07/03/2011 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University Harrisonburg – The Turks continued to roll on a wet Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Park, topping the New Market Rebels 6-1. The Turks have still lost just once at home all season, and are 4-0 at home against New Market.
Turks pitcher Aaron Luchterhand (Arkansas Tech) worked a complete game for Harrisonburg. The only run he allowed came in the top of the first, a half-inning that was interrupted twice by weather delays, one for lightning and one for rain.
Harrisonburg quickly got the run back in the bottom of the inning. A Sam Dove double, Dodson McPherson single, and Mac Williamson hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for right fielder Chris Marconcini. Rebels pitcher Brad Nease, who hadn’t allowed an earned run all season to that point, walked Marconcini to force in the tying run, and the Turks didn’t trail again.
Luchterhand and Nease traded zeroes until the bottom of the fourth, when the Rebels’ lefthander found himself in another bases-loaded jam after hitting Brock Green with a pitch, seeing Blake Austin pick up a bunt single, and walking Jay Gonzalez. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dove ripped the ball down the third-base line for a bases-clearing double to make the score 4-1.
Harrisonburg picked up the final two runs of the game in the seventh, when Williamson led off with a double before consecutive errors by New Market second baseman Nick Allen scored Williamson and put runners on first and third. Austin lifted a sacrifice fly for the last run of the game.
Second baseman Dove (Georgia Tech) was the biggest offensive star of the contest, as he had three doubles in the game – all in the first four innings. Center fielder Gonzalez (Auburn) worked two walks out of the leadoff spot, and catcher Austin (Auburn) accomplished a rare feat for a catcher by legging out two infield hits, in addition to his sacrifice fly.
Luchterhand improved to 2-0 on the year, allowing just three hits, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch while striking out four. He retired eight straight batters on two different occasions during the game, including the final eight he faced. His opponent, Nease, fell to 2-1 and saw his ERA rise to 1.64. Allen, Stephen Oswald, and Chase Okey had the only hits for New Market.
Harrisonburg returns to Veterans Memorial Park on July 7 to host Strasburg for the only time this season. The Turks’ next road game is on Wednesday, July 6, at Haymarket.