Rough Water

7/18/2010 – Turks Tidbits

Struggles Continue for TURKS as Rapids Prevail 9-2

By Thomas Cornwell Boston College Intern

Harrisonburg, VA—Prior to the start of the VBL contest between the Harrisonburg TURKS (16-15) and the Rockbridge Rapids it seemed as if rain would be the story of the evening as rain drops began to fall and rolls of thunder echoed in the sky. In the end the rain held off but rougher waters, in the form of raging rapids, became the story of the evening as the last place Rockbridge Rapids (10-21) pummeled the TURKS 9-2, further compounding the TURKS recent struggles.

After a slightly delayed start, due to the weather, the Rapids scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back. Helped by two third strike passed balls that allowed two runners to reach base, the Rapids eventually loaded the bases, scoring their first run on an Andrew Barna (Davidson) single to left. Robert Skinner (Lander) then followed with a sacrifice bunt to give Rockbridge their second run of the evening.

It looked as though the Rockbridge success would be short lived as the TURKS added two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first inning when Shaun Cooper (Pima) homered to left, his ninth of the season, scoring Connor Winn (Georgia Tech). Unfortunately, Cooper’s homerun served as the TURKS lone highlight as they were unable to threaten again until the game was out of reach.

Rockbridge regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning when with the bases loaded TURKS pitcher Zach Brewster (Georgia Tech) walked in the go-ahead and ultimately winning run. The Rapids went on to score three more runs in the inning, two after Mario Mena (Oklahoma City) entered the game to pitch for the TURKS, to take a 6-2 lead. The Rapids added two more runs in the sixth inning and one in the seventh inning to reach their final total.

Although the TURKS have had up and down moments and their share of struggles over the past few weeks, opportunities still remain. With thirteen games in the next fourteen days to close out the regular season, the TURKS will face nine of the leagues ten other teams and with three of their final six games coming against the league’s top three teams, Harrisonburg has plenty of time move up the VBL standings and secure a solid playoff position but also plenty of time to see their season come to a premature end. Thus, the season has now become a thirteen game do-or-die situation for Harrisonburg with every pitch, every at-bat, and every run becoming more important than the last.

For now the TURKS will learn from tonight’s tough outing and regroup before heading on a three game road swing beginning tomorrow night at Woodstock. The TURKS return home Friday when they face Front Royal at 7:30pm