Front Royal subdues Winchester, limits offense to three hits
WINCHESTER – The Royals collected just three hits and had three baserunners make it into scoring position as it endured a painful 2-0 loss to the Front Royal Cardinals at Bridgeforth Field on Tuesday night.
The best opportunity to score came in the very first inning. Johnny Butler started the game with a single and Masen Prososky followed with a bunt single. Although, as Prososky reached first, Butler took too much of a turn at second base to eventually get tagged out in a pickle.
With Jordan Huntley at the plate, Prososky took second, and Huntley lined the next pitch down the left field line. However, it inched just outside of the left field line for a foul ball and Huntley ended up flying out to the warning track in center field. Samyr Santos struck out a couple batter later to end the inning.
Just a couple inches more to the right, and the Royals would have been in prime position to put a couple early runs on the board. It was not until the fifth inning until Winchester put another runner in scoring position.
Matthew Holloway drew a one-out walk and proceeded to steal second. An errant throw from Christian Avant allowed Holloway to advance to third, giving Winchester a chance to plate the opening run. Although, Joe Sadallah popped out to first base and Butler grounded out to end the threat.
It was a night to forget for the offense, who struck out 10 times in the loss.
On the other side, Dylan Gentry made his first official start and threw five scoreless innings. With the help of some savvy defensive efforts, the southpaw navigated in and out of some tough jams.
In the second, Webb Little lined a one-out single to left field. After Gentry (5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K) struck out Kyle Willman, Rob Griswold laced a double to give Front Royal two men in scoring positon. Samyr Santos saw Little leaning and fired a throw down to third to pick him off for the final out of the inning.
In the fifth, Griswold reached with a one-out single followed by another single from Spencer Packard. Gentry spiked a ball in the dirt to Avant and both runners tried to advance. Instead of going for Griswold at third, Santos threw out the trailing Packard at second for the second out of the inning. Eventually, Andrew Burden flew out in foul territory to end the inning and retain a scoreless tie.
The Cardinals finally broke the tie in the sixth. Brady Ballstadt reached on an error from Chad Feely at shortstop. After stealing second, reliever James Grant allowed a seeing-eye single up the middle from Alex Briggs to bring home the game’s first run.
Winchester produced three baserunners in the final four innings, who all reached on walks. None of them made it past first base, as newcomer Raymond Gill grounded into a double play to end the game.
Jake Posey pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings after Grant, who was charged with the loss despite allowing the unearned run. Kody Gardere entered in the ninth and allowed one run to score off an infield single from Avant.
After an off-day Wednesday, Winchester competes against the Charlottesvile TomSox at Bridgeforth on Thursday. This will be the first meeting between these teams, as the first scheduled meeting was rained out. Ruben Ramirez gets the ball at 7 p.m.