Winchester Royals: Game Recaps

Sunday, July 27
Game 43 Royals 12 Senators 17

The Aldie Senators scored 7 runs in the top of the 9th to defeat the Royals 17-12 in the completion of the suspended game from Sunday night.

The Royals used 4 pitchers in the 9th as they issued 6 walks and 3 hits. including a grand slam by T.Toorie. For the game, Royals' pitchers issued 18 walks and 13 hits.

Jerry Downs led the Royals with 4 hits to raise his average to .355 and 3rd in the league in batting. Mike Carpenter struck out 7 to raise his league-leading strike-out total to 54. Luke Mould finished third with an ERA of 2.04.

The Royals finished with a 17-27 record.


Saturday, July 26
Game 42 Royals 3 Cardinals 2

The Royals kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Front Royal Cardinals. They must win over Aldie and Covington to even consider a tie.

Aldie won over Charles Town Saturday night and remain 1-1/2 games in front of the Royals.

Friday, July 25
Game 41 Royals 2 Senators 0

Luke Mould (U of Alabama-Huntsville) pitched the Royals first complete game and shut out of the season. Mould allowed 6 hits and struck out 8 for the game. It was about control for Mould as he allowed only 2 walks and forced 6 come-backers. The Senators threatened only once in the 8th as they loaded the bases on 2 walks and a single but Mould worked his way out of it. The Senators went down quietly in the 9th as Mould struck out 2 and forced a fly-out.

The Royals managed only 4 hits off starter T. Durand, but they scored their first run in the 3rd as Mata singled and then moved around to 3rd on a single by Downs. Mata scored on a wild pitch. Cody Bower scored the 2nd run in the 7th as he reached on a fielder's choice  and eventually scored on a fly-out by Alex Mata.

The Royals are now 15-26 and trail Aldie by 1-1/2 games. They will play in Front Royal on Saturday and host Aldie on Sunday. They will host Covington Monday in a make up game. The games from here are all vital if they want to make the playoffs.

Thursday, July 24
Game 40 Front Royal 8 Royals 7

By Josh Dorsey

Royals Blow Another Late Lead; Fall 8-7

Winchester –The Winchester Royals (14-25) put their playoff hopes on the shoulders of hometown favorite Darrell Thompson (2-1) out of Shenandoah University Thursday night at Bridgeforth Field hosting the second place Front Royal Cardinals (24-15). After two consecutive extra inning losses, the Royals opened the night one and a half games back of both New Market (15-23) and Aldie (16-24) for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Winchester was able to pick up a half game on New Market even before the first pitch. New Market was in a midst of playing a double header against Harrisonburg and fell in the first game 7-2. Aldie will be at Charles Town.

Front Royal jumped on Thompson early with a leadoff walk and an infield hit followed by a double steal that eventually set them up to score the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice to shortstop Alex Mata. Thompson was able to work through the rest of the first and kept the score at 1-0.

Lucas Luopa was able to get on base with a single and advance to third base when Front Royal committed a throwing error trying to throw him out stealing at second. The next pitch Corey Chafin was able to knock a single into left field for his 12th RBI of the season tying the game at 1-1.

Winchester was able to get the offense going with the top of the order in the third. Alex Mata started it off with a single followed by yet another Jerry Downs walk. Zac Carter was then able to drive in Mata with a single to left, his 15th RBI of the season. Downs and Carter were both able to cross the plate after a throwing error by Front Royal on a hard hit ground ball by Michael Landestoy. The Royals four unanswered runs gave them a 4-1 lead after three innings.

Just when it appeared Thompson had gotten into a grove and retired seven straight Cardinals Mike Elwood, who is listed as a pitcher on the Front Royal roster, was able to crush his first homerun of the season over the left field fence. The homerun cut the Royals lead to 4-2 and Thompson was able to recover quickly by striking out the next batter on three pitches and get out of the inning.

Front Royal’s third error of the night cost them again when Michael Sillyman was able to reach second on a routine ground ball that went through the first basemen’s legs. Wes Hoover drove Sillyman in on a sacrifice fly later in the inning getting the run back that Winchester gave up on the solo homerun in the top of the inning.

Thompson was forced out of the game with two outs in the fifth inning after giving up a third run and leaving runners on first and third base. Because he did not complete five innings Thompson was not eligible to pick up the win. Mike Carpenter (3-1) took over for Thompson on the mound. Carpenter’s first pitch got away from catcher Corey Chafin allowing another Cardinals run to score making it 5-4.

