Castellenos Outduels Krivijanski for 1-0 Quarterfinal LeadBy Chase Kiddy | Harrisonburg Turks Staff Writer
W: Castellenos (2-1)
L: Krivijanski (1-1)
S: Brett Morgan (4)
The Turks opened the 2014 Valley League playoffs with a vintage Harrisonburg performance, beating the Covington Lumberjacks on Tuesday night thanks to dominant pitching from starter Ryan Castellenos and timely hitting from infielders Matt Rose, Thomas Smith and Daniel Nichols.
Harrisonburg (30-13) struck first on Tuesday night, finally getting on the board in the bottom of the sixth after Lumberjacks starter Nolan Krivijanski held the Turks scoreless through the first half of the game. Nichols dropped a ball into left center field that left fielder Jonathan Flores couldn’t quite get to in time. He reached second when the ball rolled back to the warning track.
Nichols scored later in the inning when Covington catcher Shane Castro overthrew third base as he was attempting to advance on a wild pitch. Once the ball was in left field, Nichols pulled himself off the ground and beat the throw from the outfield to home.
The Turks added to their lead in the eighth. With Nichols and Smith on first and second, respectively, it was Rose’s turn to hit a monster double to left center. Rose pedalled casually to second, while Nichols and Smith both scored to bounce the home lead up to 3-0.
Brett Morgan came out of the bullpen to lock the game up in the final frame. He did allow one run on two hits, including a double by designated hitter Hayden Platt that scored Grant McKown, but he struck out right fielder Brent James to end the game at 3-1.
Krivijanski takes the loss for Covington despite a great outing. He was tagged for four hits, three runs (two earned) and four walks. He struck out four Turks in 7.1 innings.
Castellenos seizes the win after scattering three hits and no walks through eight innings. He did not allow a run and notched ten strikeouts. Morgan earns his fourth save of the season.
The top-seeded Turks and eighth-seeded Lumberjacks will play Game 2 of their opening round playoff series Wednesday night in Covington. The Lumberjacks must win to stave off elimination. Should they do so, the two teams will play the deciding game of the series Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Park. That game would start at 7:30.
Chase Kiddy has served as the Harrisonburg Turks’ staff writer since Spring 2012. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or yell at him in the press box during home games at Veterans Memorial Park.