Turks Record Third Shutout in 4-0 Victory

Written by Daniel Ware
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG, Va.—Shutdown pitching silenced the Front Royal Cardinals in a 4-0 Turks victory at Veterans Memorial Park on Wednesday night.

John McCarren (Wake Forest) improved to 4-1 on the season with his performance tonight. The right-hander tossed five shutout innings and allowed just two hits with one walk and four strikeouts. With five scoreless innings, he also lowered is ERA from 4.34 to 3.71.

The Turks offense gave McCarren all the run support he needed in the bottom of the first. Following a leadoff single by Tripp Shelton(UNCG)—his 43rd hit of the season—Ryne Sigmon (UNCG) doubled to left center to give the Turks a 1-0 lead.

It was Sigmon’s third double of the season and it gave him his tenth RBI.

Front Royal starter Andrew Honiotes (Miami) got the loss, but was effective. After allowing one run in the first, the right-hander threw four-straight scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the sixth.

The Turks offense broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth, starting with Ty Comer’s (Ferrum) leadoff single. In the ensuing at-bat, Tripp Shelton drew a walk and reached base for the second time in the game.

After Jonathan Pryor (Wake Forest) reached on a fielder’s choice that advanced Comer to third base, Trevor Craport (Georgia Tech) cleared the bases with a triple to the wall in right center, giving the Turks a 3-0 lead.

Craport did it all tonight. He had the clutch hit that gave the Turks some breathing room in the sixth, and also pitched the bottom of the ninth—allowing no hits, walks or runs—in his first pitching appearance of the season.

Tonight was the Turks’ third shutout of the season, which is tied for the most in the league with Waynesboro and Front Royal.

To go along with a position player pitching the ninth, another odd thing about tonight’s game was Jason Serchay (UTSA) getting robbed of a single after being thrown out at first from right field.

In the sixth, Devan Harriman (Pensacola St.) made his second appearance of the season for the Turks. The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with two walks and a strikeout before being replaced by Luke Dykes (Pensacola St.) to start the eighth.

Greg Popatak (Georgia Mason) crushed a solo home run off of reliever J.T. Root (ASA College) to extend the Turks’ lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh.

It was his ninth home run of the season, and his third in the month of July. Coming into tonight, Popatak, 1-for-4, was batting just .136 in July after hitting .351 in the month of June with six home runs and 16 RBIs.

The Turks (24-13) are back in action Thursday night, July 21, against south division leaders Waynesboro (25-10) at Veterans Memorial Park in the Turks’ final home game of the regular season.