Turks Split with the Lumberjacks

Kaelyn Spickler
Turks Staff Writer

Harrisonburg, VA- The Harrisonburg Turks took on the Covington Lumberjacks at home for a double header where the Lumberjacks won the first game, 6-3, and the Turks won the second game, 2-0, to end their losing streak.

The first game saw Brandon Stephens of UNC Greensboro on the mound for six innings where Stephens struck out three batters. In the top of the seventh, Cole McNamee of Wake Forest moved from third base to the mound to finish out the game.

The Lumberjacks get a quick five runs in the first two innings, and the Turks’ answer back with a run in the second, third, and fourth innings in attempt to close the gap. In the bottom of the second, second baseman McCann Mellett hits a single to right field and is brought in by right fielder RJ Schreck’s single to right field. In the bottom of the third, shortstop Nick Zona bunts to make it on base. Zona will go on to steal second and advances to third off the throw. Zona leads the team in stolen bases with this being his eighth stolen base. Zona scores off first baseman Josh Madole’s groundout. To start off the bottom of the fourth, catcher Caston Peter launches his second homerun of the season. The final score of Game One comes out 6-3, Lumberjacks.

In Game Two, the Turks maintain the lead they started in the second inning due to stellar pitching and focused defense.

“I can’t say enough about how hard they played in the first game, and I think it set the tone for the second game,” Coach George Lasse said.

In the bottom of the second, first baseman Josh Madole hits a single to centerfield followed by third baseman Cole McNamee’s ground-rule-double to centerfield. The designated hitter, Jack Roberts, hits a single to left field to bring in Madole and McNamee.

Liam McDonnell of JMU threw a complete game to shutout the Lumberjacks, and it is after the second inning he settles in for the remainder of the game. In the top of the third, McDonnell earns his first three strikeouts of the game and will go on to strike out five more batters to make it a total of eight strikeouts in seven innings.

“The early lead helped me to settle in and snap the losing streak, McDonnell said. “All three of my pitches (were working for me), and the defense was playing well which made it easy for me to be efficient. It also helped that Harry (also from JMU) was catching because he knows me best,” McDonnell added.

McDonnell moves to 2-1 in the Valley Baseball League with 17 strikeouts in his four games played. From his performance yesterday, McDonnell was named VBL Pitcher of the Day.

The defense fed off McDonnell’s performance by making double plays, catching fly balls, and not allowing any errors. Five of the seven innings ended in a three-up-three-down play by the Turks’ defense.

“We played some good defense today… Liam is the kind of kid that wants the ball in any given situation, and Harry Brown called a great game behind the dish,” Lasse said.

The Turks will take on the New Market Rebels tonight in New Market and will be back home tomorrow night against the Woodstock River Bandits.