Turks Explode (Again) in First Game in Six DaysBy Chase Kiddy | Harrisonburg Turks Staff Writer
W: Boone Mokry (2-0)
L: Brandon Valentin (0-5)
S: Brett Morgan (2)
For the second time in as many games, the Turks popped up eight runs in one inning and ran past the Royals in Winchester in the final regularly scheduled game before the All-Star Break.
Harrisonburg (17-7), which hasn’t played since its 13-8 comeback win over Woodstock last Sunday, picked up right where it left off. After posting a quick two runs in the first inning and another two early in the second, designated hitter Matt Rose hit a 3-run shot off Brandon Valentin to break the game open, 7-1. The Royals pulled Valentin in favor of reliever Tyler Gibson, but he couldn’t get out of the inning, either. He too gave up a 3-run shot, this one to right fielder Luke Czajkowski, and the Turks had a 10-1 lead after two frames.
The Royals eventually battled back. Harrisonburg starter Boone Mokry earned his second win of the season, but not without giving up five earned runs on nine hits. The Royals tagged him for three in the fifth inning, and reliever Tanner Shelton came in to pitch the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, with the Turks ahead 10-5, Shelton walked the first three batters and was replaced by Brett Morgan. With the tying run in the on deck circle, Morgan turned in his best outing of the season, pitching no-hit baseball for the final three innings. He struck out five batters.
Harrisonburg chipped in three more runs in the top of the ninth to push the game out of reach and finalize the score at 13-7.
Rose and Czajkowski both finished 2 of 5 with home runs and 3+ RBI. Left fielder Eric Kalbfleisch, shortstop Stephen McLean and first baseman Christopher Barr also posted multi-hit games Saturday night.
Valentin takes the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits and four walks. It’s his second loss to the Turks this season — the other being a 4-2 decision in Veterans Memorial Park on June 8.
Mokry must be treating his teammates awfully well away from the field. In four of his six appeances, he’s gotten at least 6 runs of support, one of the best marks in the league.
This is the second consecutive game in which the Turks have scored 13 runs. They’ve scored 10 runs or more five times this season.
There is no official game scheduled for Sunday, but Harrisonburg will be hosting the 2014 Valley League All-Star game. Come out and watch eight Turks represent the Southern All-Stars.
Chase Kiddy has served as the Harrisonburg Turks’ staff writer since Spring 2012. Contact him at email@example.com, or yell at him in the press box during home games at Veterans Memorial Park.