Turks Pull Away Late, Down River Bandits 7-3

06/25/2011 – Turks Tidbits

Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA – Hosting division rival Woodstock for the first time this year, the Turks won 7-3 Saturday night to improve to 15-4.

In a game that featured lots of stranded runners and defensive miscues, the score was close early. With the game scoreless in the top of the second inning, Harrisonburg starter Justin Van Grouw was hit in the leg with a line drive off the bat of Woodstock center fielder Tanner Leighton. It was a scary moment, but Van Grouw was ultimately cleared to remain in the game, and he managed to get the final out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded.

Perhaps the injury was still bothering Van Grouw in the third, as he allowed three hits and two runs in the frame. With two on and two out, Woodstock first baseman Bobby Johnson lifted a fly ball deep to right center for a two-run triple to put Woodstock up 2-0.

That lead didn’t last long, however, as the Turks bats came to life against Woodstock starter Vince Voiro in the bottom of the third. Second baseman Sam Dove got things going with a one-out single and quickly scored on a ringing double off the bat of left fielder Dodson McPherson. Right fielder Mac Williamson followed with an easy grounder back to the mound, but Voiro threw it away, allowing McPherson to score and Williamson to dash over to second. He would later score on a Brock Green single.

The score stayed at 3-2 for the middle innings, as Van Grouw settled down and Voiro and Woodstock reliever Kyle Kennett kept the Turks off the board.

Van Grouw was allowed to come out for the seventh inning and immediately encountered some bad luck, as Leighton hit a slow roller to Dove, who tried to flip the ball to first, only to watch it sail past Green, allowing Leighton to scamper over to second. A groundout got him to third before left fielder Michael Vinson singled to tie the game.

But the Turks again came to life as soon as they lost the lead. McPherson hit a grounder between first and second for a single to start the bottom of the seventh and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Green hit a line drive that bounced inches in front of Vinson’s glove in left for an RBI single to put the Turks up 4-3.

Harrisonburg broke the game open in the next inning, as shortstop Robert Peruciki doubled off the left field wall and scored on a Jay Gonzalez single. Sam Dove hit a high fly ball to right center that Woodstock right fielder Jeffery Elseser couldn’t hang on to, scoring Gonzalez and putting Dove at second. He advanced to third on a throwing error by reliever Jeremy Ortiz before scoring on a long double from Williamson.

Van Grouw got the win, allowing three runs in seven innings. Woodstock reliever Sean Pope, who allowed the seventh-inning run, took the loss. Turks reliever Julio Felix got his first save of the year in his first appearance in front of the home crowd.

Green and Dove led the way with three hits apiece for Harrisonburg, and both McPherson and Perucki had a single and a double. Third baseman Ty McFarland also reached base three of his four times at the plate, with a single and two walks.

Harrisonburg will go on the road Sunday and Monday before returning home Tuesday against Luray for Chick-Fil-A Night!