Zach Little Runs His Way to Week 8 Turks Player of the Week

The Harrisonburg Turks willed their way into the playoffs this past week going 2-1 in their last three. The Turks started the week with two consecutive rainouts, including the first rainout of the season at Veterans Memorial Park, which pushed everything back a few days. The Turks concluded the weeks with a 12-3 thumping of the 1 seed in the south, the Covington Lumberjacks, a tough 12-2 loss to Staunton but in a must win against the TomSox from Charlottesville they came away with the 2-1 win and a playoff berth.

A lot of players stepped up this week and had great outings to help the team get to the next step, but none had a better all around week than Zach Little from Wingate. Little hit the ball well, ran the bases at an elite level, and made no errors in the field, wherever he found himself.

On the week Little batted .444 with a .444 OBP and Little was seeing the ball very well as he only struck out once in 18 at bats. When Little got on the base path he created havoc. He had five stolen bases and was never caught and he came around to score five runs on the week as well. Little also batted in an additional two runs.

Little was an offensive force when the Turks needed him to be at his best. He wasn’t the only Turk that had a great week, Brycen Braswell (UNC-Wilmington) and Austin Embler (UNC-Greensboro) also had big time weeks.

Braswell this season has been an eraser in center field getting anything that comes near him, but his struggles in the batters box has kept him out of the lineup at times, but this past week he was very well-rounded. He batted .500 in his 10 plate appearances he also batted in two runs and tallied one stolen base on the week. Braswell is finding his swing at the perfect time as Harrisonburg gets prepared for a playoff run.

Embler, a name that comes up almost every week, had another great one. He batted .400 with three RBIs and a big time homerun at Veterans Memorial Park in the Covington win. Embler also continued to see the ball at an elite level as he led the team in walks with six.

Pitching wise Luke Scherzer (Virginia Tech) had his best outing of the season last night versus the TomSox. He fanned eight batters in his six innings pitched and he only walked one batter. On the night he only allowed three hits and one run. In a game where the Turks needed an absolute shutdown pitching start the Turks got just that from the Hokie.

 

Austin Embler earns Week 7 Turks POTW

The Harrisonburg Turks came into the week with their backs against the wall and had to fight for their playoff lives. The Turks started the week on a four game winning streak storming back into the playoff picture and then dropped their last two of the week against Charlottesville and Strasburg. Now heading into their last three games they are a game and a half behind the Staunton Braves for fourth and the last playoff spot in the south division.

A huge spark plug this week was Austin Embler, a senior from UNC-Greensboro. Embler has had a season to remember this summer, yet this is his first player of the week honor. Coming into this week Embler was on a slight slump having his batting average dip below .300 for the first time on the season, however this week he came roaring back.

Embler batted .538 on the week and had a on base percentage just under .600, it was .588. In his 13 at bats he struck out only twice and was walked three times. On the week he had one double and a solo shot home run at Charlottesville putting his season total at three. Embler finished the week with two RBIs and three runs. Embler this week was almost a guarantee to get on base and time and time again came up when the team needed it providing a big time spark to start a rally.

The Turks as a team though had a great week on the offensive side. In their six games where they went 4-2, they scored a total of 44 runs, due in large part to a 18 spot they hung up on the Covington Lumberjacks.

Honorable mentions this week go to Paul Castillo, Zach Little and Elian Merejo. Castillo had a huge came at Covington where he had a two home run game and batted six runs in. On the week he had seven RBIs and four walks. Little’s bat came alive this week after a slight slump. Little batted .438 with five RBIs, three stolen bases and one triple. Merejo was a consistent bat in the lineup this week he also had a great batting average at .350 he also had six runs one double and a homerun.

This past week the Turks offense came alive and showed signs of their early season success. They had big time wins over Covington and Winchester that have kept them alive in the playoff push.

The Turks finish their season with one away game and two more home games. The Turks really put their season on the line on Tuesday when they travel to Staunton and take on the Braves who are currently have a game and a half on Harrisonburg. The Braves are in action tonight against the Covington Lumberjacks and if the Braves lose that game, the matchup on Tuesday would be for the four seed and a playoff spot.

The Turks wrap up the season with two home games on Wednesday and Thursday, the 25 and 26 of July, versus the TomSox and Lumberjacks. At this point in the season every game is as important as the last and the team has to win out to have a chance.

A big congratulations to Embler on being named player of the week and being the go-to bat in the is Turks lineup and providing a much needed spark.

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.