Turks Staff Writer
Harrisonburg, VA- For the first time this season, the Turks (10-8) were victorious against the Staunton Braves (11-8). With five big hits in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings for the Turks, and the Braves unable to answer, the Turks pulled off a 8-6 comeback.
Alex Rodriguez of Wingate starts on the mound for the Turks. In his five innings pitched, Rodriguez gives up eight hits and strikes out four batters.
The Turks take the lead first in the bottom of the first inning when third baseman Zack Budzik walks and is brought in by left fielder Jed Bryant’s double. The Braves, however, come out in the top of the second ready to fight back with three hits and four runs putting them in the lead. Shortly after, in the top of the third, the Braves score another run off their two hits.
The fifth inning sees action for both teams. In the top of the fifth, the Braves score another run off three hits. In the bottom of the fifth, the bases are loaded for the Turks with only one out down. Bryant gets on base from fielder’s choice, and second baseman McCann Mellett is brought in. The Turks trail 6-2 going into the sixth inning, but their momentum is picking up.
The top of the sixth sees no action from the Braves thanks to solid pitching from Jacob Edwards, of UNC Ashville. Though not new to the roster, this was Edwards first game on the mound for the Turks. In his one inning pitched, Edwards struck out one batter.
In the bottom of the sixth, new players, RJ Schreck the right fielder, and Immanuel Wilder the center fielder, are put on base from a walk and a hit by pitch. Catcher Harry Brown gets a base hit to bring in Schreck, and Mellett hits a sacrifice fly to bring in Wilder. The Turks decrease their deficit to 6-4 going into the seventh inning.
With Liam McDonell on the mound for the Turks, the Braves are unable to score in the top of the seventh, which leaves a great opportunity for the Turks to tie up the game. The Turks come ready to battle, and the bases are loaded again with first baseman Josh Madole on third from his single, designated hitter Aaron Levy on second due to a Braves error, and Wilder on first from his free pass. Brown delivers with a double to bring in Madole and Levy which ties up the game 6-6.
The top of the eighth provides no runs or hits for the Braves with McDonnell still on the mound for the Turks. In the bottom of the eighth, Mellett knocks out a double to left field, and Budzik follows with a line drive getting him to first. Bryant is intentionally walked, which is something the Braves will pay for as Levy comes up next with a ground-rule double to bring in Mellett and Budzik. The Turks take the lead 8-6, and McDonell is the winning pitcher.
Alex Hoppe finishes off the game for the Turks with one strikeout, and the Turks defense takes care of the other two Braves’ batters making it a quick ending to the two hour and 53 minute game.
“This team does not quit. They keep coming at’cha, coming at’cha, and coming at’cha, and that’s a good thing. It’s a quality of a great baseball team. They know we’ll play nine innings, and they’ll come out and give it everything they got,” Coach Bob Wease said following the win.
The Turks are on fire as they continue climbing up the Valley Baseball League standings. Currently, the Turks are 0.5 game away from securing the number one spot. With a night off tonight, and a week packed with four away games, the Turks are looking to take the lead in the division.
Last night’s game could not have been as successful without our sponsor- AM VETS. The AM VETS is a veteran’s service organization that works to improve the quality of life for the veterans and their families. The Turks want to thank all of our veterans for their service and sacrifice.