The Royals were able to start a two out rally once again with the top of their order in the sixth. Back to back base hits by Hoover and Mata brought Downs to the plate. Downs was able to hit a chopper back up the middle and an ill-advised throw attempt by Front Royal allowed Hoover to score from second base despite the ball never leaving the infield. It extended the Royals lead back to two runs at 6-4.

Down 6-4 Front Royal threatened in the top of the eighth by loading the bases. Royals coach Stu Richardson then turned to his ace Charles Cantrell, who had just won the outstanding pitcher of the year award prior to the game. Cantrell threw a wild pitch that brought a Front Royal run in and cut the lead to 6-5 giving Royals fans an eerily familiar feeling of déjà vu. Cantrell was able to strike out the next batter and get Winchester out of the inning with a 6-5 lead.

Winchester was able to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth scoring on a wild pitch, sending the game for the second straight night to the ninth inning with the Royals clinging to a two run lead.

Cantrell did not appear to be his usual self in the top of the ninth looking for the save. Cantrell walked the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth and was pulled in favor of Brian Fortier. The déjà vu that Royals fans feared struck when Front Royal tied the game on a double down the left field line. The Cardinals were able to take the lead on a Royals error. The Royals would once again head to the bottom of the ninth having blown a lead.

Once again the Royals were unable to produce any offense in the bottom of the ninth and fell to the Cardinals 8-7 in a third straight devastating loss.

New Market lost their second game of the day against Harrisonburg bringing the Royals one game back of the Rebels in the standings but Aldie was able to defeat Charles Town which extended their lead over Winchester to two and a half games. The Royals do however have two of their final four games against the Senators.

Winchester will have a their most important game of the season Friday night when they travel to Aldie to face the Senators which are one of the team’s they are fighting with for the final playoff spot. If the Royals are able to put together a winning streak this weekend the next home game would be enormous when they will host Aldie on Sunday night with possibly a playoff spot on the line depending on how the standings shake out throughout the final weekend of the season.

Wednesday, July 23
Game 39 Express 10 Royals 8 (10 innings)

By Josh Dorsey

Royals Blow Six Run Lead; Fall to Strasburg 10-8

Winchester – The Winchester Royals had no time to be somber about Tuesday night’s heartbreaking extra innings defeat at the hands of the New Market Rebels. The end of the Valley Baseball League (VBL) season is approaching quickly and Winchester remains within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Royals (14-24) currently sit one and a half games behind the Aldie Senators (16-23) and one game behind the New Market Rebels (15-23) for the coveted eighth playoff spot.

New Market was scheduled to travel to fourth place Charles Town (22-16) and Aldie was back on their home field against the first place Harrisonburg Turks (24-13) on Wednesday night. (New Market at Charles Town was postponed due to rain.)

While scoreboard watching at this point in the season will play a role, the main fact is that the Royals desperately needed a win Wednesday night hosting the Strasburg Express (19-20), and they would turn to the right arm of pitcher Tyler Gibson (0-0) for the start in this all important late season matchup.

After Gibson worked through a perfect first inning, the Royals put themselves in a good position to score after centerfielder Wes Hoover drew a leadoff walk and then stole second. Hoover would make his way to third with only one out but the Royals threat would fizzle out with two consecutive shallow pop flies that did not allow Hoover the chance to score.

The second inning was not as kind to Gibson, who has struggled with control issues throughout the season. Gibson walked four straight Strasburg batters giving the Express a 1-0 lead without ever swinging the bat. Winchester caught a break when right fielder Michael Hyman made a sliding catch and was able to turn a double play at second base on a runner who wandered too far off the bag. Luckily Gibson and the Royals were able to escape the inning only giving up one run. Despite the run Strasburg had yet to record a hit off of Gibson in the first two innings.

Winchester was able to get their leadoff batter on base again in the second inning when Michael Landestoy doubled to right field. This time the Royals were able to take advantage after Landestoy moved to third on a ground out by Lucas Luopa catcher Payton Thomas was able to pick up his second RBI of the season on an infield hit that drove in Landestoy and tied the game at one.

Gibson found himself in trouble again in the fourth after issuing a leadoff walk and then two wild pitches allowed the Strasburg runner to advance to third. The Express were able to drive the run in on a foul ball sac fly and Strasburg was able to take a 2-1 despite the fact they had yet to record a hit against Gibson.

