Turks top Lumberjacks in extra innings

Friday, July 8, 2022
John Breeden
Harrisonburg, VA

After being down by two in the top of the ninth, the Harrisonburg Turks took down the Covington Lumberjacks 13-8 in extra innings Thursday night at Casey Field. The win moves them to 16-10 this season and 8-4 on the road.

“The guys on the team, they don’t ever quit,” shortstop Seaver King said. “[It was] a good overall team game.”

This is the Turks’ fifth straight win — their longest streak of the season —- and they’re now 3-0 against the Lumberjacks on the road.

“I’m not really surprised about the five [straight] wins,” left fielder Jaylon Lee said. “We can keep it going but it just all comes down to how hard we play that day and how much we stick together.”

The Turks got behind early after center fielder Michael Pavelchak (Post U) scored on an RBI double from right fielder Carlos Pineyro (Louisiana St U Shreveport). Catcher Michael Piulats (ASA College) didn’t let Harrisonburg get out of the inning easily as he notched a two-RBI single. 

The Turks got on the board in the top of the second with designated hitter Mike Rosario (Miami) scoring on a Lumberjacks fielding error. Center fielder Sam Schner (Florida Tech) scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Seaver King (Wingate) in the top of the third.

Harrisonburg took another blow in the bottom of the third after designated hitter Cole Ketzner (South Alabama) launched a two-run homer to right field — making it a 5-2 game.

Schner had his second run of the game in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from the first baseman Mitch Farris (Wingate).

The game got interesting in the top of the sixth after Lee (EMU) ripped a two-run home run to center field to tie the game at five. Lee said he was expecting a breaking ball and on the first pitch he was able to spot it. “If I see it up, we’re told to bang it,” Lee said. “That’s what I tried to do, [I] tried to put my best swing on it.”

Right fielder T.J. Williams (Notre Dame) scored off an RBI single from the second baseman Matthew Mamatas (GA Southwestern St) to give the Turks their first lead of the game.

The lead was short-lived as left fielder John Urena (ASA College) drove one to left field for an RBI double to tie the game at six. He later scored off an RBI single from first baseman Nate Stocum (Western Carolina U), helping the Lumberjacks regain the lead. Covington extended its lead in the bottom of the eighth after Urena drove in another RBI.

The Turks rallied in the top of the ninth as third baseman Christian Ficca (Georgetown U) ripped one to right field for an RBI single — making it a one-run game. With runners on second and third with one out, Rosario scored on a passed ball to tie the game at eight.

The Lumberjacks couldn’t score in the bottom of the ninth which sent the game to extra innings.

The Turks took the advantage in the top of the tenth after Brenden Vern (Central Florida) scored on a wild pitch — followed by King (Wingate) launching his first home run of the season — a two-run homer to center field to give the Turks a three-run lead. “It was just good to finally get the first home run off the bat, hopefully, I can get a few more,” King

The Turks continued to pour it on as Lee drove in two runs on a single. Harrisonburg held Covington to no runs in the bottom of the tenth to pick up the win.

The Turks travel to Charlottesville on Saturday to face the Tom Sox at 7 p.m.

They return home Sunday to face Woodstock in a doubleheader at 5 p.m.

“We’re starting to click, we’re getting comfortable,” King said. “Hopefully we can string a few more [wins] and take it into the playoffs.”