Turks Closing in on Division Title After Win Over Braves

Saturday, July 23, 2022
John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

The Harrisonburg Turks took the south division lead in their 3-1 win over the Staunton Braves Friday night at Veterans Memorial Park. The win moves them to 25-14 this season and gives them a one-game advantage over the Charlottesville Tom Sox and the Waynesboro Generals — both 24-15.

“This summer’s been a grind and every day’s a new day,” left fielder T.J. Williams said. “I feel like we’ve had a really consistent, well-played, all-around season and we’re going to continue to do that the rest of the way.”

The story of the game through the first five innings was the pitching. Will McCausland (St Joseph’s U) threw five strikeouts in five innings for the Braves. Dennies (Notre Dame) flung a season-high nine strikeouts in five innings on the mound in his final game as a Turk.

“It’s my last outing of the summer,” pitcher Jackson Dennies said. “I felt really good … didn’t fall behind much, [the] defense made some good plays. I’m just happy with the way we performed tonight, glad we could get this win.”
Dennies said he loved his time as a Turk and he’ll miss his fellow teammates, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to Harrisonburg in 2023.

“Harrisonburg’s a great place, we have a great program here,” Dennies said. “I made friendships that can last a lifetime … I’m happy with the way we went out and maybe I’ll be back next year.”

The Turks broke onto the scoreboard with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Third baseman Christian Ficca (Georgetown) scored on an RBI double from right fielder Brady Gumpf (Notre Dame). Williams (Notre Dame) scored on an RBI single from catcher Carlos Perez (Miami) and the second baseman Matthew Mamatas (Georgia Southwestern St) got Gumpf home on a sacrifice fly.

The Turks were in for a fight in the top of the ninth as the Braves loaded the bases with no outs. Tyler Cotten (Paul D Camp) scored Staunton’s sole run of the game as he drove in Joe Delossantos (William & Mary) on a sacrifice fly.

The Turks were able to hold the Braves to only one as they took the 3-1 win.

The Turks host the Waynesboro Generals Saturday at 7:30 p.m., where if they win they’ll secure first place in the south division. They travel to Purcellville Sunday at 5 p.m. for a doubleheader in their final two regular-season games.

“The pennant means a lot to us, it means a lot to coach Bob [Wease],” Williams said. “Every team in this league is legit and you just got to come out and play your best and execute every facet of the game.”