Michael Landestoy was able to once again lead off the inning with a double for Winchester, this time down the left field line. It was then Lucas Luopa who had the honor of driving in Landestoy with his 14th RBI of the season and once again Landestoy’s run tied the game at 2. A beautiful safety squeeze by third baseman Brandon Canizares was able to score Luopa and give the Royals their first lead of the night. Winchester was not finished in the fourth, a two-out triple by Michael Hyman and a pitch that hit Wes Hoover set the table for a clutch two RBI single by Alex Mata. Jerry Downs was able to keep the rally alive with a single and Zac Carter was able to bring Mata home on an RBI single of his own. Downs then stole third and scored several pitches later on a wild pitch. Landestoy, who started the inning with a double, picked up an RBI single on his second at-bat of the inning. The Royals were able to push out to an 8-2 lead after picking up seven runs on seven hits in what was obviously their best offensive inning of the season. It was an inning Royals fans have been waiting for all season and it couldn’t have come at a better time in the midst of the tight playoff race.

Amazingly, Tyler Gibson entered the sixth with a no-hitter still intact and an 8-2 lead. Gibson was pulled from the game without allowing a hit in the sixth inning, his control struggles however led to seven walks, three hit batters, three wild pitches, and two runs for Strasburg. William Pozo (0-0) of Northwood University took over for Gibson and inherited two of Gibson’s base runners with no outs in the inning. Strasburg was finally able to pick up their first hit of the game with one out in the sixth, the RBI single cut the Royals lead to 8-3. Pozo walked the next two Strasburg batters which in turn walked in two more runs for the Express. Nate Traugh (1-3) out of North Carolina-Charlotte took over for Pozo. Traugh was able to work through the rest of the inning only giving up one run on a sacrifice fly but the Royals lead was cut to 8-6.

Brandon Valentin (1-5) replaced Traugh in the seventh and was able to get the Royals out of a jam and hold onto the two run lead.

Strasburg’s Sky Overton led off the eighth inning with a solo homerun that cut Winchester’s lead to 8-7 and left Royals fans squirming in the stands. Jerry Downs helped Winchester grab back some momentum with a sliding catch on a line drive that led to an unassisted double play at first base. Another clutch play by shortstop Alex Mata got the Royals out of the inning and within three outs of the victory clinging to a one run lead.

Jackson Berumen out of San Jose State University came on in the ninth for Winchester in an attempt to pick up his first save of the season. Berumen was able to record two outs with no problems, but was unable to record the final out before allowing the tying run to cross the plate on a double down the left field line. The game would go to the bottom of the ninth tied at eight.

Winchester was able to pick up two hits in the ninth but were unable to score and sent the game to extra innings for the second night in a row for the Royals.

After a questionable safe call at first base by the umpire that would have ended the inning Strasburg was able to construct a two-out rally in the top of the tenth giving the Express a two run lead. The Royals would have one final chance in the bottom of the tenth to try and recover for a much needed win.

Winchester was unable to get anything going with their final three outs and suffered a 10th inning heartbreaking loss for the second night in a row.

Winchester’s playoff push will continue at home tomorrow night against the Front Royal Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 7p.m. but be sure to try and get to the ballpark early as the Winchester Royals season awards will be handed out in a ceremony shortly before the game.

Wednesday, July 23
Game 38 Rebels 7 Royals 6 (10 innings)

The Royals lost to the New Market Rebels Tuesday night at Rebel Park 7-6 in ten innings. Their record is now 14-24 with 6 game remaining. With the loss, they remain 1-1/2 games behind Aldie for a playoff spot.

The lead in tonight's game kept changing as as the Rebels took an early 3-0 lead. The Royals inched back and a 3 run 6th tied the score at 5. The teams both scored in the 8th to tie the score at 6. 

The Rebels scored the winning run in the last of the 10th when, with one out, Tanner Dofflemyer bunted back to the pitcher. Pitcher Charles Cantrell failed to field the ball and Dofflemyer was given a hit. After Tray Roberts was issued a walk, Josh Mason's single drove in Dofflemyer with the winning run. Dofflemyer had earlier hit a home run off of Mike Carpenter to tie the score at six.

For the game, the bottom of the Royals' batting order contributed 6 hits and five runs. Canizares, Hoover, Luopa and Mata each had two hits.

The Royals used five pitchers with Charles Cantrell taking the loss.

The Royals host Strasburg Wednesday and Front Royal on Thursday.

