Turks End on a Win

Kaelyn Spickler
Turks Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, VA- The Harrisonburg Turks started off their season with a win and came out ready to end on a win. After losing their spot in the playoffs the night before, the Harrisonburg Turks left it all on Eagle Field last night, knowing it was their last game. The Tom Sox tied it up in the ninth inning, but the Turks battled, and thanks to a single by first baseman Aaron Levy, left fielder Jed Bryant was brought in to win the game 3-2.

Eli Ellington, of Gulf Coast CC started on the mound for the Turks and went on to pitch six innings and collected five strikeouts. Branden Kunz, of Pitt CC, took Ellington’s place for the remainder of the game and is credited with the win. Kunz struck out three batters- two of which were crucial strikeouts in the top of the ninth.

Overall, the game was slow offensively with multiple three up, three down scenarios for both teams. The Turks came out ready to get on the scoreboard, though, in the bottom of the third inning. Catcher Matthew Larson hit a single to start off the inning, and shortstop Nick Zona followed suit. Mellett hit a sac-fly to bring in both Larson and Zona. Designated hitter Josh Madole will go on to walk but is left stranded.

In the next five innings, the Turks pick up two walks and two more hits- a single from Bryant and Levy in the bottom of the sixth, but the baserunners are left stranded. Meanwhile, the Tom Sox have yet to get on the scoreboard.

The score remained 2-0 until the top of the ninth. The Tom Sox got on base and scored one run, but still had runners on and outs to spare. With two outs left the Tom Sox scored off a wild pitch, but Kunz shut out the two last batters, putting the game in extra innings.

The Turks got on base in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t capitalize on the base runners. Larson hit a single to center-field and advanced to second when Zona followed with a free pass. At the end of nine innings, the score was 2-2, and both teams weren’t ready to give up.

The top of the 10th was a quick three up, three down scenario for the Tom Sox giving the Turks an opportunity to take the win in the bottom frame. Madole knocked out a single, his 50th hit this season, and Bryant followed with a single. Levy joins them and hit a single, which is all that was needed to bring in Bryant and put the Turks ahead 3-2 to end the game.

After the game, the guys were out laughing and having fun with Coach Bob Wease. “I’m proud of these guys. They battled all the way,” Coach Wease said. Despite not making it to the playoffs, Coach Wease looks back on the brotherhood that was formed this summer. “We have a very well-knit, close team this year,” Coach Wease said, shortly after having the water bucket poured on him.

It’s the memories like pitcher Liam McDonnell and catcher Harry Brown competing in the Build-A-Burrito competition in between innings and outfielder Immanuel Wilder and shortstop Nick Zona chest bumping in the background of the post-game interview that showcase the brotherhood. These memories are what will be remembered of the 2019 Turks’ season, and we couldn’t have asked for a better team or better fans to help make it happen.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to being back in action next year