Turks Trounce Jacks to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG – The Harrisonburg Turks defeated the Covington Lumberjacks, collecting 14 hits and capitalizing on five errors by the Jacks to win 12-3 on Thursday. The Turks move to 19-21 on the season and are now tied for fourth place in the South division with the Staunton Braves, whom they play Friday night with possible playoff implications.

The Jacks scored first in the third inning when Noah Bridges had an infield hit to short off of Turks starting pitcher Jake Brace (Georgia Tech). Christian Del Castillo followed with a single to right. With runners on first and second, Bennett Hostetler singled up the middle, scoring Bridges.

The only other time the Jacks put numbers on the scoreboard came in the sixth inning on a two-run homer by J.D. Mundy.

The rest of the game was dominated by the Turks, who scored runs in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

In the third, Brycen Braswell (UNC Wilmington) led off with an infield single, advancing to second on a groundout by Grant Van Scoy (Illinois). Zach Little (Wingate) reached first on a fielder’s choice play, and Braswell advanced to third on an error by Hostetler at short. Braswell scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Austin Embler (UNC Greensboro). Jack Wilson (Western Kentucky) doubled to score Little.

The Turks added another run in the fourth when Cam Irvine (Virginia Tech) singled to right. Jacks starting pitcher Cody Burnham then hit Brett Whelton (McNeese State) with a pitch. Irvine scored on a fielder’s choice play.

The Turks compiled four more in the fifth when Little lined to left for a leadoff double and advanced to third on a passed ball. Embler followed with a walk. Wilson then singled to left center, scoring Little. Embler scored on a single by Elian Merejo (Georgia State). Wilson and Merejo both scored on Jacks’ errors in the field.

The magic number of runs was three for the Turks in the sixth inning. Van Scoy singled to right, advanced to second on a balk, and scored on a single up the middle by Little, who stole second and scored on a two-run home run by Embler.

Pinch-hitting for Whelton in the seventh, Luke Nussman (Shenandoah University) singled to center, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice play, and scored on a single by Braswell.

Kent Rooklin moved from second to pitcher in the eighth inning for the Jacks, and the Turks finished their scoring streak with one more run. Little led off with an infield single. Merejo singled to center. Little advanced to third on a fielder’s choice play and scored on a throwing error by Hostetler (SS).

Little led the Turks with three hits and four runs scored. Embler had three RBI. Brace, who allowed three runs on 10 hits and struck out seven in seven innings pitched, got the win. urnham got the loss.

The Turks hope to be able to pull out a win against the Braves in Staunton on Friday at 7 pm.