Turks Squeak by Braves in 4-3 Win

Thursday, June 16, 2022
John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

Things got hairy in the bottom of the ninth, but the Harrisonburg Turks managed to pull off the
4-3 win over the Staunton Braves in their second straight matchup Wednesday night at Eagle
Field. The win moves them to 6-4 this season and 3-3 at home.

“We seem to have a little too much love for the little theatrics in the end and making the game exciting,” first baseman Christian Ficca said. “[It’s a] big testament to how good our pitching is.”

The Turks couldn’t rack up runs in the bottom of the first but shortstop Seaver King (Wingate)
notched a triple in the inning. With two outs in the bottom of the third, third baseman Matt Kemp (UNC Greensboro) and King both hit singles. They were followed by Ficca (Georgetown U) who ripped a three-run home run to right field — his second home run of the year. Ficca said he feels he’s gotten into a groove at the plate recently.

“When I got here I felt like I was lagging a little bit,” Ficca said. “I’m 100% starting to feel more
comfortable, a lot of the credit’s to the guys on the team.”

Will Carter (Mars Hill) took over on the mound for Harrisonburg in the top of the fifth after John Bufford (Mercy Hurst U) threw three strikeouts and only allowed one hit in four innings pitched. Carter pitched 1.2 innings and was replaced by Sean Culkin (James Madison) in the top of the sixth. Culkin said his main goal on the mound was to keep batters off-balanced by not throwing back-to-back pitches.

The Braves got on the board in the top of the eighth as left fielder Bryant Goolsby (Trevecca
Nazarene U) scored on an RBI single from designated hitter Jackson Price (USC Sumter). The
inning continued as the Turks made a fielding error with two outs — but Culkin struck out Logan West (Trevecca Nazarene U) to end the inning.

The Turks looked to extend their lead in the bottom of the eighth with a single from King and a walk from Ficca. Blake Butcher (San Diego State) came in to pinch hit and got runners to
second and third on a sacrifice bunt. King scored on a passed ball to give Harrisonburg a
three-run lead.

In the top of the ninth, Nicolas Rodriguez hit a one-out ground rule double and later scored on
an RBI single to make it a two-run game. Joe Delossantos (William & Mary) made it a one-run
game, scoring on a Turks fielding error. But the Turks got one final groundout to win the game

“It’s easy to just fall apart and just want to be over with it but I really just asked myself ‘how bad
do you want it?’” Culkin said.

The Turks travel to Charlottesville to face the Tom Sox Friday at 7 p.m. and travel to Covington
on Saturday to face the Lumberjacks at 7 p.m.