Opening Night was Worth the Wait for Turks

Written by Kaelyn Spickler
Turks Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, VA – After a rain delay held the game off until 8:40 p.m., the Harrisonburg Turks were able to secure the Opening Night win against the Charlottesville Tom Sox. The 9-4 win can be credited to great hitting and solid pitching from the Turks. “It was a good game all around,” said coach Wease following the victory.

When asked if he felt the team was ready for the game tonight, Zach Budzik, a sophomore shortstop from UNC Greensboro, felt confident in the team. “I think we are ready. Everyone is coming off their school ball season, so we just needed a little tune-up before our season with the Turks,” Budzik said.

That “tune-up” proved to be all they needed as the Turks took the lead early in the second inning. With four hits, Jed Bryant (Wingate) and designated hitter, Aaron Levy (Ohio U.) crossed home plate to put the Turks on the scoreboard. Having the lead early in the game gives the team an advantage. “(Being on top early) is very important because it makes a statement and makes it easier to play with confidence,” Levy said.

The Tom Sox didn’t get on the scoreboard until the top of the fifth inning. A sacrifice fly to center field and a wild pitch each allowed a runner to score. The Turks battled defensively to keep the Sox at bay, and the team didn’t score again until their final two runs in the seventh inning. A key asset to the Turks defense was the pitching from Austin Koehn (UNC Greensboro). Koehn pitched six innings and only allowed three hits and two runs for the Tom Sox. “I liked everything about it. He was throwing strikes. He had a nice curveball. He did a great job,” Wease said. “He set the tone for the game. The guys wanted to play harder.”

Meanwhile, the Turks were on fire at the plate with a balanced effort from the entire starting lineup. First baseman Josh Madole, a junior from UNC Greensboro, led the team in RBIs accumulating three to start off the season. Budzik and Levy led the team in runs, each with two. Overall, the Turks tallied 12 hits, and each player on the starting lineup made it to first base at least once.

“It was a game of really good hitting on our part,” said Levy. “We did our job at the plate and executed well.” This is something coach Wease and the rest of the team hopes to keep up for the remaining 41 regular season games. “Winning Opening Night gives you the confidence to go out and win the second game,” said Wease.

Opening Night proved to be a success for the team, and the Turks would like to thank Strategic Financial Group for sponsoring the game and helping to make it the success it was.

Tonight, the Turks have the chance to go 2-0 as they face the Waynesboro Generals here at Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30 p.m. The forecast is calling for a nice evening for baseball, so if you didn’t want to bear the rain last night, come out tonight and support the Harrisonburg Turks.

Fans we have a real treat for you. We definitely want you to be in the stadium to see our next game but if you can’t make a game please know you can see every game, every night on the Harrisonburg Turks Facebook page or the Valley League Facebook page.

These live streams are made possible in part by a sponsored from Sheetz – With nearly 600 stores in six states, there’s always a Sheetz near you!….Sheetz Run and Done! 

These Live Streams are also sponsored by Subway – Subway, Check out Subway’s delicious new Club Collection – the New Steak Club, New Southwest Chicken Club and the American Club!   Subway, Make it what you want