Turks Defeat Covington 10-7 in 5 innings

WP: Wiseman (2-0)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

LP: Stokes (2-2)- 2.2 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks

HARRISONBURG, Va., June 30, 2015 – In a game featuring a combined 17 runs on 16 hits in only 4.5 innings, the Harrisonburg Turks out-slugged the Covington Lumberjacks 10-7 on Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

With the victory in yet another rain-shortened game the Turks have won seven of their last eight games to move to 14-6 on the season while the Lumberjacks fall to 9-11.

The Lumberjacks first three batters reached base in the first inning off of Turks starter Kale Morton. A throwing error cleared the bases to give Covington an early 3-0 lead, which would start the night’s scoring barrage.

Morton (1-1) was roughed up for seven runs (five earned) on seven hits over 3 innings. A call to the bullpen brought in Georgia Tech righty Patrick Wiseman (2-0) who earned the victory with 2 scoreless innings.

Covington starter Philip Stokes (2-2) didn’t fare any better. The RHP from Lackawanna College gave up eight runs (all earned) in only 2.2 innings on the mound. Dan McBryan allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning in relief. His successor Justin Thigpen threw 2/3 of an inning scoreless before being struck by a liner up the middle and leaving the game.

Shane Billings was the primary standout on the night thanks to a 4-for-4 performance that included two runs scored, two stolen bases and three runs batted in. Steve McLean also filled the stat sheet with a run scored and two RBI on 2-for-3 hitting.

Billings lead off the bottom of the 1st with an infield single, moved to second on a grounder and stole third to get into scoring position. Tyler Straub singled up the middle two batters later to bring the Turks within two. Then in the very next inning, Billings gave the Turks their first lead of the night with a 3-run inside the park home run. He also had an inside the park homer on Sunday night against Charles Town.

The Lumberjacks struck right back in the top of the 3rd with three runs of their own. Peter Crocitto singled home Mike Gigliotti and Demetrius Moorer to regain the lead. An RBI double by Blake Sides extended Covington’s lead to 6-4 before the inning ended.

Once again, the lead didn’t last long thanks to a four-run inning in the bottom half of the frame. The 8-6 lead proved to be too much for the Lumberjacks to surmount in a rain-shortened game.

One run for Covington and two runs for Harrisonburg in the 4th brought the game to its final score of 10-7. The Lumberjacks completed the top of the 5th just before the rains came and lightning in the area caused a 30-minute delay. Heavy storms moved into the area and forced the umpires to ultimately call the game.

Hopefully the weather stays nice tomorrow night when the New Market Rebels come to town for a 7:30 matchup at Veterans Memorial Park.