Kalbfleisch’s Bomb Pushes Harrisonburg past River Bandits (Game 1)
W: Sam Kmiec (4-1)
L: Evan Davis (2-2)
Just when extra innings were starting to look inevitable, Eric Kalbfleisch smashed a home run over the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Turks a definitive 2-1 advantage in Saturday night’s opening contest.
The Turks (21-7) and River Bandits (17-8) were making up a scoreless game postponed due to weather on June 23, picking it up in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Taylor Nichols singled with one out, and after third baseman Joe Napolitano grounded out to first, Woodstock “reliever” Evan Davis, who pitched all of Saturday’s game 1 innings, walked right fielder Jace Whitley and center fielder John Welborn. He gave up the first run of the game when he hit designated hitter Andy Perez with loaded bases.
However, Woodstock refused to be shut out. On the 12th pitch of his at bat, third baseman Jordan Edgerton cleared the left field wall with plenty of room to spare, sailing a 350-footer into the grass behind Veterans Memorial Park to tie the score at one run apiece.
Kalbfleisch would have the last word. After no one scored in the bottom of the sixth, the seventh or the top of the eighth, the Turks’ all-star Left Fielder blasted a monstrous homer over the right field wall that nearly knocked the ‘E’ out of the shiny “EAGLE FIELD” perched atop the scoreboard.
Kalbfleisch finished 1 of 4. Perez finished 1 of 3 with the Turks’ only other RBI.
Harrisonburg pitcher Sam Kmiec pitched all four innings of the game. He earned his fourth win of the season, moving him into elite company in the Valley League. He posted one strikeout and no walks.
The Turks are now 2-0 against the River Bandits this season. Both teams appeared in the most recent edition of PerfectGame’s Top 30 Summer League teams, published on July 1; Woodstock checks in at #14, and Harrisonburg is ranked four spots behind them at #18.