Walk Off Homer Wins it for the Braves

By Jack Fitzpatrick
Broadcasting Intern

STAUNTON– The Harrisonburg Turks (11-10) fell to the Staunton Braves (10-10) on Friday night by a score of 4-3. The Turks lost by way of a walk-off home run, their second in as many days, and with the loss are now in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

Overall the Turks pitching staff had a solid night, the arms of Joseph Mannelly (Georgia Tech, sophomore), Eli Ellington (UNC-Charlotte, RS-sophomore) and Kyle Arjona (University of New Orleans, senior) really locked down the Braves lineup and threw six scoreless innings. From the third inning to the eighth the pitchers found their stuff delivering pitches that were perfectly place and forced some big-time strikeouts. Arjona specifically in his 4.2 innings of work struck out eight.

This game all came down to a big-time walk off homerun by Brett Willett of the Braves. Willett jumped on the first pitch he saw from Arjona in the bottom of the ninth and blasted it over the left-center wall and that was all the Braves needed to get the win.

The Turks in total had plenty of opportunities to swing the game in their favor, in total they left 11 baserunners on. In the top of the ninth they had runners on second and third with one out but the Braves’ pitcher, Jeremy Cook from Miami, locked himself in and struckout both Luke Nussman (Shenandoah, senior) and Paul Castillo (Jacksonville University, junior) to not allow any damage.

To open up the scoring for the Turks in the top of the second inning, the only time they held a lead the entire game, Castillo uncorked on a pitch and nailed it to left field for his second home run in two days and third on the season.

The real trouble came for the Turks in the bottom of the second. The Braves led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, and then loaded the bases by way of a single and a walk with only one out. Then Willett started his big night with a two RBI double. On the night Willett had three RBIs.

Pitching was key this entire game for both teams as there was a stretch in the middle of the game where both sides found their command and made batters look foolish. In the end Cook (3-0) got the win for the Braves and Arjona got the loss (3-1), which was his first of the year.

Tomorrow the Turks welcome in the Charlottesville TomSox to Veterans Memorial Park. The TomSox are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Covington Lumberjacks, the TomSox are 6-4 in their last 10 and are looking to have a solid outing tomorrow night. First pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. Tomorrow night is also Razors Edge, Once Upon A Child and Plato’s Closet Pack the Park Night. If you clip out the ticket from the Daily News Record publication on Friday, June 29 you can receive free admission to the game.