Bissell, Turks Win Twelve-Inning Thriller

WP: Wiseman- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

LP: Kelly- 2+ IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

HARRISONBURG, Va., June 19, 2015 – The Turks battled hard for 12 innings to come back from behind three times in a walk-off, 8-7 victory over the New Market Rebels on Friday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

2015 J.J. Bissell - Oklahoma CityJ.J. Bissell crushed the first-pitch offering from Ryan Kelly over the right field fence in the bottom of the 12th to end the game in style, his second home run in as many nights. The victory was the Turks’ first extra innings game and walk-off win of the season.

With the win, the Turks improve to 7-5 on the season and successfully hold on to second place in the Valley Baseball League South division over the New Market Rebels who fall to 6-7.

With two in scoring position and one out, Conner Gunn was called upon to pinch hit in the top of the 11th. He would reward his coach for the decision, roping a two-RBI double to left field to give the Rebels a 7-5 lead that seemed to seal the win at the time.

Jesse Baker had other plans however. The University of Texas: San Antonio star would line a single up the middle to score Billings and Shelton, tying the game at 7 and forcing another frame to be played.

Rebels starting pitcher Alex Britt was impressive in his last start against the Turks (7 IP, 0 R) and followed it up with another seven innings in tonight’s contest. Powles, Robarge and Kelly would round out the rest of New Market’s pitchers that appeared in the game, allowing four runs and giving up two late leads as a unit.

Before their comeback in the 11th, the Turks came back to tie things in the bottom of the 9th.

With one out and Roberto Rivera on first base, Tucker McCoy threw over to first to catch Rivera in a pickle. J.J. Bissell charged towards the runner before attempting a throw to second base that sailed high, allowing Rivera to reach safely. The Rebels’ next batter, Nate Blanchard, would make the Turks pay when he smacked an RBI-double to right-center that scored Rivera to give the Rebels a 5-4 lead.

The Turks would strike back in the bottom half of the frame however. With two runners in scoring position, Tripp Shelton hit a sacrifice fly to center to score pinch runner Kameron Esthay, tying the game at 5 apiece. With Shane Billings on third and a chance to win the game, Joe Lytle put a charge into one but a diving catch by Lorenzo Wright in center ended the inning.

Matt Young had his toughest start of the season, giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings but he did everything he could to keep the Turks in the game. McCoy, Herbelin and Wiseman played vital roles in the win in relief, limiting the Rebels to three runs over six innings out of the bullpen.

In a game with 15 combined runs and 27 combined hits, several hitters made an impact on tonight’s contest. Five different hitters for the Rebels had two hits and five also had at least one run batted in. Similarly for the Turks, eight different hitters had at least one hit, led by Shane Billings’ four hits. Five different Turks also had at least one run batted in with Jesse Baker, Jared Baker and Tripp Shelton each getting two.

The game was the definition of back and forth and truly had the packed stadium on the edge of their seats until the final pitch of the ballgame.

The Turks will look to ride the momentum from tonight into tomorrow’s matchup with the Charlottesville Tom Sox at Veterans Memorial Park. First pitch is scheduled once again for 7:30 p.m.