Braves Score a Sweet Swinging Win

6/28/2007 – Staunton News Leader

Staunton Knocks Off League-Leading Harrisonburg Written By Blair J. Parker/staff STAUNTON — Facing the No. 1 team in Valley League Baseball can be intimidating for many teams, but not for the Staunton Braves, who made it look easy as they nabbed an 8-1 victory Wednesday night over the Harrisonburg Turks at Moxie Stadium before a crowd of 1,016. "We needed a big win tonight against them (Harrisonburg) at our place and now we have to do the same tomorrow against Waynesboro," said Braves manager Lance Mauck. Staunton carried the defensive momentum of turning a double play in the top of the second inning into the bottom of the frame as David Burns led off with a solo home run, his first of the summer, over the right field fence. Jamie Hayes followed with a double to center on 1-2 count and Aaron Crittenden later brought him home with a sacrifice fly to center, giving Staunton a 2-0 advantage. Adam Carpenter got the Braves off the good start in the third, singling up the middle and Chris Wilkins cleaned up with a two-run shot over the left field fence for the Braves second long ball of the night. The blast also was Wilkins’ first of the season. A throwing error to first put Crittenden on base in the fourth, and after loading the bases, Chris Chapman walked Wilkins, which brought home Crittenden and made it a 5-0 lead. Harrisonburg had no answer for the Braves ‘hot bats in the first five innings, going three-and-out in every frame. But in the sixth, the Turks finally got on the scoreboard. Staunton starer Tim Sexton started the inning by forcing the first two batters into ground outs, but a single by Jon Moore and a fielding error set the table for B.J. Wheeler, who blasted a double to right, scoring Moore. Zach Barrett opened the seventh for the Braves by reaching on a throwing error to first. Burns followed with a double to the center, giving Staunton runners on second and third. Hayes knew what to do from there as he knocked a blooper over Travis Peep’s head at second base to score both Barrett and Burns. With the bases loaded, Staunton had a chance to hang more runs on the Turks, but reliever Chase Sonen struck out the final two batters. "Wilkins, Burns and Barrett have been our most consistent hitters so far this season, and when they hit well, that gives a chance every night, just like tonight," Mauck said. The Braves added one more run in the eighth as Burns’ RBI single scored Josh Page. Sexton picked up his second win of the season, giving up six hits, one run, no walks and striking out seven in eight innings of work. "I was a little calmer tonight than I was the last time I pitched. The guys played well and gave me a lot of help," Sexton said. "I don’t think we made a lot of errors, and when we play like that, we’re a tough team." Burns went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs and RBIs, while Carpenter finished 2-for-4 with a run. The gives the Braves (11-9) a three-game winning streak and leaves them 3 1/2 games behind the Turks as the season nears the midway point. They are back in action tonight at home versus the Waynesboro Generals. HARRISONBURG 000 001 000 — 1 6 4 STAUNTON 022 100 21x — 8 12 0 Kennedy, Chapman (3), Reinhart (7), Sonen (7) and Pericht. Sexton, Beerbohm (9) and Clendenin. W — Sexton (2-0). L — Kennedy (3-1). HR — Burns (S), 2nd, none on; Wilkins (S), 3rd, one on.