Turks Bats Come Alive in Winchester

Jack Fitzpatrick
Turks Broadcast Intern

WINCHESTER—The Turks (2-2) got back in the win column after an offensive explosion tonight in Winchester (0-3). The Turks throttled the Royals winning 16-5 at Jim Barnett Park at Bridgeforth Field.

“I think we came out to play tonight,” Manager Bob Wease said. “Came out to play a good game.”

The Turks wasted no time to start. In the first inning Paul Castillo (East Florida State, Junior) sent a solo shot over the left field wall and Brett Whelton (McNeese State, Junior) notched his fourth RBI of the season by sending Zach Little home (Wingate, Senior). The Turks built a 4-0 lead by just the third inning, but the Winchester Royals started to find their offensive rhythm.

The Royals were able to close the gap to just one by the fifth inning. They took advantage of some sloppy pitching and had some key base running. The Turks lost their command in the strike zone and started to go a little wild. Starting pitcher Joseph Mannelly (Georgia Tech, Sophomore) and reliever Jake Lane (Florida Tech, Senior) could not command the strike zone on a consistent basis. Combined they walked three, gave up four hits and hit three batters between the third and fifth innings.

After the Turks got back their command behind the arms of Daniel Brandon (Longwood University, Sophomore) and Rafe Schindler (University of New Orleans, Sophomore) all the momentum swung to the Turks. Harrisonburg erupted for a seven run seventh inning opening up an eight run lead and never looked back.

Grant Van Scoy (Illinois, Senior) found his rhythm early on. After just two days with the team he notched his first two hits. One of which was a game-sealing grand slam in the eight inning.

Also getting in on the offensive action was Caleb Walls (Pasco Hernando State, senior). Walls started the season 0-12 at the plate but he was able to find his swing tonight. He notched two hits, one of which being a base clearing double, and batted four runners in.

“I think what’s happening here now is the players are starting to understand each other,” Wease said. “We are having a good time and players are enjoying each other.”

Overall the Turks had 14 hits and 14 RBIs tonight. After a rough 1-2 start where they couldn’t string together hits and find their offensive consistency things have changed. They were able to take advantage of a Royals pitching staff that allowed 11 walks and couldn’t find the strike zone all night.

“What this does is gives everyone confidence,” Wease said. “They know how I’m going to play them, you know, when I’m going to pinch hit them and all that good stuff.”

There was a lot of situational baseball that brought players up and put them in different situations, ones they are not used to. Kevin Mintz (UNCW, Sophomore), a

pitcher, came in to pinch run for Whelton after he was hit by a pitch and Cade Bullinger (Midland College, RS-Junior) came into the game in left field near the end.

“Everybody got to play tonight, everybody got two to three at-bats tonight and that’s big,” Wease.

Getting the win for the Turks was Mannelly (1-0) and the losing pitcher for the Royals was Hank Biggs (0-1). Schindler came in and pitched the last three innings and was credited with the save.

The Turks are in action again tomorrow night back home at Veterans Memorial Park where they will take on the Covington Lumberjacks (3-1).