Monday, July 21
Game 37 Turks 6 Royals 4

By Josh Dorsey

Harrisonburg Powers Past Winchester 6-4

Winchester – The Winchester Royals (14-22) started Monday night only one game out of the eighth and final playoff spot behind the Aldie Senators (16-22) but their work was cut out for them as they were hosting the first place Harrisonburg Turks (23-12). Aldie was spending Monday night on the road against sixth place Strasburg (17-20).

It was a rough start for Royals starting pitcher Brian Fortier (1-4) against the explosive Harrisonburg offense. The Turks came out swinging like it was a homerun derby in the first, a highly unlikely scene at Bridgeforth field which typically holds hitters in the park. Thomas Spitz was able to hit a solo homerun (3) over the left field fence off a 3-2 pitch and then Matt Rose was able to smash a two-run shot (6) to give the Turks an early 3-0 lead in the first.

Not to be outdone, Winchester flashed some power of their own in the bottom half of the inning. After a leadoff walk to Wes Hoover shortstop Alex Mata hit his third homerun of the season to cut the Turks lead to 3-2.

Royals coach Stu Richardson was not taking any chances in the tight playoff race and replaced the struggling Fortier on the mound to begin the second inning with Connor Staskey (0-1) out of Temple University.

Staskey was able to supply the Royals with some consistency on the mound and keep the Turks bats silent and off the scoreboard for two innings.

Harrisonburg got to Staskey in the top of the fourth with their third homerun of the game, a two-run bomb by Daniel Nichols (1) that increased the lead to 5-2 for the Turks.

Winchester once again came up in the bottom of the inning with a response for the Turks. Jerry Downs led off the bottom of the fourth by taking a ball deep to center for his fifth homerun of the season. Michael Landestoy later added a triple off the wall and Cody Bower was able to pick up his seventh RBI of the season by driving Landestoy home, once again reeling Harrisonburg back into just a one run lead.

Darrell Thompson (2-1) came in to relieve Staskey in the seventh. Thompson, out of local Shenandoah University, is fresh off an outstanding performance that got the Royals a win on Friday night.

Thompson continued his hot pitching and shut down the Turks in the seventh inning, keeping the Royals within one run with nine outs to work with in the game.

The Royals threatened with two outs in the bottom of the seventh by putting runners on second and third but Harrisonburg came away with a big strikeout of Alex Mata to get out of the inning.

Playing the matchup game, Brandon Valentin (0-5) came on to face the first batter in the eighth inning for the Royals. He was able to record the out thanks to a spectacular diving play by Jerry Downs at first base. Valentin was then replaced by William Pozo (0-0).

The first error of the night for the Royals proved to be a costly one when Wes Hoover’s throw from center field ended up at the backstop and allowed Harrisonburg to score. Mike Carpenter then replaced Pozo on the mound and inherited a 6-4 deficit and a runner on second base.

Strasburg was able to defeat Aldie 4-2 which was announced over the loud speaker at Bridgeforth Field in the eighth inning and put the Royals in a golden position to move into a tie for the final playoff spot if they could pull off a comeback victory.

Unfortunately, the Royals were unable to get the bats going in the final innings and fell to the Turks 6-4. The loss by both Winchester and Aldie kept the standings as they were to begin the night with Winchester one game out of the final playoff spot.

Winchester will travel to New Market tomorrow night and try to pick up a half game on Aldie who has the night off.

Sunday, July 20
Game 36 Generals 5 Royals 4

The Royals lost a much needed game in Waynesboro Saturday night as the Generals scored the winning run with a bases loaded sac fly to deep right to score the winning run in the last of the 8th. The Generals hadn't scored since the 4th inning as they had a 4-1 lead. The Royals scored 3 in the 5th to tie the game.

The Royals had a slim chance in the 9th after Hyman drew a 2 out walk but was then thrown out trying to steal second to end the game.

The Royals now must rely on the outcome of some other games to have a slim chance of making the bottom seed in the playoffs. The Royals are now 14-22 with 8 games remaining.

Jerry Downs led the Royals at the plate with 2 hits, including his 4th homer of the season.

Jackson Beruman took the loss in relief of starter Nate Traugh.

The Royals 4 runs were all earned and the Generals had 3, thanks to 4 Royals errors.

The Royals host Harrisonburg Monday and travel to New Market on Tuesday.

Friday, July 18
Game 35 Royals 7 Braves 3

The Royals defeated the Staunton Braves 7-3 Friday night before a crowd of 430 on Shenandoah University Community Appreciation night.

