Written by Brian Krug
Turks Staff Writer
June 25, 2021
The Turks were riding high entering their matchup with South division foe, the Staunton Braves. Harrisonburg came into the match on a 3 game win streak including one against these Staunton Braves on Wednesday.
Andres Rodriguez got the call from Turks skipper Bob Wease to make his 2nd start of the season. Rodriguez, who has been great all year sporting a 1-1 record with a 0.00 ERA, got into some trouble in the first. The Braves would put together two straight hits to start the inning putting runners at the corners with none down for Staunton shortstop Ryan McCarty. McCarty would hit a sac fly to put the Braves on the board. Staunton wasn’t done quite yet, getting back-to-back singles again before a fielder’s choice ground ball would score the 2nd run of the inning. Before Rodriguez could get the strikeout to end the 1st an error from the Turks would score another run for Staunton giving them the 3-0 lead.
The Turks would respond in the 2nd. Back-to-back singles from Jordan Sweeney and Peyton Crispin had the Turks cooking with only one down in the inning. Frederic Walter, the surging Frenchman who was hitting .363 over his last 3 games, would loop a single into right, scoring Sweeney and moving Crispin to 3rd. After an Austin Mueller strikeout, the Turks would manufacture a run. An error from the catcher, who was attempting to catch Walter stealing 2nd, would allow Crispin to scamper home and all of a sudden it was a 3-2 game.
After two flyouts to start the inning, Turks DH Michael Rosario would get a two-out rally started with a triple out to dead center. The Braves would then decide to intentionally walk Connor Hartigan, putting runners at the corners. After the 2nd pitch to Jordan Sweeney, Hartigan would attempt to steal 2nd and escape a rundown long enough to allow Rosario to scramble home for the tying run. Sweeney would then hit his 2-1 pitch for a single allowing Hartigan to score and the Turks had the 4-3 lead.
After a rocky first inning, Rodriguez would settle down pitching 3 straight shutout innings before the 5th. With one out in the 5th Braves Ryan McCarty would line a ball into the left-center gap for a triple before Luke Trainer would ground a ball to 2nd scoring McCarty tying the game back up at 4.
After 2 silent innings, Harrisonburg would break the game open in the 7th. Back to back infield singles had the Turks in business with runners at the corner. Clay Lockett would then step up and knock a single up the middle for his 5th RBI in his last 6 games. Then the DII NCAA Champion, Logan McNeely, who was making his Turks debut in a pinch-hitting duty, would hit a double just inside third base scoring the runner from 3rd and setting the Turks up with runners at 2nd and 3rd. On the next pitch, Hartigan would hit a fly ball out to right for a sac fly. The red-hot Peyton Crispin would then break the game open for the Turks, hitting an RBI single, his 5th RBI in his last 4 games, giving the Turks the 8-4 lead in the 7th.
Ben Sieracki, who relieved Andres Rodriguez in the 6th, would pitch a shutout 8th inning followed up by another shutout inning by Jake Blair to close the game. The Turks (8-6) go on to win 8-4 for 4th straight and 7th of last 8 following the 5 game losing streak. Harrisonburg has the day off tomorrow before traveling down to Covington to play the Covington Lumberjacks (4-11) with the first pitch at 7:00 PM.