A Birthday ‘Winn’

06/25/2010 – Turks Tidbits

TURKS Overcome Controversy as Birthday Boy Connor Winn Drives in the Winning Run in Extras

By Thomas Cornwell Boston College Intern

Harrisonburg—In a game in which the Harrisonburg TURKS (12-5) found themselves on the wrong end of a controversial call that could have cost them a victory and ended their six game winning streak, the Cardiac TURKS battled for twelve innings against the Woodstock River Bandits (9-8), ultimately securing the “Winn” in storybook fashion as shortstop Connor Winn (Georgia Tech) drove in the decisive run in a 4-3 TURKS victory on the night of his twentieth birthday.

The TURKS fell behind early as the River Bandits plated one run in the top of the first inning off of TURKS starting pitcher Zach Brewster (Georgia Tech). Brewster then settled down, allowing no runs for the next two innings. Woodstock, however, was able to add to its lead in the top of the fourth inning, beginning with a Mike Garza (Georgetown) infield single. Right fielder Kenny Burns (URI) then singled to right field, advancing Garza to third with no outs. Following an interesting sequence of events, ultimately leading to the first out of the inning on a batter’s interference call, Brewster walked River Bandits shortstop Derek Vigoa (Penn) to load the bases. Karl Johnston then grounded into what appeared to be a double play, but TURKS first baseman Patrick Savage (Auburn) was unable to field the throw from second, allowing Garza to score and extending the River Bandits lead to 2-0.

Meanwhile, Woodstock starting pitcher Ty Sullivan (West Florida) held the TURKS at bay for a majority of his outing as he held a perfect game through four and one-third innings. The TURKS finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning when Sullivan walked third baseman Scott Dalrymple (Oklahoma City) with one out. Shaun Cooper (Pima C.C.) then connected on his fourth homerun of the season, tying the game at two. Tyler Carpenter (UT-San Antonio) followed with an infield single and Cole Harrison (Florida) reached when the Woodstock shortstop was able to make a throw to first. After Joshua Band (Rollins) lined out, Terrance Jackson (Oklahoma City) stepped up to the plate… the night’s controversy soon ensued. Jackson rocketed a ball just inside the field line, plating Carpenter and Harrison, the umpire made a late call, ruling the clearly fair ball foul. The red and blue clad faithful inside Veterans Memorial Park would make the ump remember his blunder for the rest of the night while thinking of the possibility that such a call may come back to haunt the TURKS as the game went on. Jackson would eventually groundout, ending the inning.

Woodstock pounced on the somewhat vulnerable TURKS following the controversy as they took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning. The TURKS battled back, as they often do, in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ignited by a Jackson single in which he advanced to second on a fielding error. A Connor Winn sacrifice bunt advanced Jackson to third with one out. Following a walk issued to Bobby Brown, a wild pitch from then River Bandits pitcher Josh White (Gardner Webb) allowed Jackson to score, once again tying the game, this time at three.

The next three innings were relatively quiet as Woodstock pitcher Mike Swietanski (Rownan) and TURKS pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen (Auburn) prevented either offense from finding its groove.

The TURKS were fortunately able to find their groove, with the help of a little luck, in the bottom of the tenth inning as Joe Huber (St. Joseph’s, IN) reached on a fielding error by the shortstop to lead off the inning. Terrance Jackson then stepped in, laying down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Huber to second with one out. The pieces for the fairytale ending were now in place as Connor Winn stepped to the plate for his fifth at bat as a twenty year old. Three pitches into the at bat, Winn doubled down the left field line, plating Huber from second, earning the TURKS the 4-3 win, their seventh straight.

In a game that saw more twists and turns, controversy, and even a birthday curtain call, it was indeed Birthday Boy Connor Winn that came through when the TURKS needed most and just in time for Winn to eat cake at the team’s postgame meal. While there will be many more memorable moments as the TURKS season progresses, few moments will stand out like tonight’s controversy and the Birthday Boy driving in the “Winn”ing run. But for those of you who want to see the season’s upcoming memorable moments, follow the first place TURKS this weekend as they hit the road Saturday at Winchester and Sunday at Haymarket. The TURKS return home next Tuesday when they face Luray at 7:30pm.