7/25/2010 – Turks Tidbits
By Todd Jones James Madison University Intern
The Covington Lumberjacks came into Saturday night’s game in 7th place trying to make ground on teams like Waynesboro, Front Royal, and the Turks. With the standings showing no clear resolution in sight, each game is a battle to determine playoff positioning and most importantly secure a playoff berth. Covington jumped on Harrisonburg early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning after a lead off triple from Richie Rodriguez set the offensive tone for ‘Jacks.
Still trailing 0-2 in the bottom of the 2nd inning the Turks made a pitching change from starting pitcher Kurt Wunderlich (Michigan St.) to newcomer Ryan Chapman (Rio Grande Univ). Chapman had a rough start on the mound; after two groundouts to start the inning, four singles and a double would follow before another out, allowing 4 runs to score and giving the ‘Jacks a 6-0 advantage. Harrisonburg was able to get on the board in the top of the 5th inning due to great base running by 2B Joshua Band (Rollins College). Band hit a single and later stole 2nd base before Reuben Sosa (W. Okl.) followed up with a single of his own allowing Band to advance to 3rd and setting up his run home on a pitcher’s error.
In the bottom of the 6th the Lumberjacks put another run on the board after a walk and two singles into the outfield gave Covington the six run lead, 7-1. The Turks would answer in the 7th inning scoring their second run of the night again due to quality base running, this time from Connor Winn (Ga. Tech). With two outs on the board Winn hit what would have been a single to the short stop, however an errant throw past the 1st baseman gave Winn the opportunity to take 2nd and he capitalized. Winn made it home after Shaun Cooper (Ariz.) hit a long RBI single into center field. However the Turks’ answer wasn’t long enough and soon the ‘Jacks soon would have one more rebuttal. Covington reeled off one more run in the bottom of the 7th inning after Harrisonburg made one last pitching change to newcomer Austin Johnson (Southern Illinois). The score would hold as the Lumberjacks handed Harrisonburg an 8-2 defeat, chopping down the Turks record to just a hair above .500 at 18-17. Harrisonburg does still retain 4th place in the VBL standings and with that ranking would have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It’s a tight race, and with just 9 games remaining there’s only one sure thing; no thing is sure. Harrisonburg returns home Sunday to face the Woodstock River Bandits at 730. Come out to the ballpark and show your support as the Turks battle for playoff positioning!