Solid Pitching Leads to Turks’ Opening Night Win

Written by Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer


It was a beautiful 75 degrees for Opening Night as the Harrisonburg Turks took on the Winchester Royals in a closely contested game at Veterans Memorial Park.

Georgia Tech’s Jake Brace started on the mound for the Turks, and kept the Royals to only two runs over seven innings. With eight strikeouts, “Brace did one heck of a job,” says head coach Bob Wease, who also praised the University of New Orleans’ Rafe Schindler for his pitching and Wingate’s Josh Karklin for a “game-changing” pickoff play in the ninth that ultimately led to a 4-2 win by the Turks.

“Pitchers were outstanding today,” declares catcher Brett Whelton of McNeese State. Whelton played a pivotal role in the runs scored by the Turks in the fourth and eighth innings with his two singles, a triple, and two RBI.

The Royals jumped out to an early lead in the first inning after a wild pitch scored Justin Meekins, who had singled. The Turks rallied 

in the fourth when both Whelton and Shenandoah’s Luke Nussman singled and scored. The Royals’ Joseph Sadallah scored in the fifth to tie the game, but Whelton drove in two runs in the eighth to give the Turks a lead they would not lose.

“It’s big for the Turks to get that first win at home,” says Whelton. Wease agrees. “It boosts the players’ confidence. Every time you win a game, you get better in your mind. You think you’re going to win every time you come out.” Let’s hope that’s the case for the Turks who travel to Front Royal to take on the Cardinals tomorrow before returning home to play Staunton on Wednesday.