7/19/2009 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Matthew Vanover James Madison University Intern The Turks moved themselves into the final playoff position as they knocked off Haymarket Sunday night, 4-3. With solid pitching throughout, the Turks were able to get some clutch hitting down the stretch to go take one away from Haymarket. Starting pitcher Rayan Gonzalez (Puerto Rico/Bethune Cookman), who will be leaving the team for personal reasons, gave an impressive sendoff as he pitched seven innings giving up three runs on nine hits. Gonalez was relieved by Roman Lancara (Puerto Rico/Bethune Cookman), who will be leaving with Gonzalez as well. Lancara pitched one inning giving up two hits and no runs. Both players will return home to Puerto Rico for the remainder of the 2009 season and may potentially return next season. After Gonzalez closed out the top of the seventh, the Turks went to bat in the bottom half of the inning trailing 3-0. The Turks, along with many fans, were starting to feel the sense of urgency they needed. Fans began to clap and before you knew it the Turks were in business in the bottom of the seventh. Mike Schwartz (Tampa, Flahttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Tampa) led the inning off with his league leading 30th walk. Fans contagiously started clapping and next batter Nathan Bryan (Andrews, Txhttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Oklahoma State) answered the call as he got the first of his two hits on the day. After Evan Stehle (Richmond, Vahttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Richmond) moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, Shaun Cooper (Tucson, Arizhttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Arizona) became the first hero of the day when he doubled to right center to put the Turks on the board. “I told Shaun (Cooper) to be ready because I was going to pinch hit him in a situation where there would be some runners on base,” Turks manager Bob Wease said. With the Turks still trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, momentum had seemed to shift in their favor. An optimistic Coach Bob Wease thought it was time for his Turks to pull out a thrilling come from behind win. “I told the guys to stick with it and we were gonna get that big hit we needed,” Coach Wease said. After Cooper got the first big hit of the night, Coach Wease had something in mind to even the score. “I was sitting on the bench before the bottom of the eighth and I said that Thomas (Nichols) was going to hit a home run to tie this ball game up,” Wease recalled. Thomas Nichols (Georgia Tech) turned Coach Wease’s optimistic predicition into reality. Nichols took the first pitch he saw and rocketed it over the right field fence. With the game tied at three and no outs, the Turks were in a position they have not been in a lot lately; a winning opportunity. Jack Posey (Leesburg, Gahttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Florida State) and Mike Schwartz (Tampa, Flahttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Tampa) followed the game tieing home run by Nichols with back to back singles. Next batter Nathan Bryan (Andrews, Txhttps://harrisonburgturks.com/NewsManager/Oklahoma State) wasted no time as he became the third and final hero of the day as he singled to left to score Posey. After Posey scored the winning run with a head first slide, he went right back to work. Posey came in to relieve Lancara and pitch the ninth inning. Posey’s overpowering fastball and deceptive release point made quick work of Haymarket in the top of the ninth as the Turks closed out the 4-3 victory. The Turks will take another week away from Long Field Mauck Stadium before returning next Saturday when they host Woodstock at 5 p.m.