Turks fall to Generals on the road after walk-off grand slam

June 6, 2022
Written by John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

Despite leading 9-5 in going into the bottom of the ninth, the Harrisonburg Turks lost 10-9 to the Waynesboro Generals Sunday night at Kate Collins Field. Waynesboro’s Garrett Bogart drove a grand slam to left field to win the game. 

“At the end of the day, baseball comes down to one pitch,” left fielder Jaylon Lee said.

Waynesboro’s Kasey Caras drove in the first run of the game on an RBI double. Turks pitcher John Bufford (Mercyhurst) walked the next two batters which forced a runner home and Caras scored on a passed ball, giving the Generals a 3-0 lead. Wayneboro’s Braden Luke hit an RBI flyout in the bottom of the second to put the Generals ahead 4-0. 

Second baseman Seaver King (Wingate) drove a double to center field in the top of the third. Next up was designated hitter Mitchell Farris (Wingate), who narrowly beat the throw to first base for a single. Lee slammed a three-run home run to left field to make the score 4-3. 

Lee said the pitcher was throwing off-speed pitches and that it was noticeable watching from the dugout.

“I knew once I went down with a strike … he was going to come back with that slider,” Lee said. “So I just stayed back and put my best swing into it.”

 

The Generals increased their lead in the bottom of the fifth after Luke hit a ground-rule double and later scored on an RBI double from Clarkson. The Turks continued to fight as Farris drove one to center field for a triple in the top of the seventh. First baseman Christian Ficca walked and later scored on an RBI single from third baseman Blake Butcher to make it 5-4.

The Turks kept the pressure on as shortstop Matthew Mamatas walked, leading the Generals to make a pitching change. Clarkson took the mound for Waynesboro and walked Casey Smith with the bases loaded, forcing the game-tying run. 

With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the eighth, the Turks took the lead after Lee walked and forced a run. Mamatas increased Harrisonburg’s lead with an RBI single to left field. Garrett Warden also hit an RBI single on a Generals fielding error. Right fielder Luca Wentzel scored Harrisonburg’s fourth run of the inning on an RBI single. 

“You love to see everybody get a part of the hit party,” Lee said.

It all fell apart for Harrisonburg in the bottom of the ninth. Waynesboro’s Jalen Vasquez advanced to second base on a fielding error. The Turks made another fielding error on the next at-bat allowing the Generals to score. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bogart hit the walk-off grand slam to win the game for the Generals 10-9.

The Turks return home Monday to host the Covington Lumberjacks at 7:30 p.m. They travel to Staunton Tuesday to face the Braves at 7:30 p.m. and return home Wednesday to host the Generals at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be really good to go back home [Monday],” Lee said. “We’re playing really strong right now, no matter if we’re away or not.”