Embler’s Hit in the Tenth Spells Victory for the Turks

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG – Austin Embler (UNC Greensboro) says he is back playing with the Harrisonburg Turks this season because he had a lot of fun on the team last year. Well, it doesn’t get much more fun than driving in the winning run—and that’s exactly what Embler did on Monday night against the Covington Lumberjacks. With nobody out in the tenth inning, Luke Nussman (Shenandoah) singled to left. Kyle Johnson (Rider) advanced Nussman to second on a sacrifice bunt, which brought Embler to the plate. Embler got in a hole with two strikes before drilling a fastball up the middle to score Nussman from second, resulting in a 2-1 victory by the Turks.

“It feels good,” says Embler. “I’m glad that we got the win.”

The Turks came close to scoring in the ninth when Paul Castillo (E. Florida St.) ripped a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Little (Wingate). Chase Best pitched the ninth and tenth innings for the Lumberjacks while Josh Karklin (Wingate) pitched the ninth and tenth innings for the Turks. “We had a runner on second in the ninth. We didn’t score, but Josh was doing an excellent job, so I knew he was going to hold them to one run. When he was pitching like that, I knew we could get a run across at some point,” says Embler.

Karklin got the win for the Turks, but was preceded by pitchers Jake Brace (Georgia Tech) and Kevin Mintz (UNC Wilmington). Brace started the game and allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. He had one error and struck out five. Mintz pitched the eighth and struck out two.

The Turks’ only run came in the first inning against starting Lumberjacks’ pitcher Mike Stout, who struck out five, walked two, and allowed only one hit in 4.1 innings pitched. Castillo walked, bringing up Little. A throwing error to first by third baseman JC Santos scored Castillo. The Lumberjacks tied the game in the third inning when Ryan Fitzgerald walked and scored on a double to right center by Eric Jones.

Kevin McAndrew kept the game close for the Lumberjacks, coming in to pitch for 3.2 innings in the fifth. He struck out six batters, walked one, and allowed only two hits.

The Turks are now 4-2 on the season and play their next game at New Market on Tuesday.