07/07/2011 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University Harrisonburg – The Turks rallied from three runs down to beat the Strasburg Express 7-6 Thursday night, with Chris Marconcini providing ninth-inning heroics with a two-run walk-off double.
The teams amassed just one hit each in the first two innings, as Turks starter Eric Meyerchick and Strasburg starter Jesse Meier started the game out strong. But the Express struck in the third when second baseman Nicholas Barnes worked a walk, third baseman Blake Crabtree singled, and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. A walk to center fielder Ryan Hathaway loaded the bases, and with one out, first baseman Brad Zebadis hit a ball out of the reach of Turks left fielder Dodson McPherson, going for a three-run triple.
The Turks quickly struck back in the bottom of the third, though. With two outs, shortstop Robert Perucki singled, stole second, and scored on single from center fielder Jay Gonzalez. Gonzalez then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Sam Dove walked, and another wild pitch scored Gonzalez and sent Dove to second. McPherson then lined a single to center field to score Dove and tie the game. Harrisonburg would ultimately leave the bases loaded in the inning, as six straight hitters reached base.
The teams traded zeroes again for the next two frames, but Zebadis led off the top of the sixth with a long home run to center to put the Express up 4-3. And Strasburg promptly widened their lead when a single, walk, and single loaded the bases before Barnes grounded a ball up the middle for a two-run single to make it 6-3 and chase Meyerchick from the game.
The Turks got a run against sidearming reliever Jonathan Murphy in the bottom of the inning, as first baseman Brock Green led off with a single and advanced to second on a single by catcher Eric Mason. A walk to Perucki loaded the bases before Gonzalez hit a single to left to score Green and make it 6-4.
Harrisonburg scored again in the eighth when Perucky ripped an RBI double to score pinch hitter Casey Goss. In the ninth, designated hitter Mac Williamson hit a one-out single, and third baseman Ty McFarland reached on an infield hit with two outs, setting the stage for Marconcini, who had entered as a defensive replacement in the sixth.
Marconcini lined an 0-1 fastball from Strasburg closer Nick Bruns deep to left-center for the game-winner.
Gonzalez, McPherson, Williamson, Green, and Perucky led the Turks with two hits apiece. Dominic Sgroi picked up the win to go to 4-0 with 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Bruns took the loss to fall to 0-2.