Darrell Thompson pitched 8 innings of five hit ball, allowing just 2 runs while striking out 8. Charles Cantrell closed out the 9th.

The Royals starters all had at least 1 hit and they had 12 in all. The Royals broke the game open in the 4th by scoring 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 Braves errors. For the game, Downs, Mata  and Hyman each had 2 hits.

The Royals are now 14-21 with 9 games remaining.

The Royals travel to Waynesboro Saturday and are off on Sunday.

Thursday, July 17
Game 34 Turks 5 Royals 0

The Royals lost in Harrisonburg Thursday night 5-0 to inch closer to elimination with a record of 13-21 with 10 games remaining. They now trail Covington and Aldie by 2 1/2 games. They have 2 games remaining with Aldie and one with Covington.

Luke Mould started for the Royals and gave up just 1 unearned run over 5 innings. Mould departed in the 6th and Valentin and Pozo closed out after the Turks scored 4 more runs. The Turks had 3 earned runs for the game as the Royals commited 3 errors.

Alex Mata led the Royals at the plate with 3 hits while Wes Hoover and Lucas Loupa had 2 each.

The Royals are at home Friday to host Staunton. It's free admission sponsored by Shenandoah University.

Wednesday, July 16
Game 33 Royals 7 Rivers Bandits 4

The Royals continued their quest for a playoff spot with a 7-4 win over the Woodstock River Bandits Wednesday night at Bridgeforth Field.

Tyler Gibson started for the Royals and gave up 3 runs and 5 hits in 1.2 innings. Nate Traugh came in to get the final out of the inning. Mike Carpenter came in to start the 3rd and it was lights out for 5 innings, giving up just one hit while striking out 9.  Connor Staskey took over in the 9th and gave up a run and loaded the bases when Charles Cantrell came in to get the final out. Carpenter got the win to move his record to 3-1 and his team-leading  strike outs to 41.

The Royals fell behind early but a 4-run fifth inning gave them a 6-3 lead which they never relinquished. There were 4 singles and a error for the inning.

Michael Sillyman's home run in the 4th seemed to ignite the team. Sillyman was 2-3 for the night with 2 rbis. Lucas Loupa added 2 hits and a run scored.

The Royals travel to Harrisonburg Thursday to take on the Turks and return home Friday to take on the Staunton Braves. Friday is Shenandoah University Night and free admission.

Tuesday, July 15
Game 32 Royals 9 Senators 2

In a game where two teams were vying for the final playoff spot, the Royals turned it up a notch in defeating the Aldie Senators Monday night 9-2 at John Champe Field in Aldie.

Brandon Volger gave the Royals a quality start, going 6.1 innings - giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and striking out four. Charles Cantrell and Darrell Thompson pitched the final 2.2 innings of shut-out ball.

Jerry Downs led the Royals at the plate with 2 hits and 3 rbis. Michael Landestoy added a double, triple, a run and an rbi.

The Royals are now 12-20 and 2 games back in the playoff race with 12 game remaining.

The Royals are off Tuesday and host Woodstock on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 12
Game 31 Cannons 9 Royals 3

Jerry Downs broke up Jack Charleston's no hit bid in the 9th inning with a 2 run opposite field home run driving in Tyler Gibson who had been hit by a pitch.  Michael Hyman then scored on a double by Alex Mata.

Nate Traugh started for the Royals and pitched well for 5 innings but ran into trouble in the 6th. He was charged with 2 runs on 3 hits for the game. Pozo, Fortier and Valentin closed out the game.

The Royals return home Sunday to host Covington.

Friday, July 11
Game 30 Express 11 Royals 3

The Strasburg Express exploded for 9 runs in the 7th inning to top the Royals 11-3 Friday night in Strasburg.

The Royals carried a 3-2 lead going into the 7th on the strength of a 2 run homer by Wes Hoover in the 3rd. Luke Mould came out the bull pen to make his first start of the year and was keeping the Express in check thru 6 innings.

The 7th was a different story as Tyler McDonald led off with a home run and Sky Overton doubled. Starter Brandon Volger came in for Mould and things didn't get any better as Volger gave up 4 runs on 4 hits. Addison Barber came in for Volger and gave up 3 more runs. Outfielder Michael Sillyman closed out the game. 

The Express rapped out 18 hits for the game. Their #9 hitter, Sky Overton, led the Express with 5 hits and 3 runs scored.

Taylor Martin got the win while Luke Mould took the loss for the Royals.

The Royals travel to Charles Town Saturday to take on the Cannons in a 7:00pm contest.

