Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Daily News Record
WAYNESBORO — The Valley League Baseball playoffs are officially underway and it began with Waynesboro defeating Harrisonburg 7-1 in Game 1 of a best-of-three quarterfinal series at Kate Collins Field on Tuesday in the second meeting between the two teams in as many nights.
“Obviously it’s the playoffs and we want to score as many runs as possible but we just didn’t get the right hits at the right time,” Turks outfielder Sam Schner said. “They did come in bunches, we just didn’t get them across home plate.”
The Turks got on the board in the top of the third after Christian Ficca slammed a ground-rule double to get Michael Rosario in to score. The Generals responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs — one-off Joseph Sullivan III hitting an RBI single and the other off Garrett Howe scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Waynesboro increased its lead in the bottom of the fifth when Jalen Vasquez hit a two-out RBI double. The Generals added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of an RBI single from Arkansas Fayetteville’s Caleb Cali and Howe scoring on a stolen base. The Generals later stacked up two more runs — both unearned — in the bottom of the seventh.
Harrisonburg wasn’t able to mount a comeback and lost on ten hits and four errors.
“Situational hitting” was the big story from the Turks’ performance, according to Ficca.
“Ten hits is nothing to scoff about,” Ficca said. “That’s a really good offensive game against a good team. It really just comes down to situational hitting [and] a little bit of base running.”
Logan McClure took the loss for the Turks after starting on the mound, pitching four innings and tossing three strikeouts.
The Turks will return home Wednesday night for Game 2 with their season on the line.
If necessary, Game 3 will take place Thursday night at Waynesboro.
Ficca said there’s a lot more pressure going into the win-or-go-home game.
“I think we got a good shot at winning if we can hit situationally a little bit better than we did tonight,” Ficca said. “We got a big group of guys that love being together. … We’re going to have a fight in us tomorrow.”
Ficca feels the team has gotten “tight” over the last few games and they need to enjoy the opportunity tomorrow brings.
“I think we just got to stay loose and keep playing our game because we’re a good team and we hit the ball well,” Ficca said. “It’s just going to be a matter of doing it in big spots.”
Harrisonburg 001 000 000 — 1 10 4
Waynesboro 002 012 20x — 7 13 2
McClure, Smith (5), McClure (7), Mamatas (8), and Stadler. Blackwell, Locke (7), Ricko (9), and Bogart. W — Blackwell (1-0). L — McClure (0-1).