Turks Hang on to Beat Rebels 6-5

Written By Daniel Ware
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG, Va.– A ninth inning rally fell short for the New Market Rebels as the Turks held on to win 6-5 at Veterans Memorial Park on Monday night.

The Rebels (6-10) trailed 6-4 entering the top of the ninth to face Turks right-hander Chris Farish (Wake Forest), who was making his first appearance of the season.

It was an eventful debut to say the least. After a leadoff single by Rebels catcher Daniel Kerwin (UT-Martin), Farish got two quick outs on fly balls deep to right field. He then walked the next two batters to load the bases, then hit shortstop Brady Lloyd (ECU) to send a run home.

Farish threw three straight balls to the next batter, second baseman Chase DeMars (South Carolina), before eventually getting him to groundout, securing the 6-5 win for the Turks and getting the save.

Greg Paprocki - LaSalle 2016The Turks got a solid start on the mound from Greg Paprocki (LaSalle), who gave the Turks eight innings of work. Paprocki was strong through the first six innings, allowing just one run, before his rising pitch count wore on him in the seventh and eighth innings. He finished the game with 119 pitches, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and improved his record to 2-0.

The star on offense tonight for the Turks was Greg Popatak (George Mason), who finished a double shy of the cycle. The first baseman went 3-4 with three runs scored and raised his batting average to .420, which is second-best in the league. In the fifth, with the Turks leading 4-1 and the bases empty, Popatak went to opposite field for his second home run of the season.

The Turks were able to get runs early in the game off Rebels right-hander Joey Johnson (Dyersburg State CC), who entered the game 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Johnson’s lack of command gave him trouble, as he walked four batters in a three-run second inning for the Turks. The Turks handed Johnson his first loss of the season as he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits, four walks and two strikeouts in five innings.

Greg Papatok II 2016Jason SerchayIt was a game of firsts for the Harrisonburg offense—the Turks hit two triples, the first by Popatak in the third and the second by Jason Serchay (UTSA) in the fourth, after hitting none in the previous 13 games to start the season. Serchay also hit his first home run of the season—a solo shot to right-center in the sixth inning to give the Turks a 6-1 lead.

The Turks (9-5) trail the Waynesboro Generals (12-3) by 2.5 and take on the Purcellville Cannons (4-10) on Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Park.