By Dave Norman
Turks Web Announcer
COVINGTON–The Turks offense struggled all day in Covington, managing just 7 hits total, dropping a critical doubleheader to the Lumberjacks.
Luke Scherzer (Virginia Tech) started Game 1 for the Turks allowing 5 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings.
Chase Best (5-2) threw a complete-game, 7-inning shutout for the ‘Jacks allowing just 3 singles, striking out 9 with no walks. JD Mundy and Max Law paced the Covington offense with a double triple and homerun.
In game 2, the Jacks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd as two outfield errors allowed the runs to score.
Harrisonburg scored once in the third and the game settled down at 3-1 Covington until the top of the 7th.
In the 7th, two walks and a sacrifice set the Turks up for a rally. Elian Merjo (Eastern Florida) grounded out to shortstop scoring Luke Nussman (Shenandoah) to cut the lead to 3-2. Brett Whelton (McNeese State) immediately doubled to left to score Grant Van Scoy (Illinois) and tie the game,
Josh Karklin (Wingate) set the ‘Jacks down in order in the bottom of the 7th to send the game to extra innings. In the 8th, the Turks threatened briefly before being retired.
Karklin continued on in the 8th. Connor Hood doubled to centerfield with one out and advanced to 3rd on a groundout. With Bennett Hostetler at the plate and a 2-2 count, Karlins next pitch eluded Turks Catcher David Craan for a passed ball and Hood streaked home to seal the 4-3 win and sweep of the doubleheader.
The ‘Jacks have now won 5 in a row, improve to 21-11 and have opened a 3 game lead in the Valley League Southern Division. The Turks fall to 14-19 and are home today against the New Market Rebels. Game time is 7:30.