Turks Split Doubleheader with River Bandits

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG – The Harrisonburg Turks won the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader 5-2 against the Woodstock River Bandits in fairly clean fashion, but lost the second game 10-9 in dramatic fashion on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Turks played two seven-inning games against the River Bandits, who picked up their third win of the season.

In the first game, the Turks scored one run in the first, three in the second and one in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead. Caleb Walls (Pasco-Hernando State) had three hits, including a triple and run scored in the first inning. In the second, Walls drove the ball up the middle for a hit, scoring Elian Merejo (Georgia State), who had walked, and Luke Nussman (Shenandoah University), who had singled. Bryce Braswell (UNC Wilmington) walked to load the bases and scored the third run of the inning on a wild pitch. Braswell scored again in the fourth on a double steal after doubling to lead off the inning.



Alex Rodriguez (Wingate) allowed one run on three hits, striking out seven in five innings pitched to get the win for the Turks. The River Bandit’s Kole Harris got the loss. A double by Connor Wilson in the fifth and a single by Ramon Garza in the seventh resulted in a run in each of those innings for Woodstock, but the River Bandits would have to wait for the second game to taste victory.

The Turks had the lead in the second game for all but one inning, but with the bases loaded and the River Bandits down 8-9 in the seventh, Clayton Jeffries had a base hit off of pitcher Josh Karklin (Wingate) to bring in the two runs needed to capture the win.


Highlights of the game included a two-run home run by Andrew Liewellyn (Wingate), his first home run of the season and the first by a Turk at home this season, as well as a home run by the River Bandit’s Riley Brandvold, his first of the season.

Walls, Kyle Johnson (Rider) and Cam Irvine (Virginia Tech) each had two hits each for the Turks. Paul Castillo (Jacksonville University) had two RBI along with Johnson and Liewellyn. The River Bandits equaled the number of Turks’ hits and errors with 10 and 3, respectively.

Starting pitcher Luke Scherzer (Virginia Tech) struggled on the mound for the Turks. He gave up six runs on six hits, striking out four in four innings pitched. Daniel Brandon (Longwood) didn’t fare much better in relief, giving up three runs on two hits and striking out two in 1.1 innings pitched. Karklin came in for Brandon in the sixth and got the loss. Jacob Bradley, who entered the game in the seventh for Woodstock, got the win.

The Turks are now 13-11 and play their next game in Waynesboro at 7 pm on Monday. They take on Waynesboro again in their next home game on Friday at 7:30 pm.