Turks Strand Six in Scoring Position in Loss to CannonsChase Kiddy | Harrisonburg Turks Staff Writer
W: Jack Charleston (1-0)
L: James Ziemba (0-3)
Charles Town won a rare game in Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday night, scoring five runs over three different innings and dealing the Turks their first home loss since June 3.
Harrisonburg (12-7) played a Cannons team who armed themselves with some sort of mystical firepower on Tuesday. They turned three very pretty double plays — in the bottoms of the second, fourth, and fifth innings– and made some incredible catches whenever Harrisonburg threatened to score. In the bottom of the third, for instance, Charles Town starter Jack Charleston walked Turks catcher Joey Roach, and then he turned around and hit center fielder Thomas Spitz. With two outs on the board, both advanced into scoring position after a wild pitch, but third baseman Justin Esquerra made a freak-show play on a foul ball, leaning all the way over the rail and into the Turks dugout to make the grab.
In the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Steven McLean managed a lead-off base hit, and Spitz got himself to first after Cannons shortstop Stephen Kerr couldn’t squeeze a routine grounder in his glove. Both runners advanced on another past ball (this game was full of them), but three successive outs prevented the Turks from getting on the board — one of which was another foul out just west of the third base line, made possible by, you guessed it, Esquerra.
And speaking of past balls — Charles Town was the beneficiary of two of them. Before Tuesday, Roach had allowed only one on the whole season.
Offensively, Charles Town got things started early on, pushing two across in the top of the first. Center fielder Justin Harris hit a lead-off single and promptly stole second base, and during the next at bat, Kerr banged a long double that got him home. Kerr eventually scored after left fielder Bryant Munoz and designated hitter Matthew Gandy each grounded out to second base, advancing him to third and home, respectively.
Charles Town added two more in the fifth and one in the sixth to make it a nice, round 5-0 score.
Kerr had a great game for the visitors, finishing 3 of 4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and a score. He’s hitting .342 on the season, one of three players tied for the 11th best average so far this season. (One of those other two guys is Harrisonburg’s Spitz.)
James Ziemba takes the loss on the evening, dropping his record to 0-3 in four starts. During two of his three losses, the Turks have failed to score a run.
Harrisonburg hasn’t dropped a home game since a 7-3 loss to Waynesboro on June 3; they haven’t been shut out at home since a 4-0 loss to Rockbridge on July 31, 2010. They’ll look to rebound Wednesday night when the face New Market at home. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30pm.
Chase Kiddy has served as the Harrisonburg Turks’ staff writer since Spring 2012. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or yell at him in the press box during home games at Veterans Memorial Park.