Turks Beat Cannons Late

By Dave Norman
Webcast Announcer

HARRISONBURG–Harrisonburg won a back-and-forth battle over the Purcellville Cannons 5-4 in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

After a rain and lightening delay that lasted just over an hour, Harrisonburg sent lefthander Joseph Mannelly (Georgia Tech) to the mound it what turned out to be his longest outing of the season.

Mannelly pitched 5.1 innings, striking out 5, walking 2 and allowing 3 earned runs.

The Turks got on the board in the first with a 2-out rally started by a Zach Little (Wingate) triple to right center field. After Luke Nussman (Shenandoah) walked and stole second base, Elian Merejo (Eastern Florida) singled to score Little.

In the 3rd, Purcellville tied the game on doubles by Blake Simmons and Blade Baker. Mannelly worked out of trouble inducing two pop ups to end the threat.

In the 5th, Harrisonburg plated 3 runs on hits by Caleb Walls (Pasco Hernando), Austin Embler (UNC Greensboro), Little and Merejo to lead 4-1.

Will Wheeler pitched a solid 5 innings for Purcellville with just 2 of the 4 runs he allowed earned. Chezzare Gonzalez came on in relief.

The Cannons fired back in the 6th scoring twice on a 2-run double by Luke Berryhill. Eli Ellington (UNC Charlotte) took over for Mannelly and retired the side to end the rally. In the 7th, Ellington walked the first two hitters and was lifted for Kevin Mintz (UNC Wilmington). Baker singled to plate Blake Simmons to tie the game at 4-4.

Gonzalez pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief before yielding to unscored-upon lefty Parker Dyson out of the Cannons bullpen. Dyson struck out Walls to end the threat in the 8th.

After issuing a leadoff walk to Simmons in the 9th, Mintz settled down and retired the side, sending the game to the bottom of the 9th.

Van Scoy walked and was sacrificed to 2nd base by Embler. The Cannons intentionally walked the red-hot Little to set up the left-on-left matchup with Nussman who was 0-3 on the night.

After a scrappy at-bat that included a razor-thin foul ball over the 1st base bag, and several two-strike foul balls, Nussman sent the soggy Turks faithful home happy lining a single to left field scoring Van Scoy (Illinois) from 2nd base to win the game.

Mintz (1-1) got the win for Harrisonburg. Dyson (2-1) took the loss for the Cannons.

The Turks played an errorless game on the soaked field and continue to get contributions from a variety of hitters. Little and Merejo each had three hits in the 10-hit attack. Merejo also knocked in three runs.

On Thursday, the Turks (10-5) travel to Casey Field in Covington to take on the Lumberjacks (9-4). The next Turks home game is Friday versus Waynesboro. Game time is 7:30