Winchester Royals 2018 Season Preview
“On paper I feel like we are the best team in the league,” Winchester Royals head coach Jacob Mays said in an interview on May 24th. “I’m very excited about this season and I think we’ve got a lot of potential.”
The newest Royals head coach said this before the Royals’ 11-3 win over the Brunswick Orioles in an exhibition game on Wednesday night. Brunswick, a perennial powerhouse in the world of adult semi-pro baseball, served up four home runs to the Royals that night. Winchester’s pitching combined to allow two earned runs.
This game is a welcomed confirmation that Winchester is poised for a successful summer.
“We can hit a little bit,” Mays said. “I told (the players) ‘I got all the faith in the world in you. That is why you guys are here.’”
Jordan Huntley (Mount Olive College) spearheaded the offense with a three-RBI night, highlighted by a two-run shot to start the scoring. Even in the early stages of the season, Mays can see that he will play a significant role on the team
“Jordan Huntley has kind of accepted that team leader role,” Mays said.
Chris Salvey (Lincoln Memorial University) had a two-hit game, including a towering two-run home run shortly after Huntley’s. He looks to carry over a 12 home run, .326 batting average, 39 RBI season to the Valley Baseball League.
Later in the game, Samyr Santos (Shorter University) took advantage of a hanging curve ball and sent it over the left field fence. After that, Justin Meekins (Salisbury University) ripped a fastball to dead center that cleared the fence for Winchester’s fourth home run of the game.
“Everybody works together. They’ve honestly bonded quicker than any other team I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching. The chemistry is there,” Mays said.
In terms of pitching a pair from Point Park University, Nick Beardsley and Christian Negron, will anchor the pitching rotation. There was some rust shown on Wednesday, but nothing to be alarmed about according to Mays.
“We are going to have a pretty good bullpen. The starting rotation we are still trying to figure out. A couple mechanical things for me to clean up,” Mays said.
The Royals host the Strasburg Express on June 1st to officially start the 2018 VBL season. First pitch at Bridgeforth is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.