Turks Lose 3-1 In Staunton, Will Be Second Seed In Playoffs

WP: Vincenzo (3-0)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
LP: Hartman (5-2)- 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 3 K
S: Gould (7)

STAUNTON, Va., July 27, 2015 – In a battle between the top two teams in the Valley Baseball League with the regular season pennant on the line, the Staunton Braves defeated the Harrisonburg Turks, 3-0 at Gypsy Hill Park on Monday night.

The Braves scored one run in the each of the second, third and seventh innings to take a 3-0 lead. The Turks battled back in the eighth, however.

Three consecutive singles by Trevor Denton, Eric Garcia and Tripp Shelton loaded the bases for Shane Billings. An errant pitch from reliever Garrison Vandeventer then hit Billings to push across the Turks’ first run of the ballgame. That run would prove to be their only run of the game though as the Braves managed the limit the damage.

With their ninth straight win, the Braves (30-13) take home the South division pennant and will be the number one seed in the VBL playoffs while the Turks (29-14) will act as the number two seed.

The x-factor for Staunton was without a doubt, starting pitcher Same Vincenzo. The lefty out of Potomac State College gave up only three hits while striking out four in six scoreless innings on the mound. The Turks were unable to get anything substantial going off of Vincenzo who showed great confidence on the mound. Staunton’s bullpen was also impressive. Parker Johnson tossed a scoreless inning and Devin Gould tossed two. The Turks only found success against Vandeventer who did not record an out despite facing four batters.

Eric Garcia (2-for-3) was the only Harrisonburg hitter to collect multiple hits.

Turks pitcher Matt Hartman was given the tall task of starting tonight’s game and did well enough to give his team a chance. The Arizona product allowed three runs (all earned) in seven innings on the mound. He gave up six hits, but what really hurt him was the seven walks conceded. Tyler Brown took over in the eighth and quickly got three outs without allowing a run.

Great Fall, Virginia native Josh Smith, who hit a three-run home run in his last outing against the Turks, finished 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Braves’ offense. Austin Edens (1-for-3) also impressed with two runs scored and one run batted in thanks to a seventh inning solo home run.

The Turks will take on the Waynesboro Generals (22-20) who are the third seed in the VBL South division. This gives the Turks home field advantage so they will host the Generals at Veterans Memorial Park for game 1 Wednesday night at 7:30. As always, hope to see you there and go Turks!