Turks Command Generals in Come-from-Behind Win

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG – It appeared as though the Harrisonburg Turks might be in for a tough night after their first inning against the Waynesboro Generals on Saturday. The Generals scored three runs to take an early lead. But one inning later, the Turks were right back in the game, down only a run—and by the bottom of the third, the Turks had tied it up. The Turks added one more run in the fifth, and that would be all they needed to hand the Generals a 4-3 loss.

With a record of 1-0 in the Valley Baseball League, Kyle Arjona (New Orleans) started the game for the Turks, and pitched eight innings. He struck out nine and allowed only three hits after the first inning.

Down 3-0, Brett Whelton (McNeese State) singled up the middle in the second. Paul Castillo (Jacksonville University) followed with a single to left. Brycen Braswell (UNC Wilmington) then singled down the first base line. He was thrown out by right fielder Tanner Thomas at second base, but both Whelton and Castillo crossed the plate on the hit, bringing the Turks within one of the Generals.

In the third, Austin Embler (UNC Wilmington) lined to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Tyler Thompson. Embler moved to third on a groundout to shortshop by Zach Little (Wingate) and then scored on wild pitch to Whelton. The Turks were tied 3-3.

Bryan Wilcox then entered the game to pitch for the Generals. With Wilcox on the hill, Grant Van Scoy (Illinois) walked to start the fifth inning. Pinch-hitting for Embler, Kyle Johnson (Rider) also walked. Whelton took first after being hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Castillo drew a walk, giving the Turks a 4-3 lead.

The Generals brought in pitcher Hunter Shuff in the fifth, and Josh Karklin (Wingate) came in to relieve Arjona in the ninth. Neither pitcher allowed any runs. Arjona got the win, Wilcox the loss, and Karklin the save.

The Turks’ Cam Irvine (Virginia Tech) had two singles on the night. The fourth inning proved to be quite a spectacle for the Turks in the field. Ember (2B) dove for a groundball hit to his left to get Chase Cheek out at first. Little made a sliding catch in right on a ball hit by Kyle Wrighte for out number two that inning. These defensive plays served to further excite an already enthusiastic crowd at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Turks are now 7-4 on the season and play on Sunday in Charlottesville at 7 p.m. The Turks’ next home game is Tuesday against the Woodstock River Bandits, also at 7 p.m.