Too Close For Comfort

06/23/2010 – Turks Tidbits

TURKS Hang on Against Front Royal, Sit Atop VBL Standings by A Half-Game

By Thomas Cornwell Boston College Intern

Harrisonburg—Through six innings Tuesday Night at Eagle Field it seemed as though the Harrisonburg TURKS (10-5) would cruise to a win over the Front Royal Cardinals (9-7) as they held a 5-1 lead with the only Front Royal run coming on a homerun in the top of the fifth inning. The Cardinals, however, stormed back in the sixth inning to cut the TURKS lead to 5-4. Fortunately the TURKS were able to hang on down the stretch, earning the 5-4 win.

Terrance Jackson (Oklahoma City) ignited the TURKS offense in the bottom of the first with a leadoff double. Connor Winn was then issued a walk by Cardinals pitcher Davey Hackett (Lipscomb) to give the TURKS first and second with no outs. Right fielder Bobby Brown (Arizona) then reached on a fielder’s choice but an error on the Cardinals second baseman allowed Jackson to score and Winn to advance to third, giving the TURKS the early 1-0 lead. First baseman Patrick Savage (Auburn) then singled to left center, plating Winn from third, extending the TURKS lead to 2-0.

Spurred by a Patrick Savage double off the right field wall to lead off the third inning, the TURKS extended their lead to 3-0 when Shaun Cooper (Pima C.C.) grounded out, scoring Savage from third.

The final two TURKS runs came in the bottom of the fourth inning, ignited once again by a Terrance Jackson double. Jackson advanced to third on a Connor Winn groundout. With one out, the evening’s greatest excitement, and what proved to be the difference in tonight’s game, came during the next at-bat when Bobby Brown rocketed a homerun over the right field wall, making the score 5-0 in favor of the TURKS.

TURKS pitcher Drew Grainer (UL-Monroe)(2-0 on the mound) put together six innings and two-thirds of solid work on the mound, allowing one run through six, allowing the TURKS to maintain a relatively comfortable margin heading into the seventh inning. Things, however, got rather hairy for the TURKS in the top of the seventh inning. Cardinals’ first baseman Matt Holland (Texas A&M-CC) reached to lead off the inning. Shortstop Sean Jamieson (Canisus) then singled, scoring Holland, cutting the lead to 5-3. Greg VanSickler (Shenandoah) then stepped in to pinch hit for the Cardinals, doubling down the left field line, advancing Jamieson to third. With catcher Blake Boyce (Campbell) at-bat, a throwing error on TURKS catcher Scott Dalrymple (Oklahoma City) attempting to pick-off Jamieson at third allowed Jamieson and VanSickler to score, again trimming the TURKS lead, this time to 5-4.

The Cardinals would not get any closer down the stretch as Stephen Styck (St. Joseph’s, IN) pitched out of a bases loaded jam (created by two hit batters and a walk) in the bottom of the eighth inning to end the final Front Royal threat , earning his second save of the season as the TURKS secured the 5-4 victory. With the victory the TURKS extended their winning streak to five games and nine out of their last ten. With the win, coupled with a New Market victory over Haymarket, the TURKS took a half-game lead over Haymarket atop the VBL standings, a feat hard to imagine a few weeks ago amidst the TURKS 1-4 start.

While the TURKS and their fans are becoming accustomed to late game thrills and games that are sometimes too close for comfort, as long as the Cardiac TURKS keep winning with a flair for the dramatic, the win streak will march on and their stay atop the VBL standings will be an extended one.

And for those of you wishing to be a part of the TURKS excitement, make your way over to Eagle Field this Friday for a 7:30pm contest against the River Bandits of Woodstock. Friday is DuPont Community Credit Union Booster Night and fans presenting the coupon from Thursday’s DNR will be admitted free as guests of DCCU.