7/19/2010 – Turks Tidbits
By Todd Jones James Madison University Intern Woodstock, VA – Harrisonburg traveled to Woodstock on Monday night in need of a win after three consecutive losses. It’s no secret that when these two teams meet extra coals get shoveled in the furnace and the competitive fire starts blazing. In the last meeting in Woodstock the two dugouts cleared out for a small skirmish that was ultimately more of a ‘meet-greet’ than a brawl. In this contest words were flying early between the two teams causing the umpire to intervene several times, mostly to quiet the River Bandits’ dugout. This competitive inferno set the tone early for a heated competition, cancelling out the one cool night in recent memory.
Quality pitching from both teams set up a continuous series of popouts and groundouts in the game’s first 4 innings, keeping the contest scoreless until the bottom of the 4th. With one out and the bases loaded the Bandits’ Derek Vigoa slapped a grounder over the 3B bag into left field allowing two runs to score. After a pop out to short stop Connor Winn (Ga. Tech), a double was hit into center field which brought in two more runs for the River Bandits, putting the Turks at an 0-4 deficit. Harrisonburg would battle back in the top of the 5th inning as JJ Loker (USC-Aiken) led off with a base hit into center field. After Terrance Jackson (Okl. City) was walked, Caleb Bowen (Auburn) was thrown out on a bunt and 2nd baseman Joe Huber (St. Josephs) followed up with a triple into the right center field wall providing Loker and Jackson safe passage home and cutting the deficit to 2 runs. A sacrifice pop out from Reuben Sosa (W. Okl.) allowed Huber to score the Turks’ last run of the inning, bringing Harrisonburg within one run of Woodstock, 4-3.
In the top of the 6th inning after Bobby Brown (Ariz.) popped out, Shaun Cooper (Ariz.) stepped to the plate and knocked a grounder past the short stop for a base hit. Patrick Savage (Auburn) then hit a single into right field and JJ Loker loaded the bases with a single of his own bringing Terrance Jackson to the plate. Jackson hit a sacrificial pop out into right field allowing Cooper to score and equaling the Bandits at 4 runs apiece. In the top of the 8th inning with the game still tied at 4, two walks sandwiched a Dalrymple (Okl. City) single, loading the bases for the Turks. The most controversial call of the evening unfortunately came during a golden opportunity for the Turks. With one out on the board Emilio Pagan (Gardner-Webb) hit a grounder to the short stop who then made the out at second and threw to 1st for a play that seemed a bit late but nevertheless was ruled as the Turks’ third out. The out was deflating for the Turks and their fans and set up the River Bandits to do what they do best, steal a win. The game would roll into extra innings as the 4-4 tie remained unbroken until the bottom of the 10th inning. With two runners on base and one out the Bandits’ Karl Johnston hit a grounder through the gap into left field giving Woodstock the 5-4 walk off victory in extra innings. The 5th place Turks remain on the road for their next two contests at Staunton and Waynesboro Tuesday and Wednesday night, but will return home to JMU Veterans Memorial stadium Friday night to square off against the Front Royal Cardinals at 7:30.