Royals return to .500 with win over Woodstock
WOODSTOCK -- The rain held off enough for the Royals to play one game of the originally scheduled double header on Saturday evening at Woodstock Although lasting nearly four hours, Winchester used five runs in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and defeat the River Bandits, 7-2, at Central High School.
Ryan Kennedy continued a string of strong starts with 5.1 innings of two-run baseball on Saturday. The southpaw allowed eight hits and struck out five in the no-decision.
After the Royals plated the opening run of the game in the third, Kennedy allowed his two runs to score in the next two innings, as Woodstock would take a 2-1 lead after the fifth. After working one out into the sixth, Christian Negron came on to retire the last two batters of the frame.
Winchester did not tie the game until the seventh. In the eighth, the Royals pushed across five runs, highlighted by a three-run home run from Lucas Oxendine to open a 7-2 lead. Negron finished the game with 3.2 innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out four while earning the win.
The Royals improve to 18-18 with the win. The second game of the doubleheader has been rescheduled to a later date that has yet to be determined.
Winchester sits at fourth place in the North Division, which would qualify them for the playoffs. They are four games ahead of the fifth place Strasburg Express, so barring a major collapse in the final week of the season, the Royals should clinch the playoffs sometime this week.
The Royals return to Bridgeforth to take on the Charlottesville Tom Sox on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.