Comer Fuels Turks to 8-3 Victory

Written By Daniel Ware
Turks Staff Writer

2016 Ty ComerHARRISONBURG, Va.—Behind the bats of the top of the order, the Harrisonburg Turks took down the Staunton Braves 8-3 at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday night.

The top four batters in the lineup combined to go 8-for-14, with second baseman Ty Comer (Ferrum) leading the way with a 3-for-4 game with a home run (1), two RBIs and two runs scored. Comer got the start at second as a result of Bryan Arias (UTSA) taking a baseball off the side of his face during the Braves’ batting practice.

Arias did, however, pinch hit for Andrew Moritz (UNCG) in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and reached on Braves third baseman Romy Gonzalez’s (Miami Fla.) second error of the game, allowing two runs to score.

The Turks were able to jump on three of the four of the pitchers used by the Braves tonight as none lasted longer than three innings. Starter Sam Vincenzo (St. Thomas Aquinas College) gave up a two-run homer to Comer in the first and allowed an unearned run in the third inning on a throwing error before being relieved.

Vincenzo got the loss in tonight’s game and was replaced by left-hander Samuel Crocker (Central Florida) in the fourth inning, who himself gave up four unearned runs. In the bottom of the fifth, Comer scored on Gonzalez’s first error as the third baseman airmailed the throw to first base. During the ensuing at-bat, the Turks executed a double steal to score another run as Greg Popatak (George Mason) came home from third base.

Only two of the 11 combined runs in the game were earned, and they came in the bottom of the first on Comer’s two-run homer to left.

John McCarren got the start on the mound for the Turks and was very effective. The right-hander retired twelve Staunton batters in a row after giving up a leadoff single in the top of the first. He pitched six innings allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the season.

With the win tonight, the Turks picked up their 20th win of the season (20-9) and lead the Waynesboro Generals (18-9) by one game in the south division.

Returning to action on Saturday night, the Turks host the Woodstock River Bandits (9-18) at Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30 p.m.

Quick Hits:

* Activated by the Turks on July 5, outfielder Andrew Moritz picked up his first hit of the season in the bottom of the fourth on a single to the right side.

* Right-hander Luke Dykes (Pensacola State College) picked up the nine-out save for the Turks in his first appearance of the Valley League season. He allowed no hits, no runs with one walk and two strikeouts.

* With his seventh double of the season in the bottom of the first, Jonathan Pryor (Wake Forest) has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games, with five multi-hit games. Pryor is second in league batting average at .405, trailing Covington’s Jason Polgano by .001.

* Tripp Shelton went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in tonight’s game, giving him a league-leading 40 hits and 27 runs scored in 29 games played.

* With stolen bases by Popatak and Mason George (UTSA) tonight, the Turks no longer have the fewest swiped bags in the league—23 to Charlottesville’s 22—and are the only team in the league to have been caught stealing fewer than 10 times (9).

* Comer raised his batting average 47 points—from .214 to .261—with his 3-for-4 night.