W: Shawn O’Neill (1-0)
L: David Hafer (0-1)
Apparently Turks pitcher Shawn O’Neill can do more than just close out games, as the Valley League’s leader in saves earned his first win of the season in Harrisonburg’s 11-4 home rout of the Strasburg Express.
O’Neill looked sharp in his first start of the season, going for seven full innings and retiring six on his own. He gave up six hits but only one earned run—a stellar outing by most anyone’s standards, unless your earned run average is already below 1.00. Shawn’s ERA will rise from 0.95 to 1.04 after tonight’s performance, still good for the third best mark of the entire league.
O’Neill wasn’t without run support as designated hitter Grant Gibbs, center fielder Ryan Lee, and pinch-hitting first baseman Ryan Haas each totaled two hits apiece and combined for four RBI. Jake Roberts chipped in a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth that cleared the left field wall along with most of the parking lot behind it. It was his third homer of the season.
The Turks poured it on late with six runs in the eighth inning, securing what had become a tenous 5-3 lead. The Express managed only one run in the final frame before closer Joseph Karr ended the game.
Strasburg (7-13) starter David Hafer took the loss tonight. Hafer walked two and gave up five runs—only two of which were earned—before being relieved in the middle of the fifth inning. He tallied four strikes outs to two walks.
Harrisonburg (14-7) was charged with four errors, a new team high for any single game. No Valley League team has won a game this year after committing four or more errors.