Written by Jackson Campbell
WINCHESTER, VA – For the second consecutive night, the Turks were locked in a pitcher’s duel. This time, it was John Lollar (Murray State) for Winchester and Brandon Caples (Alabama State) for Harrisonburg.
After a two run homer by Spencer Levine (Seminole State College) put the Royals ahead in the first, and a solo blast by Jason Serchay to tie the game in the top of the second, there was nothing doing by either offense. Caples brought his earned run average down to 3.04 with a nine inning, seven strikeout and one walk performance, while Lollar improved his ERA to 4.08 with a six inning, six strikeout outing.
Both teams also escaped bases loaded situations at different points in the game. The Royals had Devin Gearhart, Jacob Koos, and Trevor Jensen all on base in the bottom of the fifth with one out before Caples got Rico Soto to ground into a double play.
The Turks looked like they would pull ahead in the eighth when Trevor Craport singled, followed by Mason George and Tanner Dofflemyer being hit by pitches from Mackenzie Krupp (Radford). However it was not to be, when Ryne Sigmon struck out.
Just when it looked like the offenses had gone to sleep, Rico Soto led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a smash off the left field wall for a double, and the game would end with the next batter, Kevin Fuller (Florida Southern College). Fuller hit the 1-0 offering of Luke Dykes right back at him, and with Soto taking off from second, Dykes turned to throw Fuller out at first. The throw went over the head of Ty Comer, and Soto headed home to end the game
It was a match up of the second place teams in both the north and the south divisions, and Winchester was able to edge out the Turks on an error. With a Strasburg win over Waynesboro in the same night, both the Turks and the Royals remained in the same position in the standings as they started the night.
Harrisonburg (22-11) is home on Saturday night to face the Charlottesville TomSox (11-22), and Sunday night taking on the Staunton Braves (12-20).