Surging Royals roll past Purcellville to win fourth straight
WINCHESTER – At the beginning of the week, Winchester dropped its third straight game to lower its record to 5-10 to end the first third of the season. Five days and four games later, the red hot Royals won its fourth straight on Saturday night, defeating the Purcellville Cannons, 7-4, at Bridgeforth Field.
“We are starting to click. We are starting to figure it out. We are starting to play better baseball. We are doing the small and little things right. We are taking better approaches at the plate and our pitchers are throwing strikes,” Royals manager Jacob Mays said.
After two late-inning victories on Wednesday and Friday, Winchester put up seven runs in the first three innings, proving to be enough of a cushion to cruise to victory.
“It was super nice to have that cushion,” Mays said. “We go by a lead 2-5-10 mentality and it was nice to get the two run lead. Then we got it to five after the end of the first third.”
Jordan Huntley drove in the first run with an RBI double. With two strikes, he stroked a line drive into the left center gap to score Matthew Holloway.
“It was early in the inning so I knew that he wasn’t going to sit here and get me with offspeed,” Huntley said. “He’s just going to try and come right after me, so I was just trying to attack early.”
William Welsh followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2-0 lead after one inning.
“That was very huge. I think its 65-70 percent of the time that the first team that scores wins. It’s nice to set the tone,” Mays said.
In the third, Welsh drove in another with an RBI groundout. After Aaron Palensky drove in another with a sac fly, Domonic Peroni reached on an error and advanced to third on Hunter Murray’s single.
Chad Feely drove them both in with an opposite field triple to open up a 6-0 lead. Feely came around to score off an error, which ended the scoring for the Royals.
“The atmosphere is fun. It’s summer ball, so things are supposed to be fun. It’s not more like ‘oh I gotta do this’ or ‘what’ wrong with the swing.’ Guys are just playing and things are starting to click,” Huntley said.
As dialed in as the offense was, starting pitcher Nick Beardsley put in an equally impressive performance on the mound. He went seven innings and did not allow a hit until Matthew Koehler singled with one out in the fourth as part of a two-hit, five strikeout outing.
“He had a plus changeup today and he was spotting his fastball. His slider, it was good. He was getting the curveball in for strikes. He had command of four pitches tonight, and any time you have that you’re going to have a great chance to win,” Mays said.
Beardsley induced an ample amount of ground balls, as eight of his 21 outs (39 percent) were dribblers.