Extra Inning Heroics Power Turks Win
Harrisonburg takes Game 1 From Covington 11-7
Written By: Adam Cherry
It was a muggy, overcast day in Covington, Virginia as the Harrisonburg Turks were taking on the Covington Lumberjacks. The Turks are fresh off losing to Front Royal after going on a three game winning streak.
Manager Bob Wease decided to start Kevin Lewallyn (Duke) for the first game of the double header. The Lumberjacks manager decided to start funky, right-handed pitcher, Chris Walkerow.
The struggling Turks defense continued its season struggle as the first ball that was put in play was thrown away into the dugout. That defensive error scored after the runner was advanced to third and then brought home on a chopped ground ball hit to the Turks shortstop. After the first inning, the Turks were down 1-0.
A two out walk to Matt Fortin ended up hurting the Turks in the second inning. Fortin was able to be brought home from first on a two out triple by Mikael-Ali Mogues. After two innings the Turks were down 2-0.
Christopher Barr (Miami) and Thomas Smith (Georgia Tech) were able to get back-to-back singles with one out to start the Turks offensively. Eric Kalbfleisch (UNCG) walked to set up Brandon Gold (Georgia Tech) who hit a bases clearing double to put the Turks up 3-2.
Joey Roach (Georgia State) was able to reach first in the fourth inning on a lead off walk. Roach was bunted over into scoring position by Steven McLean (Baylor). Roach was brought home by a Thomas Spitz (Wingate) double down the third baseline to increase the Turks lead 4-2.
Lewallyn walked the first batter in the bottom of the fourth inning to start the Lumberjacks offense. Matt Fortin was able to reach first base on the Turks fourth error on the afternoon. With runners on first and second, Mikael-Ali Mogues ripped another hard line drive into left field scoring the runner from second. A bunt by Demetrius Moorer moved both Lumberjack runners to second and third. Cody Strong then hit a hard ground ball that found a hole through the infield scoring another to tie the game at 4.
Eric Kalbfleisch was able to put the Turks ahead by hitting a long fly ball that was able to clear the 365 sign in center field putting the Turks up one in the fifth inning. After the home run, the Lumberjacks brought in Joseph Schultheis for relieve.
The Lumberjacks started the bottom of the fifth inning by hitting back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Cody Strong then bunted both runners up on base, to put them in scoring position. Lewallyn was able to strike out the next Lumberjack batter before the Turks went to the bullpen and brought in Tanner Shelton (Georgia Tech). He was able to strike out Mogues to end the Lumberjack attack.
Thomas Spitz was able to rip a single back up the middle to start the Turks attack in the sixth inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch from Schultheis. After getting one out from the Turks, the Lumberjacks went back to their bullpen to bring in Cody Strayer. Spitz advanced to third on a wild pitch from Strayer setting up Thomas Smith sacrifice fly to right field. The Turks now led 6-4.
Demetrius Moorer was able to start the Lumberjacks in the bottom of the sixth inning with a base hit. Shelton was able to get the next to Lumberjack hitters to pop out before letting Moorer steal second. Grant McKown then lined a triple into the gap in right center field scoring Moorer from second. After a two out walk, the Turks went to the bullpen again to bring in Logan Onda (UTSA).
Onda walked the first batter he saw on four pitches loading the bases for Cody Strong. Strong then laced the 0-2 offering into right field scoring two more runs. After 6 innings, the Lumberjacks took the lead 7-6.
The Lumberjacks brought in their closer, Ryan Testani, to finish off the last inning. Eric Kalbfleisch was the first batter Testani faced. Kalbfleisch saw an elevated fastball and was able to crush it over the right field fence for his second home run of the game too tie the game 7-7.
Joseph Marco came in to relieve Testani in the eight inning.
Cris Perez was able to get a two out hit in the top of the ninth inning. Jace Whitley was put into the game to pinch run for Perez. Steven McLean then laced a line drive into right field scoring Whitley. McLean was on the run on the first pitch stealing second base. The Lumberjacks then threw the ball around letting McLean score. Thomas Spitz continued his hot hitting a roped a triple into the left center gap. Barr then brought Spitz home. Brandon Gold continued the barrage by roping another single scoring Barr. The Turks took a commanding lead going into the bottom of the ninth, 11-7.
The Lumberjacks tried to storm a comeback in the bottom half of the ninth inning. The Lumberjacks were able to score one run, but Longan Onda was able to shut them down. Onda pitched brilliantly out of the pen, compiling his second win of the season. Joseph Marco took the loss for the Lumberjacks. The Turks move to 8-6 on the season, while the Lumberjacks fall to 6-5.