Turks Fall in the 9th to the Express

Written By Nathan Rishell
Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, VA – 

“It begins tonight.”

When I asked Head Coach Bob Wease Thursday morning about his thoughts going into the evening’s game against the Strasburg Express, he expressed confidence that his team would begin the season’s turn around with a stronger showing than what the Turks have produced in the last few outings, a tough stretch in which Harrisonburg has gone 0-3.

Thursday evening, the Harrisonburg Turks waited patiently as storm clouds brewed over Veteran’s Memorial Park. Given the venue’s name, it was fitting that, after the rain delay pushed the start time back an hour, Harrisonburg Police Department’s Color Guard displayed the nation’s colors during a live performance of the National Anthem in a tribute to fallen heroes, as both teams saluted the flag in unison.

As part of Wease’s strategy to invigorate the season hopes of the Turks, Jarred Taylor saw his first start at the mound, pitching against an Express team that bested the Turks 7-3 in their last encounter. Although the Turks still struggled defensively, their offense showed signs of hope under a grey sky replete with a magnificent rainbow, scoring 10 runs—a drastic improvement from the last two games that ended in shutouts.

The Turks got on the board early, as a centerfielder Ty Andrus, barely recognizable without his signature handlebar mustache, scored Harrisonburg’s first run in 20 innings after his stunning triple moments earlier.

Strasburg and Harrisonburg exchanged blows for the next several innings prior to the Turks sending four players home in the 7th, gaining the lead.

The last two innings of the contest saw both teams score again, but it would be the Express who ultimately edged the Turks out 11-10 as the final putout ended a long and grueling evening for both teams.

Despite facing a four-game losing streak, the Turks will be encouraged by their sudden increase in offensive productivity ahead of Friday night’s encounter with the Covington Lumberjacks, a team that has holds a 3-8 record and the promise of a tough fought encounter in the final game of Harrisonburg’s three game home stand.