Whelton Claims Second Turks POW Award for Week 6

The Turks struggled through another week as they lost all four games this week. The Turks are sitting at 14-19 and two and half games out of fourth place and a playoff spot in the south.

In a week that only saw four games there was limited action, however Brett Whelton impressed. Despite the team as a whole struggling batting .216 and only scoring nine runs, Whelton found his rhythm and was almost always doing something in his plate appearances.

Whelton had an impressive slash this week absolutely impressing every time he came up to the plate. On the week he went .500/.615/.600, going for 5 for 10 at the plate with two walks and three strikeouts. Whelton also drove in one run this week and had a run himself. In a week that saw only three extra base hits by the team, all of which being doubles, Whelton was able to knock one of those as well.

Coming up this week the Turks have three games at Veterans Memorial Park where they are 11-5. They host the New Market Rebels on Sunday, the Staunton Braves () on Tuesday and the Winchester Royals on Thursday. Harrisonburg this week hits the road only twice heading to first place Covington on Wednesday and second place Charlottesville to wrap up the week on Saturday.

Congratulations to Brett on earning his second Turks player of the week on the season and good luck on this upcoming week.

Turks Player of Week 4 – Zach Little on Fire

The Harrisonburg Turks wrapped up their fourth week of play with a big win versus the Charlottesville TomSox. The win was a solid end to a 2-4 week that saw a four-game losing streak and a lot of tough breaks not going the Turks way.

One of the big bright spots this week was Zach Little, an infielder from Wingate, who was absolutely on fire, and for that reason he is the player of the week for week four.

Little came in to the week with a mid 200 batting average really struggling to see the ball and make solid contact. However throughout this week he saw the ball extremely well and was hitting beach balls. 

On the week he was second on the team in batting average at .333, led the team in RBIs with five and had a hit in all but one game this week. Little’s bat was smoking hot all week long and found himself everywhere out in the field as well. He played a little in center and right field as well as third base.

Little was clutch throughout the week and made the plays that needed to be made. On the week he had two sacrifice-flys and one sacrifice hit, and to top it all of when he got on base he ran the bases well with three steals and he was never caught.

Honorable mention for this week was Kyle Arjona the right handed pitcher from the University of New Orleans. This is Arjona’s second honorable mention, this one coming on the heels of a week where he had one great start and a solid relief outing.



Arjona pitched 11.2 innings this week going 1-1, he had 17 strikeouts and only one walk. The only real blemish on his record this week was allowing the walk-off homerun against the Staunton Braves on June 29.

All in all the Turks struggled through the fourth but showed great flashes throughout and were able to finish the week strong. They now head in to a week that starts with a double header versus the Woodstock River Bandits at home.

The team looks to continue what they started against the TomSox in this coming week and month of July. This next month there are plenty of trips to northern ballparks as well as some southern foes. The Turks this next month only have eight home games, so come to Veterans Memorial Park to catch some great Valley League action before it is too late.

A big congratulations to Little for securing the week four player of the week nod and to Arjona for garnering another honorable mention.

Turks Player of Week 3 – Elian Merejo Shines Bright

In the third week of the season a lot of the Harrisonburg Turks’ bats came alive. From the likes of Zach Little inching his batting average to .311 and Kyle Johnson finding his swing. But none were as hot as catcher from Georgia State, Elian Merejo.

This last week Merejo showed just how important he is to this team’s lineup. He can catch a solid game behind the plate and also slot in at the designated hitter spot and produce some bit-time hits. He started his summer off here in Harrisonburg a little shaky, but once he got into a rhythm he has shown his true potential.

Merejo in the last seven days batted .429, drove in a whopping seven runs and had an on base percentage at .429. He’s seeing the ball well, he only struck out three times in his 21 at bats. Merejo almost always puts the ball in play and gives himself, and his teammates, the chance at moving on the base path.

