Royals hold off late push from Purcellville, take game one
PURCELLVILLE -- A four-run seventh inning, highlighted by a towering three-run home run from Ray Gil, gave the Royals enough cushion to sustain the lead despite a late push by Purcellville in the ninth, as Winchester defeated the Cannons, 7-4, in the opening game of the quarterfinals at Fireman's Field on Sunday night.
The Royals strung together four consecutive hits with two outs in the seventh that led to four runs. Masen Prososky tripled down the right field line, followed by an RBI single from Trent Burgreen.
After Zion Pettigrew (3-for-5, RBI, 2B) singled, Ray Gil supplied the finishing touches with his third home run of the season. He took advantage of a hanging breaking ball, sending it well over the left field fence to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.
After Winchester added a run in the eighth off an error, Purcellville threatened to come back in the ninth. Trent Sidwell recorded the first two outs of the frame, but loaded the bases through the next three batters with two walks and a hit by pitch.
Alec Aleywine beat out an infield single to make it 7-2, while Sidwell walked the next two batters to put the tying run on first base and bring the Cannons within three runs.
Although, Jake Posey came in the game and struck out TK McWhertor on six pitches to seal the 7-4 victory.
Winchester's pitching staff pitched their way in and out of jams the whole night, as Purcellville left 13 men on base in the loss. In addition to loading the bases in the ninth, the Cannons saw the bases full in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, with just one of those innings producing a run.
Kenny Oyama dropped a single in front of Bryan Nunez in the fifth. The right fielder fired a throw to home plate in attempt to gun down Thomas Baggett, but Sean Vasquez was unable to apply the tag in time as the Cannons cut into the deficit, 2-1.
Other than that, Royals starter Dylan Gentry put in yet another strong outing. He went five innings, allowing one run on three hits while issuing five walks in the win.
He received a couple runs of support from an Aaron Palesnsky RBI single in the fourth and a Pettigrew RBI single in the fifth.
Gentry exited with a 2-1 lead after walking the leadoff batter in the sixth. James Grant and Emilio Valdes combined for 1.2 no-hit frames to keep the score in check before Sidwell entered.
The Royals will look to clinch the series and punch their ticket to the semifinals as they host the Cannons on Monday night at Bridgeforth. First pitch is at 7 p.m.