Five-run Inning Pushes Turks Past Lumberjacks

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

In their fourth matchup this season, the Harrisonburg Turks defeated the Covington Lumberjacks 8-4 Tuesday night at Eagle Field. The win moves them to 10-6 this season and 6-4at home.

After Monday night’s 4-2 loss to the Waynesboro Generals, catcher Jake Stadler (Purdue) said it “means a lot” to turn things around the next night. “It shows the resiliency of the team that we have,” Stadler said. “Any loss is tough … but tonight we just came out swinging.”

The Turks won on eight runs, eight hits, and no errors while the Lumberjacks lost on four runs, ten hits, and one error. Stadler said an error-free night for the defense is “huge” for the team. “Defense never takes a day off,” Stadler said. “Some day[s] you might not be able to hit but defense shows up to the field every day and tonight it did for us.”

Pitcher John Bufford (Mercy Hurst U) only had to throw five pitches in the top of the first to get the Turks out of the inning. Center fielder Sam Schner (Florida Tech) walked to start the bottom of the first and later scored off a sacrifice fly from shortstop Seaver King (Wingate) for the first run of the game.

The Lumberjacks responded in the top of the second as Nate Stocum (W. Carolina U) walked and later scored on a wild pitch to even the score at one. First baseman Christian Ficca (Georgetown U) walked to start the bottom of the second and scored off an RBI double from Stadler — the first hit of the game.

The Lumberjacks evened the score again in the top of the third as Bradke Lohry (Wabash Valley JC) singled and later scored on an RBI single from Ben Nippolt (VCU). The Turks fired back in the bottom of the third as right fielder Mike Rosario (Miami) drove one to right field for Harrisonburg’s first inside-the-park home run of the season.

“Off the bat, I thought he [the outfielder] was going to catch it,” Rosario said. “As soon as I saw him dive I knew he wasn’t going to have a chance to catch it, so I hustled around the bases and I scored.”

Gavin Baird (Eastern Kentucky U) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Michael Pavelchak (Post U) in the top of the fifth — tying the game at three. Covington took its first lead of the game on an RBI double from Stocum.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Harrisonburg’s designated hitter Mitch Farris (Wingate) drove in a three-RBI triple. King helped extend the Turks’ lead by driving in Farris on an RBI single. King scored on the next at-bat as Rosario drove him in on an RBI double.

Jake Wolf (UNCG) came in from the bullpen in the top of the fourth and remained on the mound to start the top of the ninth. Two strikeouts from Wolf and a groundout ended the game.

The Turks host the Staunton Braves Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and travel to Waynesboro on Friday to face the Generals at 7 p.m.

Stadler said the team might not always hit well every night but he believes they’re continuing to improve as the season progresses.