Turks Obtain a Big Win

Kaelyn Spickler
Turks Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, VA – Last night the Harrisonburg Turks conquered the Winchester Royals, 8-0. The Turks were on fire, both, on the mound and at the plate.

Eli Ellington, of UNC Charlotte, started on the mound for the Turks and consistently threw strike after strike. He immediately struck out the first two batters, which was only the beginning of his nine strikeouts in the four innings he pitched. Ellington credits two components to his success last night- getting ahead and executing fastballs. “I went out and did my thing,” Ellington said, and that “thing” Coach Bob Wease believes will take Ellington far in his career.

Offensively, the Turks snagged the first run in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a single by first baseman Josh Madole. His hit brought in third baseman Nick Zona, giving the Turks a confidence boost for the rest of the game.

Things continued to go well for the Turks in the fifth inning. Rafe Schindler, of Nunez Community College, officially began his “comeback” by making his season debut for the Turks. The pitcher struck out two of the three batters he faced. “I’ve been practicing every day with (coaches) George and Luke. They got me prepared and took care of me. It felt surreal to be on the mound again, and I knew I was prepared,” Schindler said. Going into the bottom of the fifth, Madole had his second hit of the game- a double but was stranded on base.

The sixth inning saw another pitching change as the coaching staff wanted to ease Schindler back into the swing of things. Alex Hoppe, from UNC Greensboro, finished out the game on the mound. Hoppe struck out an additional six batters in his four innings making him the winning pitcher for the night. The Royals had two hits, but the Turks kept them on base with strong defense, including a double play from the infield to end the top of the sixth.

The Turks came ready to hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, accumulating five hits and seven runs. Right fielder Aaron Levy hit the ball deep into right field which brought in Peter, who had also hit a double. Third baseman, Nick Zona is up next and hit a single off a Royals error to bring in centerfielder, Jacob Edwards. Second baseman McCann Mellett added an additional single to make the bases loaded. Shortstop Zack Budzik got a free pass to first which forced Levy home. Madole brought in Zona and Mellett for his third RBI of the night and his 11th of the season. Madole will then score, in addition to Budzik, off left fielder, Jed Bryant’s single. “We picked it up tonight. We hit the ball, and, you know, we hadn’t been hitting it at all this season,” Wease said.

The remaining three innings provided no advancements for either team, keeping the score at 8-0.

“I can’t say enough nice things about the guys tonight. They played hard; everybody was in the game. It’s a good ball game for the Turks. We’ve won the last three out of four games, so hopefully we will come out and play hard again tomorrow night,” Wease said.

The Turks would like to thank Luray Caverns for providing free tickets to our first 100 fans at last night’s game. Luray Caverns is an amazing place to visit, and we are glad our fans get the opportunity to appreciate the beauty it has to offer our community.

Tomorrow night the Turks are back in action at home and will face Purcellville for the first time this season. Come out to Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30 and bring your United Way flier or wear your United Way t-shirt for free admission. United Way has a branch in Harrisonburg where they strive to connect Harrisonburg and Rockingham community members to the issues that matter the most to them. It’s also Chick-fil-A Night. The Cow will be there giving out delicious free Chick-fil-A sandwiches to the first 100 fans. It’s going to be a big night so come out and support your Harrisonburg Turks!