Turks Players Selected for VBL All-Star Team

Kaelyn Spickler
Turks Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, Va.- The VBL All-Star game is only a few days away, and five Turks players have been given the honor to represent the Turks. The game is scheduled for Sunday, July 7 at Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30 p.m. Second baseman McCann Mellett and outfielder Jed Bryant both of Wingate, first baseman Josh Madole and pitcher Alex Hoppe both of UNC Greensboro, and pitcher Jacob Ferris of Eastern Kentucky University were among the 50 VBL players selected to play on Sunday. Bryant will also be participating in the Home Run Derby.

#9 Mellett has provided consistency for the Turks with a batting average of .325, 80 at-bats, 17 runs, 26 hits, one homerun, and 15 RBIs. Defensively, Mellett has proven to be a threat. For Mellett (and Bryant), coming in from a Division Two school, this is a big opportunity to compete with Division One athletes, and prove that he can keep up. “I’m hoping that the guys and I can go out and show our talents, especially for Jed and me since we are from a Division Two school. We want to show the Division One guys what we can do,” Mellett said.

#5 Bryant has pulled through for the Turks in crucial moments, both offensively and defensively. Bryant maintains a batting average of .305 with 82 at-bats, eight runs, 25 hits, two homeruns, and 19 RBIs (a sixth-place tie in the VBL for RBI). “Being selected on the team means a lot because you don’t come into the season expecting to be on it,” Bryant said of the honor.

#27 Madole ranks seventh place in the VBL, and first for the Turks in batting average coming in at .360 with 86 at-bats, 15 runs, 31 hits, and 14 RBIs. Madole has been one of our most reliable batters to get on base. Going into his senior year, Madole has put in years of hard work, and now it is paying off. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the League as someone who stands out, and hopefully there will be a lot of eyes there from the next level,” Madole said.

#18 Hoppe has provided strength for the Turks on the mound with only one win away from leading the VBL in wins. Hoppe has played in seven games, tallying 15.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 19 batters and holds an ERA of 2.30. He is also credited with a save for the Turks. When asked what his reaction was to being on the team, Hoppe thinks back to earlier this week. “I was excited for myself, but also for these guys too,” Hoppe said.

#16 Ferris, who unfortunately has reached his pitching limit and will not be able to participate, ranks highly in all aspects of pitching. Ferris earned three wins, tying with Hoppe for second place in the VBL. He started all five of his games played and pitched 31.2 innings. Ferris ranks fourth in strikeouts with 32 and obtained an ERA of 1.99, which also puts him at fourth place.

The events on Sunday will begin at 4:50 p.m. starting with the 60 Yard Dash followed by the Home Run Derby at 5:20 p.m. VBL Hall of Fame introductions will start at 7:10 p.m., and the All-Star introductions will be at 7:15 p.m. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

In the meantime, come out and support the Turks tomorrow night at Veterans Memorial Park as they take on the Covington Lumberjacks at 7:30 p.m. We hope you Turks fans have a safe and happy Fourth of July!