Turks defeat Braves in extra innings

June 8, 2022
Written by John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

The Harrisonburg Turks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Staunton Braves after ten innings Tuesday night at Ted Bosiack Field. The win moves them to 2-2 this season.

“We’ve had trouble finishing games,” shortstop Seaver King (Wingate) said. “It was good to get off the hump … hopefully, we can get a winning streak going.”

Every Turks game this season has been decided by one run. The Turks led by three going into the bottom of the ninth but weren’t able to get the win. Seaver said it’s little mistakes like communicating on fly balls and fielding ground balls that kept them from closing it out.

Center fielder Sam Schner (Florida Tech) walked to start the game and after him was King who singled for the first hit of the game. Schner scored on a double steal for the first run of the game. Left fielder Jaylon Lee (JMU) hit an RBI single to put the Turks up 2-0. 

With two outs in the bottom of the first, Staunton’s Joe Delossantos (William & Mary) slammed a solo home run to left field to give the Braves their first run of the game. King scored in the top of the third off an RBI single from Lee to increase Harrisonburg’s lead to 3-1. 

King found success at the plate again in the top of the fifth with a double. First baseman Mitch Farris drove in a run on a single and King scored off a sacrifice fly out from right fielder Christian Ficca to make it a 5-1 Turks lead.

“My approach is … [hit] fastballs early,” King said. “It’s nothing big, just breaking out of the shell [and] continue what I’ve been doing all year.”

Staunton’s Garrett Staton (Samford U) dug into the Turks’ lead in the bottom of the fifth after singling and later scoring on a sacrifice fly out. The Turks loaded the bases in the top of the seventh. Designated hitter Casey Smith (James Madison) walked, Schner bunted a single and Farris walked — but Ficca and Lee struck out for the last two outs to end the inning, keeping the score at 5-2.

Harrisonburg loaded the bases again in the top of the eighth. Second baseman Matthew Mamathas (GA Southwestern St) walked and both catcher Jake Stadler (Purdue U) and Smith were hit by pitches. This time, Mamathas was out at home on a groundout and King hit a flyout to right field. The score remained 5-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Staunton’s Logan West (Trevecca Nazarene U) scored on an error — cutting the lead to two. Staton scored off an RBI single and Delossantos drove in the game-tying run.

In the top of the tenth, third baseman Blake Butcher (San Diego State U) scored off a double from Mamathas giving the Turks a 6-5 edge. Smith came in to pitch in the bottom of the tenth. The Braves had a runner at third with two outs but Smith threw the final strikeout for the win.

“It was an odd position to be in because we had the lead the whole game,” Smith said. “[A] few things went wrong and … I was just there to throw strikes and get an out and fortunately that’s what happened.”


Smith hit the walk-off RBI on opening night in Harrisonburg’s 4-3 win over the Charlottesville Tom Sox. He’s closed out games at the plate and on the mound. He said he loves being able to play at both ends and he wants to do both as long as he can. 

The Turks return home Wednesday to host the Generals at 7:30 p.m. They travel to Covington Friday to face the Lumberjacks at 7:00 p.m. With the losing skid over, Smith said the team is trying to get into a groove and the key to closing out games is staying focused until the end of the game. 

“I think it was a long college season for all of us,” Smith said. “I think that’s the biggest decider, just staying locked in until the very last out.”