Thursday, July 10
Game 29 Royals 9 Cardinals 7

The Royals made up for their scoring drought by defeating the Front Royal Cardinals 9-7 Thursday night at Bing Crosby Stadium.

The Royals took a 4-0 lead in the 2nd on Wes Hoover's bases clearing double. Corey Chafin hit a solo home run in the 4th and an unearned run made the score 6-5.  The score was tied at 7 after 5.

The Royals scored the eventual winning runs in the 6th as Zac Carter's single drove in Downs and Bower.

The was no scoring in the last 3 innings. Charles Cantrell pitched 3 innings of shut out ball to get the win. Tyler Gibson retired the last 2 batters to end the game.

Corey Chafin led the Royals at the plate with 2 hits, 3 runs and 2 rbis.

The Royals travel to Strasburg Friday to take on the Express in a 7pm contest.

Wednesday, July 9
Game 28 Rebels 1 Royal 0

By Josh Dorsey

Carpenter Shines in Relief, but Royals Fall to Rebels 1-0

Winchester – The Winchester Royals and New Market Rebels matchup Wednesday night at Bridgeforth Field pinned two teams desperate for a win to try and climb back into the Valley League playoff race. The Royals (10-17) started the evening five games behind Charles Town for a playoff spot while the Rebels (8-17) began the night six games out of a playoff berth.

Brian Fortier of Davidson College took the mound for Winchester hoping to improve on his (1-3) record and 6.43 ERA as a starter. Fortier was also hoping to pick up the Royals first win after the all-star break.

Royals coach Stu Richardson made some changes to the Royals lineup by moving Wes Hoover (Central Arkansas), who came into the game batting .318, into the leadoff role and moving Alex Mata (Saint Leo University) down to the ninth spot. The move paid off when Hoover started the game with a single and a stolen base, but a double play nixed the Royals ability to get the game’s first run in the opening inning.

Fortier and the Winchester defense showed their own flashes of brilliance in the field by turning double plays to end both the first and second innings.

Fortier hit his stride in the third inning by making quick work of the Rebels, striking out the first two batters and throwing out the third on an attempted bunt-for-hit.

It was the fourth inning that started the trouble for Winchester on Monday night’s loss to Waynesboro and the fourth inning once again stirred up distress for the Royals Wednesday night when the Rebels loaded the bases with no outs.

Fortier was forced out of the game after loading the bases with an injury. Mike Carpenter (2-1) of Virginia Commonwealth University took over for the injured Fortier. After entering the game in a difficult situation Carpenter walked in a run to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead but was able to minimize the damage by striking out two and getting a third out on a shallow pop fly.

Things looked grim for Winchester following the fifth inning when the side struck out and the Royals had not picked up a hit since the leadoff batter of the game. Despite their struggles at the plate Winchester remaining only down one run heading into the bottom of the sixth due to timely pitching by Carpenter and stellar defense. Winchester turned a season high three double plays in the first five innings.

Winchester threatened in the sixth inning by getting two runners in scoring position but were unable to get them across the plate to tie the game.

A magnificent performance by Michael Carpenter filling in for an injured Brandon Fortier kept the Royals in the game and only down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Carpenter gave up just two hits and recorded 10 strikeouts in just over five innings of relief work. It was potentially the pitching performance of the season for the Royals.

Unfortunately, an invisible Winchester offense kept them off the scoreboard and handed the Royals their 18th loss of the season as they fell by a final of 1-0.

The Royals will be on the road Thursday night when they travel to Front Royal to take on the first place Cardinals (20-9).

Other Game Notes:

-Wes Hoover recorded two hits and a stolen base in his first game as the Royals leadoff hitter.

-The Royals have only recorded one run in their 18 innings since the all-star break.

-Josh Dorsey can be reached for comments at

Monday, July 7
Game 27 Generals 12 Royals 1

The Waynesboro Generals defeated the Royals Monday night at Bridgeforth Field 12-1. The Royals carried a 1-0 into the 4th when the Generals scored 3 runs and then scored in every inning including 2-3-2 in the 7th-8th and 9th. The Generals had 15 hits and all 12 runs were were earned as the Royals commited no errors.

Louis Luopa led the Royals at the plate going 2-3.

Starter Brandon Volger took the loss for the Royals.

