Turks Beat Generals 9-8 on Shelton’s Walkoff

Written By Daniel Ware
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG, Va.—Tripp Shelton’s walk-off single down the right-field line lifted the Turks to a 9-8 victory over the Waynesboro Generals at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday night.

2016 Tripp SheltonWith runners on first and second, Shelton (UNCG) stepped up to the plate with two outs following a walk by UNCG teammate Ryne Sigmon, Shelton recorded his third hit of the night to score Jason Serchay (UTSA) from second to end the game.

The teams traded blows like a couple of prizefighters, as the Generals clawed their way back to tie it up 8-8 in the seventh inning. With an 8-5 deficit and runners on the corners, Eli Putnam (UCF) hit a fly ball to right field, which was misplayed by Serchay, and resulted in two runs scoring and Putnam getting all the way to third base. Putnam was then scored on Trey Stine’s (New Mexico St.) single to left field one batter later.

The Generals (14-9) were able to jump on Turks starting pitcher Donnie Sellers (Wake Forest) early in the game. After the right-hander hit shortstop Brent Sakurai (New Mexico St.) in the top of the first, Sakurai advanced to third on two wild pitches, and scored on a single by Tracy Hadley (Southern Miss.).

Waynesboro hit two-run homers in consecutive innings—the third and fourth—to take a 5-1 lead. The first homer was off the bat of Zach Sterry (Oakland U), his sixth of the season, which puts him at a tie with Greg Popatak (George Mason) for most in the league. Following Sterry in the fourth, catcher T.J. Condon crushed his third long ball of the season to left center.

Sellers lasted just four innings and allowed five runs on four hits—two home runs—with seven strikeouts and three walks in the no decision. His 1-1 record stayed the same, while his ERA rose from 2.50 to 4.09.

Picking his first win of the season was Sellers’ Wake Forest teammate, Chris Farish. The right-hander tossed five innings, allowing three unearned runs, of relief to bring his Valley League record to 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in nine innings pitched.

The Generals led by four runs entering the bottom of the fourth, where the Turks took their first lead with a five-run inning. Trailing 5-1, Tripp Shelton ripped a two-run triple to the wall in left-center to score Serchay and Tanner Dofflemyer (JMU). Bryan Arias (UTSA) then hit his second single of the game up the middle to score Shelton to make it a 5-4 game.

Jonathan Pryor 2016One batter later, Jonathan Pryor smashed a two-run home run to right center, his first homer of the season, to give the Turks a 6-5 lead. The Turks took an 8-5 lead on a one-run double by Mason George and an RBI single from Serchay.

Tyler Howe (Alabama St.) got the start for the Generals on the mound but was not very effective after the third inning. He lasted five innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits with four strikeouts and three walks in the no decision.

Bryan AriasArias’ 3-5 night raised his average from .280 up to .300, which gives the Turks seven qualified batters (minimum 2.7 PA per game) with at least a .300 batting average—led by Jonathan Pryor’s league-leading .391. No other team has more than five.

Shelton’s two-run triple in the bottom of the fourth was the Turks’ seventh of the season, which is the most in the league. The Turks as a team have hit four triples in their last three games, after hitting just three in their first 21 games.

The Turks (17-7) now have a 2.5 game lead over Waynesboro in the south division with a month left in the season. The teams will face each other three more times before the end of the regular season.

Up next, the Turks take on the New Market Rebels (9-15) at Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in Harrisonburg.