed Peep to round third and score an insurance run – Hollywood style. "He gave me the sign and the first thing that popped into my head was that movie, ‘Major League,’ because the exact same thing happened," Peep said of the climatic scene from the 1989 baseball comedy. NOTES: Harrisonburg lost two stars to the MLB draft – shortstop Bobby Spain and leadoff hitter Patrick Norris – but reinforcements are on the way. Wease said East Carolina shortstop Ryan Woods and Arizona catcher John Murphy are expected to join the team today. … Designated hitter B.J. Wheeler, the Turks’ hottest hitter, twisted his right ankle stepping on first base in the eighth inning and is doubtful for today’s game. Harrisonburg 000 010 001 – 2 5 0 Staunton 000 000 000 – 0 4 2 Wheeler, Reinhart, Parker and Pericht. Sherman, Conver, Goodyear, Beerhohm and Burns. W- Wheeler (1-0). L- Sherman (0-1). S- Parker (1)