Securing honorable mention for this week is right-handed pitcher from Virginia Tech, Luke Scherzer. In a week that saw some shaky pitching across the board, something very uncharacteristic of this Turks team, Scherzer started and pitched 5 innings not allowing a single earned run in a solid team win on June 18 at Staunton.

In the five innings Scherzer pitched he had a perfect 0 earned run average, allowed just three hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a single batter.

Overall this week the Turks went 3-2 with one rain out on. They had some great offensive showings, but some error filled defensive outings in their two losses. The Turks are currently sitting in third in the south division just one game back from first.

Congratulations to Merejo on the week three player of the week honors, and to Scherzer for securing the honorable mention.

Tonight the Turks open up week four with Strasburg at Veterans Memorial Park. They look to put together a solid week from offense to defense and continue to move up the south standings.

Turks Player of Week 2 – Emblers’ Hot Bat Earns Him Honors

In a week that featured some wild finishes, some extra innings and true resilience the one constant and calming bat that helped the Harrisonburg Turks secure a few key wins was Austin Embler (UNC-Greensboro, senior).

Embler just joined the team this week making his first start on June 11 vs. Covington at second base and has not relinquished that spot since. For good reason too, Embler is seeing the ball and coming up with clutch hit after clutch hit and is one of the few consistent bats in the lineup.

This week Embler recorded five RBIs, one of which being a walk-off RBI, He’s found the alley twice and recorded two triples, and one of those was in the bottom of the 11th on a must-win game. Altogether Embler was on base 50% of the time and recorded a stellar batting average at .478.

Another big performer this week that secured an honorable mention was RHP Kyle Arjona (University of New Orleans, senior). Arjona played in two games making one start and securing a win against the Waynesboro Generals on June 16.

Arjona was lights out from start to finish. He pitched eight innings and only allowed 1 earned run. In his start he struck out nine and didn’t walk a single batter he faced. On the week he struck out ten, pushing his season K/BB ratio to 16:1.

Overall the Turks finished this last week with a solid 4-2 record and travel to Charlottesville tonight at a shot at first in the south.

As an entire team the Turks lost their mojo halfway through the week but in two must-win games against Staunton and Waynesboro, Harrisonburg dug deep and was able to pull out big team wins.

Congratulations to Austin Embler for securing week two player of the week honors and to Arjona from bringing home the honorable mention.

The Turks look to start to be able to put things together in this third week of play and secure themselves among the top of the south division as well as the Valley Baseball League.

Turks Player of the Week 1 Whelton Opens Strong for Turks

In a week that began with a big hit to seal the Turks Opening Night win, Brett Whelton showed everyone his talent and potential.

Just 19 years old, (He’ll be 20 on Saturday) the rising Junior from McNeese State posted three multi-hit games, drove in five runs and played solidly behind the plate. Whelton hit .444 for the week and was on base 50% of the time.

Whelton wasn’t the only Turk off to a solid hitting start. Luke Nussman (Shenandoah), Zach Little (Wingate), Grant Van Scoy (Indiana), Kyle Johnson (Ryder) and Paul Castillo (Eastern Florida) all hit .300 or better in a 3-2 week for the team. The team batted .283 for the week averaging over 6 runs per game.

On the mound, the arm talent is evident as well. Kyle Arjona (New Orleans), Jake Brace and Joseph Mannelly (Georgia Tech) all pitched well in starting roles. The team ERA for the week was a tidy 3.21.

Returning Turks Cade Bullinger (Midland College) and Luke Scherzer (VA Tech) were joined by Rafe Schindler (New Orleans), Josh Karklin (Wingate), Daniel Brandon (Longwood), Kevin Mintz (UNC-Wilmington) with ept relief efforts.

Defensively the Turks opened with three errorless ballgames with a range of stellar plays from a variety of players.

Congratulations to Brett Whelton for winning Turks POTW for Week 1 and “At a Boy” to the others who had solid weeks as Turks!