By Anthony Mitchell
The Daily Item
Maybe Jean Turber wasn’t satisfied standing on first base in the fifth inning of a tie game.
Turber did not waste time on first, breaking for second on the next at-bat, pulling in standing up without drawing a throw.
With Turber in scoring position, Shikellamy started to work the count at the plate, opening the floodgates offensively in a 12-5 win over Danville in a game that was called after the top of the sixth inning due to darkness in Heartland Athletic Conference Division I play Monday.
“Being aggressive on the bases, that can win you games,” Shikellamy coach Bobby Felmy said. “Tonight, that won us a game.”
The Braves scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to surge ahead of the Ironmen.
Putting the ball in play, the Braves (4-3, 2-2 HAC-I) were able to string together hits to move runners across and score runs.
Perhaps Turber was just following the lead of Nick Dunn two spots ahead of him in the order. Dunn reached safely on a single with a chopper in the hole between first and second.
The ball was caught on a hop, but Dunn hustled down the line to beat Matt Snyder to the bag for his second hit of the game.
Like Turber, Dunn wasn’t on first for long, taking off for second and sliding in safely. Dunn advanced to third on a passed ball, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Colby Lahr.
After Turber’s exploits on the base paths, four straight Shikellamy hitters stepped to the plate and strolled down to first base without having to put a ball in play, each working a walk to keep momentum going and force in runs.
Turber found himself back in the batter’s box with the bases loaded and in a much different situation than his first at-bat with the Braves ahead, 10-5.
Turber stroked a two-run double to left before Danville limited the damage in the inning with a strikeout to walk back to the dugout.
Trying to come back from a seven-run hole, Danville put runners on first and second with one out in the top of the sixth, but the Braves quickly retired the side to seal the win.
Turber laid the foundation for his two hits in the fifth inning by taking a slow trot around the bases in the third inning with the game tied at 2.
The Shikellamy center fielder sent a pitch over the wall in center field for a two-run home run to give the Braves a 4-2 lead, bringing Dunn around before he touched home plate.
“Right before that at-bat, my coach came up to me and he just told me to emphasize getting my foot down (on my swing) and trust my hands,” Turber said. “I got the ball in play and good things happened.”
Turber squared the ball on his barrel throughout the game, finishing 3-for-4 with four RBIs, finishing just a triple short of the cycle.
Each hitter ahead of Turber in the lineup reached base at least once in the game, with Dunn lacing two hits.
“Our top of the order works good counts and they always get on base,” Turber said. “I’m thankful for my teammates. They always put the ball in play.”
The home run for the Braves’ senior provided the difference until the top of the fifth, when the Ironmen struck for three runs to take a 5-4 lead.
The first two hitters of the inning reached safely for Danville (3-3, 2-3) and Shayne Riley brought the Ironmen within a run with a single to center. Riley broke for second base on a steal attempt and Garrett Krum broke for home on the throw, crossing the plate as Riley slid in safely to knot the game at 4.
A single from Matt Schiffino gave the Ironmen a one-run lead.