Bradley’s Two-Run Shot Lifts Turks To Win

by CODY ELLIOTT, Daily News-Record | June 5, 2023

Four pitchers combined to toss an absolute gem as Harrisonburg picked up an impressive 4-0 shutout of Front Royal in Valley Baseball League action at Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday.

All four arms that Turks head coach Bob Wease opted to use performed in a big way, with Jacob Marlowe getting the start and pitching the first three innings of shutout baseball, allowing one hit while striking out six before being pulled for James Madison right-hander Jason Cheifetz.

Cheifetz tossed three perfect frames in relief, earning a pair of strikeouts before Daniel Diaz and Garfield Johns combined to allow two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts for the final three innings.

But for as impressive as the Harrisonburg pitchers were Sunday, it was left fielder Garrett Bradley coming up with arguably the game’s biggest play as he crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth that took all the energy out of the Cardinals dugout and extended the Turks’ lead to four.

Bradley’s two-run shot accounted for half of Harrisonburg’s offense in the win, while first baseman Micah Morgan had an RBI single, and catcher Matthew Delgado added a sac fly for an RBI in the win.

The victory continued what has been an impressive start to the 2023 campaign for a deep and talented Harrisonburg squad, which has now won three of its first four to open its season.

The Turks (3-1) will return to the field on Tuesday against New Market at Rebel Park.

Front Royal 000 000 000 — 0 3 1

Harrisonburg 011 000 02x — 4 6 1

Schultz, Hairfield (7), and Mozeley. Marlowe, Cheifetz (4), Diaz (7), Johns (9), and Delgado. W — Cheifetz (1-0). L — Schultz (0-1). HR — HAR: Bradley, eighth inning, one on. RBI — HAR: Morgan, Bradley (2), Delgado. SB — FR: Stephens. HAR: Fansler, Taylor. LOB — FR: 3. HAR: 9. E — FR: Schultz. HAR: Rucker.

Turks Open Season With Comeback Road Win

By CODY ELLIOTT Daily News-record | June 2, 2023

Shortstop Jose Perez of Seminole State College in Florida went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and three RBIs from the bottom of the lineup as Harrisonburg opened the 2023 Valley Baseball League season with a 7-4 victory over Woodstock at Central High School on Thursday.

The Turks actually trailed the River Bandits heading into the eighth inning, but Perez crushed a double in the top of that frame to bring home Cameron Harris and Tyler Borges and take a 5-4 advantage.

In the ensuing inning, an infield error by Woodstock, followed by an RBI single from Tren Kiraly, helped Harrisonburg extend its lead, and that was all it needed to stay on top the rest of the way.

Chad Heinder struck out two in the ninth, allowing no runs on a hit, to seal the win for the Turks.

Harris, a second baseman, was 3-for-5 with an RBI for Harrisonburg, while Kiraly, Sean Barnett, and Ben Barrett all finished with two hits apiece. Barnett and Barrett’s outings included a double each.

Center fielder Aiden Alexander was 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot for the Turks, while Borges and Gunnett Carlson added one hit and one run apiece. Harrisonburg finished with 15 hits as a team in the win.

On the mound, Collin McDougall got the start and lasted 3.1 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits and zero walks while striking out seven before a trio of relievers helped set up Heiner.

Garfield Johns, Jason Cheifetz, and Daniel Diaz combined to toss 4.2 innings of strong relief, giving up one earned run on three hits and four walks while also earning a pair of strikeouts for the Turks (1-0).

The home opener for Harrisonburg is scheduled for Friday at James Madison University’s Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg against Strasburg. The first pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.

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Boys of the Summer

Turks Boast Well-Rounded Roster To Open Valley League Season


Take a look up and down the Harrisonburg Turks’ roster, and it’s littered with Division I talent — many of which hail from perennial baseball powers.

Elsewhere in the league, rosters are full of Division II and III players and junior college talent. That’s not to say the league isn’t as strong, but 10 years ago, teams were full of All-American-type talent, longtime Turks head coach Bob Wease said.

But in a time when it’s becoming harder to get high-level talent in the Valley League, how is Wease still recruiting top-level talent? Relationships.


Wease has been around a plethora of players in his time with the Turks since he took over the team in 1990, and many have become college coaches. As Wease sat in his office, surrounded by Turks team photos and other baseball memorabilia, he ran through the all-star cast of coaches that played for him.

Virginia’s Brian O’Connor, Florida State’s Link Jarrett, and Wake Forest’s Tom Walter are just a few of the names that Wease continued to list.

This year, those relationships came into play as Harrisonburg will boast three players from No. 1 Wake Forest, two from No. 9 Miami, one from No. 13 Auburn, and a trio from Florida State, which missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1977.

“The nicest thing about owning the Turks is to have a guy from 30 years ago who says, ‘Hey Bob, I just want to thank you for a great summer,'” Wease said. “That means everything. … They’ve played for me and they know that I’m going to take care of the players.”

The six players from the three nationally-ranked teams won’t be with Harrisonburg when it opens its season on Thursday night at the Woodstock River Bandits, but the Turks will still be deep.

Of Harrisonburg’s 33 players on the roster, 29 are from Division I institutions, but a pair of non-DI players caught Wease’s eye.


Wease was excited about two NAIA Oklahoma City University hitters: Aiden Alexander and Trent Kiraly.

Alexander was a speed threat with 15 stolen bases, while Kiraly led the team with a .395 batting average with 14 doubles, 15 home runs, and 62 RBIs.

In addition to those two, Wease pointed out Florida State two-way player Ben Barrett, who led the Seminoles’ reserves with a .359 batting average in 21 games with seven doubles, a triple, one home run, and 21 RBIs.

But once the Turks return to full strength when the NCAA Tournament team players arrive in Harrisonburg, Wease said his team would go to another level.

“I think our players are going to be pretty good this year,” Wease said. “Once we get all our players in, I think we’re going to be pretty good. … It looks pretty good doggone good, to be honest with you.”

The Turks also have some Sun Belt Conference flavor, with three James Madison pitchers — Casey Smith, Sean Culkin, and Jason Cheifetz — in addition to four from South Alabama, a trio of players from Marshall, and one from Georgia Southern.

This season marks the first time since Wease took over as team president and general manager in 1990 that someone else will be running the operations side of the Turks as longtime Valley League supporter Gerald Harman took control of the team in the offseason.

Wease is still in his on-field role and is assisting Harman with the transition this summer. But will this be the last year Wease coaches the Turks? Maybe, maybe not.

“I don’t know, just play it by ear one year at a time,” Wease said. “I’m 80 years old. I’ve been around for 35 years, been around the Valley League since 1960. That’s a long time.”