Four-Run Eighth Inning Against Rebels Gets Turks Back on Winning Track

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG –  Down 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Harrisonburg Turks scored four runs on a triple, double and two singles to defeat the New Market Rebels 6-4 on Sunday. The much-needed win broke a four-game losing streak for the Turks. The night was topped off with a pre-game proposal by Turks pitching coach George Laase to his girlfriend Jess Barger, a fourth-grade teacher at Mountain View Elementary who threw out the first pitch to Laase.

The Turks put up a run first in the second inning when Orynn Veillon (University of New Orleans) led off with a walk against starting Rebels pitcher Chase Anderson, who then hit Luke Nussman (Shenandoah University) with a pitch. Cam Irvine followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing Veillon to third and Nussman to second. Veillon scored on a wild pitch.

The Rebels tied the game in the third when starting Turks pitcher Alex Carpenter (Florida State) walked Carter Smith to start the inning. Andrew Eyster singled to left. Justin King then walked, bringing up Marc Coffers, who scored Smith on a fielder’s choice play.

The Turks regained the lead in the bottom of the third when Austin Embler (UNC Greensboro) blooped the ball down the left field line for a single. Zach Little (Wingate) had a base hit to left and took second on an error by Eyster in left field. Embler advanced to third and then scored on a ball nailed back to the pitcher by Brett Whelton (McNeese State).

The Turks led 2-1 until New Market scored a run in the fifth. Chase Sudduth had a ground rule double to left center. Eyster then doubled down the line in left, scoring Sudduth.

Tied 2-2, the Rebels added another run in the sixth on a home run by Oraj Anu, his fourth of the season.

It appeared as if the Turks might be headed for another loss, but a four-run rally in the eighth turned the game around—and led Harrisonburg to victory. Embler tripled to left to lead off the inning before New Market brought in relief pitcher Daniel Nicholls. Little had a base hit up the middle, scoring Embler. Andrew Liewellyn (Wingate), who entered the game in the sixth pinch-hitting for Whelton (DH), walked. Veillon followed with a double off the wall in left, scoring Little. Elian Merejo (Georgia State), who entered in the sixth pinch-hitting for Nussman (1B), then singled to score Liewellyn and Veillon.

Embler and Little led the Turks with two hits each. Jake Lane (Florida Tech), who pitched the seventh and eighth innings, got the win. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out one. Nicholls got the loss. Josh Karklin (Wingate) pitched the ninth and got the save.

The Turks are now 15-19 and play their next game at home against the Staunton Braves on Tuesday.