The Royals host the Turks on Tuesday and New Market on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 5
Game 26 Turks 13 Royals 7

The Harrisonburg Turks were too much for the Royals Saturday night as they defeated them 13-7. Royals' starter Brandon Valentin lasted only 1.2 innings as they got to him for 2 home runs and a 7 run lead. Alex Mata homered to open the scoring in the first for the Royals.

The Royals will be at home on Monday night at 7:00 pm for a rescheduled game with the Waynesboro Generals.

Wednesday, July 2
Game 25 Braves 11 Royals 8
James Vasquez's 2 consecutive homers doomed the Royals in their 11-8 loss to the Staunton Braves Wednesday night at John Moxie Stadium. The game had a late start due to lightning. The Royals had six errors for the game. Mata, Downs, Landestoy and Luopa had 2 hits each.

Tuesday, July 1
Game 24 Royals 9 River Bandits 4

The Royals rapped out 18 hits in defeating the Woodstock River bandits 9-4 in Woodstock Tuesday night at the Central Sports Complex. The Royals were trailing 4-2 going into the 8th when they broke loose for 4 runs in the 8th and added two more in the 9th. There were no extra base hits in the inning but alert base running seemed to keep the Bandits off balance.

A line up change moving Lucas Luopa into the eight slot and Michael Hyman in the 9th slot seemed to help the run production. The last three hitters produced 6 hits and 5 runs. Corey Chafin had three of the hits including 3 rbis and a home run. Luopa and Hyman produced a double steal with Luopa scoring from 3rd.

For the night, Mata and Chafin had three hits and 5 others had 2 each.

Jackson Berumen pitched the the last 3.1 innings of relief to gain the win.

In the suspended game from June 4, the Royals won 4-2.

The Royals travel to Staunton Wednesday night and return home Thursday to host Waynesboro.

Monday, June 30
Game 23 Express 6 Royals 2

In a game that was delayed for 2 hours and 6 minutes by rain and wet grounds, the Express  topped the Royals 6-2. Express starter Michael Vinson shut down the Royals for 7 innings.

The Express got to Royals' starter Brandon Vogler for 2 run in the 5th on 2 doubles and a single. Charles Cantrell relieved and got the last batter out.

The Express scored four unearned runs in the 7th. The inning was delayed by fog.

The Royals were led at bat by 2 hits each from Jerry Downs, Zac Carter and Mac McCafferty

The Royals travel to Woodstock Tuesday to complete a suspended one inning game and a regular game.

Saturday, June 28
Game 22 Seators 8 (11-10) Royals (8-13) 3

The Royals fell behind early to the Aldie Senators 6-1 Saturday night at Bridgeforth Field on Apple Valley Hyundai night. The Senators had 6 runs on 8 hits in the first 2 innings. They had 16 hits total for the night and 7 earned runs. Strong and Albenese had 3 hits each for the Senators.

The Royals bull pen kept the Senators in check over the next 7.1 innings, allowing just two runs. Addison Barber allowed no runs over 2.2 innings pitched.

Michael Sillyman paced the Royals at the plate with 2 hits and an rbi.

The Royals are off Sunday and travel to Strasburg on Monday.

Friday, June 27
Game 21 Cards (15-5) 11 Royals (8-12) 6

The Winchester Royals were no match for league-leading Front Royal Cardinals as they lost 11-6 Friday night at Bridgeforth Field. The Cards have had their way with the Royals so far this season with 3 straight wins.

Each team had 10 hits but the Royals were back at their old game of missed plays, passed balls and wild pitches.

Alex Mata and Michael Hyman each had 3 hits to lead the Royals at the plate. The Cardinals hits were well distributed and may have been the difference in the game.

The Royals next four game are with teams below them in the standings so lets hope they can get back on track.

Thursday, June 26
Game 20 Royals 4 ( 8-11) Lumberjacks (10-8) 3

The Royals scored 4 runs in the 9th to edge the Covington Lumberjacks 4-3. Michael Sillyman's 2 run homer was the big blow in the inning. The Royals trailed 3-0 'til the 9th when they exploded for 4 runs. Michael Landestoy's 2 run double came up big, driving in Michael Hyman and Jerry Downs. Hyman was running for Cody Bower who had singled.

Mike O'Neil had staked the Jacks to a 2-0 lead with a 2 run homer in the first.

Charles Cantrell got the win in relief of starter Mike Carpenter. Luke Mould pitched a scoreless 9th to earn the save.

The Royals are now 3 games under .500 with Front Royal, Aldie at home, and at Strasburg -- and completion of a 1 inning game at Woodstock and regular game at Woodstock on July 1.

