Turks Drop Series Open

Written by Brien Krug
Turks Staff Writer
July 24, 2021

After a disappointing end to the 2021 VBL Regular season, losing two straight and dropping to 3rd in the South, the Turks were looking to turn the page as they travelled down to Staunton to take on the Braves in game 1 of a best of 3 series.

For game 1 Bob Wease turned to his ace, Andres Rodriguez (3-2, 2.25 ERA). Rodriguez, who got a 2021 All Star nod, really struggled in the first inning. Back to back singles got the inning started for the Braves. Rodriguez would get a 4-6-3 double play and it looked like Andres may escape the jam but a hit by pitch followed by a 3 run homer from Luke Trainer gave Staunton the early lead.

The Turks would get on the board in the 4th. A leadoff single from Logan McNeely would get the rally started for Harrisonburg. Back to back flyouts would have the inning in jeopardy. However a hit by pitch would move McNeely to scoring position allowing Frederic Walter to bloop a single to right scoring the first run of the game for the Turks.

However, Rodriguez would really struggle to find the zone in the home half of the 4th. Andres would throw 12 straight balls loading the bases before walking another man allowing a run to score and forcing Turks pitching coach Larry Erbaugh to go to the bullpen. Brett Whiteman would come in and put an end to the threat getting 3 out of the next 4 hitters, striking out the last two and keeping the game reachable at 5-1.

The Turks would carry that momentum into the 5th. Back to back RBI singles from Jordan Sweeney and Justin Wachs would score Carlos Marte and Peyton Crispin, who reached on a walk and E4 respectively.

Whiteman would keep the Turks in the game until the 7th. The Braves would start the inning with 2 out of the first 3 hitters lacing solo home runs extending their lead to 7-3, but they weren’t finished yet. The 3 next hitters would reach base safely on 2 walks with a single sandwiched in between before Mac Callari would come on to relieve Whiteman. Callari would then walk in a run before giving up a 2 run single and a sac fly extending the Braves lead to 11-3.

The Turks offense would be shutdown by Josh Emerson who recorded the 3 inning save only allowing 2 baserunners on 1 hit. The Braves would hit two more homers in the 8th sealing their convincing 13-3 Game 1 win. With the loss the Turks will now have their backs up against the wall as they host Staunton in a win or go home situation with first pitch scheduled for 7:30 PM at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.