Staunton Braves Topple Turks

06/10/2008 – Staunton News Leader

Written By Al Samuels, Sports Writer STAUNTON — The Staunton Braves got stellar pitching at John Moxie Stadium on Monday night as they rallied back from a 1-0 deficit to down the Harrisonburg Turks 3-1 in Valley Baseball League action. Pitchers Shawn Cale, Donald Howell and Josh Squatrito combined on a five hitter, striking out 15 batters along the way, while walking just two. Squatrito finished the last one and two-thirds, giving up one hit while recording five strikeouts and a walk to pick up the win. “I’ve been closing since high school, so I love it,” stated Squatitro, now at Towson University, where he was the Colonial Athletic Association’s closer of the year. “I went mostly with fastballs when I saw that most of them were behind on the swing. I threw a couple of sliders, but the fastball was my main pitch tonight.” “We finally got some hits there at the end,” Braves manager Lance Mauck added. “We just got some runners home and they didn’t, and that was the difference in the game. The pitchers threw strikes tonight, and we played defense — that’s the name of the game.” Cale, the Braves’ starter, took a no-hitter into the sixth. But leadoff man Mike Pericht hit his first pitch of the inning, a changeup, deep over the fence in left to take care of the no-no and the shutout with one swing, giving the Turks a 1-0 lead. The Braves scratched out a run to tie things up in the bottom of the inning against Turk starter Justin Wood, of JMU and formerly of Turner Ashby. Max Most reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a passed ball. After a strike out for the second out, Blake McDade came through with a run-scoring triple down the right field line to tie it up. JMU’s Matt Browning led off the Staunton eighth with a single to center, but two pop outs left him stranded on first. Third baseman Steve Branca then laced a double into the right field corner to score Browning with the go-ahead run. Nick Siega-Riz added an insurance run with a line single up the middle, and the Braves took a 3-1 lead into the ninth. Squatrito struck out the first two batters, but Zach Castleberry singled to center, bringing the dangerous Pericht back to the plate with a chance to tie the game. But, Squatrito blew a 3-2 fastball by him to clinch the win for the Braves. McDade led the Staunton attack with two hits. The Braves are now 4-3 on the year and will travel to Luray to take on the Wranglers tonight. Harrisonburg 000 001 000 — 1 5 2 Staunton 000 001 02x — 3 8 2 Wood, Sloan (6th), Smith (8th) and Pericht. Cale, Howell (6th), Squatrito (8th) and Stifler. WP — Squatrito. LP — Sloan. HR — Pericht (HB) 6th, none on.