Turks Split Fathers Day Doubleheader

Written by Brien Krug
Turks Staff Writer
June 20, 2021

Coming off consecutive wins against South division foes Charlottesville and Staunton, the Turks looked to continue their newly gained momentum into the doubleheader against the Cardinals of Front Royal.

Front Royal wasted no time taking the lead. The Cardinals would go on a 1st inning barrage against Turks starter Will Carter (0-0, 1.13 ERA). After a lead off walk, Carter would get Front Royal 3rd base Samuel Tackett to fly out before the flood gates would open. The Cardinals would get 3 straight singles to score the first run. After a strikeout got the 2nd out of the inning, Bubba Weigel would step up to the plate and launch a ball out onto the street in deep left field for a 3 run homer and ending Carter’s night after only 0.2 IP. Jackson Dennies would come on in relief in his first appearance of the season. Dennies would surrender 3 singles in a row allowing in the Cardinals 6th run of the inning before getting the inning ending fly out.

The Turks bats would be completely shut down by Front Royal starter Ezekiel Gongola. After a leadoff single from Carlos Marte, Gongola would set down 18 of the next 20 Turk hitters while not giving up a single hit over that span. The Cardinals would secure the game in the 6th as they added some helpful insurance runs. After Nicholas Borek recorded the first two outs of the inning he would get into a 3-0 count and be subsequently taken out of the game with what appeared to be a hand injury. Jake Blair would make his 2nd appearance of the young season but would give up back to back RBI hits to start his outing, which extended the Front Royal lead to 8-0.

The Turks would put a consolation run on the board in the 7th thanks to a RBI groundout from Bryce Safferwich scoring Jordan Sweeney. The Turks would break their win streak losing 8-1 but lucky for Harrisonburg there was a 2nd game to be played.

Adam Riggleman would make his 1st official appearance of the year for Bob Wease’s Turks in game 2. Front Royal would once again get out to an early lead. Riggleman would allow a lead off walk followed by a single to put runners at 1st and 2nd with no one out. After Riggleman got the next two hitters to fly out, Cole McConnell would step to the plate and belt a no doubter out to deep right to give the Cardinals the early 3-0 lead.

Harrisonburg would waste no time responding to the early Front Royal outburst. Carlos Marte would lead off the game with a double out to left center on the 9th pitch of the ab. A single to left would move Marte to 3rd and the Turks had runners at the corners with no one down. After a Rosario K, Clay Lockett would get caught stealing 2nd but in the process Marte would come home to score to cut into the Front Royal lead.

Riggleman would head back out trying to get a much needed shutdown inning for the Turks, however the Cards had something else in mind. A leadoff walk would get the rally started followed by an RBI double just inside the 3rd base bag. Riggleman would set down the next 3 hitters but still give up another run and just like that the Turks were down big early in game 2.

After back to back lackluster offensive innings the Turks would finally break out in the 4th. The Turks would load the bases up quickly after the first 3 hitters of the inning reached base. An infield pop up would give the Cardinals the first out of the inning but they weren’t out of the water yet. Frederic Walter would step to the plate looking for a clutch 1 out hit and boy did he deliver. A shot off the left field wall would score two runs and keep the Turks threatening with runners at 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. A hit by pitch would load the bases again for the Turks. After a foul out recorded the 2nd out of the inning, Harrisonburg would get back to back 2 out walks to take their first lead of the day at 6-5. However the rally wasn’t done yet, a Hartigan single to left would score two more followed by a Peyton Crispin double that would score another two runs before a strikeout ended the inning. All in all the Turks would go on for 9 runs on 5 hits in their biggest offensive outburst of the young season.

Front Royal wasn’t done quite yet though. After giving up the 9 run 4th inning they would respond right back in the 5th with some runs of their own. A two out double would have Front Royal threatening with runners at 2nd and 3rd. A two run single from Cardinal center fielder Jack Krause would put them back within striking distance at 10-7.

However, Harrisonburg would go on to seal the game in the 6th after Peyton Crispin’s 3rd hit and RBI of the game would extend the Harrisonburg lead to 4 runs. Christian Ciuffetelli would come on in the 6th and pitch 2 innings of hitless ball to close the game for the Turks.

With the 11-7 win, the Turks would split the doubleheader and stay only 1 game back of .500 at 5-6. Harrisonburg is back in action tomorrow as they travel to Covington to take on South division rival, the Covington Lumberjacks (4-8) with first pitch coming at 7:00 PM.