Turks Fall to Cardinals 7-2 in Front Royal

WP: Burnidge (3-2)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

LP: Hartman (4-1)- 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

FRONT ROYAL, Va., July 14, 2015 – After rain in the area pushed back the start and a lightning delay in the bottom of the first, Front Royal managed to defeat the Turks of Harrisonburg 7-2 at Bing Cosby Stadium on Tuesday night.

In the third inning, the Cardinals were the first to get on the board with a sacrifice fly from Bobby Lang. They then put the game out of reach with a two-out rally one inning later. Daontre Porter blasted a 3-run home run to score Matt Jones who was hit by a pitch and Nick Hutchins who singled to right to extend the lead to 4-0.

The loss brings Harrisonburg’s record to 22-9, allowing the Staunton Braves to come within two games in the South division standings. Front Royal improves to 19-12 and extends its winning streak to five.

Kansas City, Missouri native Luke Burnidge essentially shut down the Turks’ offense as he scattered four hits and one run over 5.2 innings while striking out six. Mario Morales was first out of the bullpen and did well in relief, allowing a single run on two hits over 2.1 innings. Michael Elwood was then called upon to work the 9th inning and successfully kept the Turks scoreless despite allowing singles to Jared Baker and Joe Lytle.

On the offensive side of things, the Cardinals fell just short of double-digit hits with nine. Leadoff man Drew Small set the tone with a 3-for-5 performance that included two runs scored. Porter was even more impressive from the nine-spot going 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and three runs batted in.

A Chance Lunceford RBI single in the sixth and a two-RBI error by Tripp Shelton on a Bobby Lang grounder in the seventh pushed the Front Royal run total to seven.

Harrisonburg starting pitcher Matt Hartman took his first loss of the season in which he gave up a season-high five runs on eight hits over five innings. Patrick Wiseman took the mound in relief, allowing two runs before Tanner Shelton came in and struck out three in two scoreless innings.

The Turks’ offense collected eight hits of their own but establishing a rhythm at the plate proved to be difficult. Seven Turks got at least one of those hits with Jared Baker going 2-for-4 with a run scored as the highlight in the lineup.

The Turks fought back with a run in sixth when Steve McLean raced home for their first run of the game. Tyler Straub took off for second and McLean swiped home when the throw went across the diamond.

Then, Shane Billings would single in the seventh to score Jared Baker and bring the Turks within five but the scoring would end there.

The Turks will look to get back to their winning ways on Wednesday night when they welcome the Covington Lumberjacks (12-18) to Veterans Memorial Park for a 7:30 p.m. start. Hope to see you there and go Turks!