Turks Lose Battle of Top Teams

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

LP: Shelton (0-1)- 2.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K

STAUNTON, Va., July 19, 2015 – It took 11 runs on 15 hits and nine walks for the second-place Staunton Braves to defeat the first-place Harrisonburg Turks by a score of 11-5 on Sunday night at Gypsy Hill Park.

After a 6th-inning passed ball scored Jesse Baker from third to give the Turks a 6-5 lead, the Braves answered with three runs in the 7th to take their first lead of the night. Four more runs in the 8th would officially put the game out of reach.

Despite the loss, Harrisonburg (26-11) still holds a three-game lead over Staunton (22-13) in the Valley Baseball League South division.

Scoring came throughout the Braves’ lineup with seven of the nine players in the game at it’s end scoring at least one run. Andy Szamski (2-for-2, 1 run scored, 4 RBI), Brad Jarreau (3-for-6, 1 run scored), Madison Nickens (2-for-4, 3 runs scored), Kam Gellinger (3-for-4, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI) and Nicholas Mira (4-for-4, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI) all had monster games for their ball club.

Starting pitcher Blake Ream struggled from the start, allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits over five innings of work. Luckily for Staunton, the bullpen was up for the task. Led by Garrett Cave’s six strikeouts in three innings, the relieving corps held the Turks scoreless for the final four frames of the contest.

The Turks pounced early, scoring four runs in the 2nd inning. Tyler Straub doubled, Jesse Baker walked and Jared Baker singled to load the bases with no outs. From there, Trevor Denton’s double and back-to-back RBI singles by Shane Billings and Tripp Shelton thrust the Turks ahead to a 4-0 lead.

Harrisonburg native and Turks starter Tucker McCoy didn’t have his usual stuff and also struggled. The lefty allowed four runs (all earned) on a season-high 11 hits and four walks in 4.2 innings and ended up with a no-decision. Tanner Shelton was the first to emerge from the bullpen. The Braves scored six runs with him in the game (three earned) despite fanning five times in 2.1 innings. Jordan Meyer was brought in to face a bases-loaded, no out jam that Shelton left for him but the La Salle product walked three in his one inning of work.

The Turk’s offense managed eight hits with Tripp Shelton and Jared Baker collecting two each, but in the end it just wasn’t enough.

Harrisonburg has tomorrow night off, but will return to action on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. start in Covington against the Lumberjacks. Go Turks!