Turks Defeat Staunton 10-4 in Battle of VBL’s Best

WP: Hartman (4-0)- 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

LP: Horne (0-3)- 2 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K

HARRISONBURG, Va., July 5, 2015 – In a battle between the top two teams in the Valley Baseball League, the Harrisonburg Turks defeated the Staunton Braves 10-4 on Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

After the Turks took a 5-0 lead, the Braves came storming back to make it close at 5-4 in the 8th inning. Looking for insurance runs, Tyler Straub hit a high bouncer that Jordan Howard couldn’t handle at second base, scoring two. Then three batters later with the bases loaded, Trevor Denton slapped a 3-2 pitch into left scoring two more. A high throw to third sailed into the home team dugout to score one final run in the inning to give the Turks a 10-4 lead.

With the victory the Turks retain first place in the VBL South division with a record of 18-6 while the Braves drop to two games back at 16-8.

Matt Hartman got the start and coasted through five innings before being touched up a bit in the 6th. The big righty improves his record to 4-0 on the season after striking out six and allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits over six innings. In relief, Patrick Herbelin allowed a run in two innings and Tyler Brown sat the Braves down in order in the 9th to secure the win.

Aided by 10 walks conceded by Braves pitching, the Turks offense put up 10 runs for the second game in a row and third time in the last five. Tyler Straub led the charge, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Shane Billings continued his success at the top of the lineup thanks to three walks that led to three runs scored.

Dylan Horne got the start on the mound for Staunton and didn’t fair quite as well. The Staunton, Virginia native gave up five runs (four earned) and on five walks and only two hits over 2.2 innings. The Braves defense struggled behind him, committing five errors in the losing effort.

Austin Edens did his best from the plate for the away team with a 2-for-4 performance that including a run scored and one run batted in. Madison Nickens went 1-for-4 from the cleanup spot including a two-RBI triple in the 6th inning.

The Turks have won six games in a row including 12 of their last 13.