Turks Best 1st Place Royals

W: Dillon Ortman (4-2)
L: Charles Neely (4-2)
S: Joshua Karr (5)

The Valley’s best showed up for a Friday night game at Veterans Memorial Park as the Northern Division-leading Winchester Royals visited the Southern Division-leading Harrisonburg Turks. Harrinsonburg emerged victorious by a score of 4-1.

As is the case for most Turk games, the story of this win starts on the mound. Dillon Ortman earned his fourth win by consistently finding a seemingly giant strike zone, registering seven strikeouts in an effort that came just one out short of a complete game. Ortman walked three batters and hit a fourth with a pitch that strayed too far inside, but he remained otherwise flawless until his no-hitter was broken up by¬†Joseph Odom’s triple to right field in the seventh inning. Ortman shut out Winchester (25-10) until the final inning, where third baseman Jimmy Yezzo nudged a home run over the left field wall to get the Royals on the scoreboard.

Ortman was relieved by closer Joshua Karr late in the ninth, who threw three consecutive strikes to retire the final batter. Karr earned his fifth save of the season, tying him with teammate Shawn O’Neill for the second most saves in the Valley League. Both trail only Rockbridge’s Kevin McCulloh (6 saves).

Harrisonburg (23-12) broke a 0-0 stalemate in the bottom of the fifth with all-star second baseman Thomas Smith’s RBI Single that grounded into left field. The Turks put three more on the board in the seventh frame when Smith again grounded a double deep into the left field corner and drove in two more runs; fellow all-star Ryan Lee knocked a double soon after that would drive Smith home.

Smith and Lee finished the game a combined 4 of 7 with all four runs to their credit. Shortstop RJ Perucki also had a special night, finishing 3 of 3 as his family– in town from their native Texas– watched from the stands.

Harrisonburg concludes its 3-night homestand Saturday night at 7:30 against the Covington Lumberjacks.