Wednesday, June 25
Game 19 Cannons 7 (11-9) Royals 5 (7-11)

The Charles Town Cannons defeated the Royals 7-5 Tuesday night at Bridgeforth Field. The Cannons scored 4 runs, 2 earned, in the 2nd off starter Connor Staskey. The Royals out hit the Cannons 11-7.

The top of the Royals order garnished 11 of the hits with Lucas Luopa getting 4 and Michael Landestoy getting 3. The bottom line was the Royals couldn't get the crucial hits when needed.

The Royals continued the trait of getting runners getting caught off base and passed balls/wild pitches. Improvements have been made in those areas.

On another note, the Royals have lost two of their starters due to injuries.

The Royals travel to Covington on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 24
Game 18 Royals 6 (7-10) Rebels 1 (8-11)

The Royals put it all together Tuesday night by beating the New Market Rebels 6-1 at Rebel Park. The Royals put together strong pitching and rapped out 12 hits in the win.

Brandon Volger started and gave up one run on 2 hits while striking out 7. Jackson Beruman and Mike Carpenter closed out the game, giving up no runs on 4 hits over 4 innings.

At the plate, Jerry Downs led the 12 hit attack with 3 hits and 1 rbi. Zac Carter and Corey Chafin added 2 hits each. Chafin had 2 dbls and 2 rbis.

The Royals will try for 3 straight wins as they take on Charles Town Wedneday night at Bridgeforth Field.

Monday, June 23
Game 17 Royals 3 (6-10) Cannons 2 (9-9)

By Josh Dorsey

Carter, Cantrell Lead Royals to 3-2 Comeback Victory

Winchester - The Winchester Royals (5-10) hosted the Charles Town Cannons (9-8) for a make-up game on Monday night. The Royals were hoping to rebound from the 11-2 beating they took at the hands of the Strasburg Express on Sunday night.

Brian Fortier (1-1) brought his 2.63 earned run average (ERA) to the mound against the Cannons and hoped to put a stop to the Royals routine of giving up early runs. Fortier was unable to do so when he allowed a leadoff triple followed by an RBI single to put Winchester in an early 1-0 hole. The good news for Fortier was that he was able to get out of the first only surrendering one run to the Cannons.

Charles Town once again recorded a leadoff extra base hit in the second inning and were able to eventually bring that run across to plate to pick up a run in both of the first two innings and put Winchester in the familiar position of playing from behind.

Fortier was able to keep the Cannons off the board in the third and fourth innings despite allowing the leadoff hitter to reach base in each inning.

Winchester was finally able to get the Cannons leadoff batter out for the first time in the top of the fifth inning. After recording two outs in the fifth Fortier was pulled in favor of Charles Cantrell (1-0) who was making his sixth appearance for Winchester and carried a team low 1.26 ERA into the game.

The Royals batters through the first five innings were clearly having a problem seeing the ball from the unorthodox side-arm delivery of Charles Town pitcher Austin Stephens (1-0). Stephens did not allow a hit through the first five innings.

After Brandon Canizares was hit by a pitch in the sixth Alex Mata was able to break up Stephens’ no hitter with a single into right field to establish the Royals first real threat of the night. Jerry Downs then loaded the bases with a walk for clean-up hitter Michael Landestoy. Landestoy broke up the Cannons’ shut out when he was hit by a pitch to bring in the Royals first run of the night. It appeared the Royals were going to take a lead on a ground ball by Zac Carter but Charles Town second baseman Chris Townsend made a sensational play to get the Cannons out of the inning clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Cantrell continued his excellent season on the mound for the Royals and kept them in the game by shutting down Charles Town after taking over in the fifth. Cantrell was able to retire 10 of the first 12 batters he faced.

Jerry Downs was able to line a single in to right field with two out in the eighth to chase Stephens from the game after giving up only his second hit of the night. Michael Landestoy followed Downs with another base hit and put the Royals in a threatening situation for the second time in the game for Zac Carter. This time Carter was able to capitalize for Winchester with a two RBI triple that brought the green and white fans to their feet and gave the Royals a 3-2 lead heading to the top of the ninth inning.

Cantrell stayed on the mound for Winchester to try and pick up the final three outs and a win for the Royals. He was able to take care of business and finalize the Royals exciting comeback to pick up his second win of the season while improving the Royals to (6-10).

Winchester will try and make it two in a row tomorrow night when they travel to New Market (8-10) for a 7 p.m. first pitch.

Sunday, June 22
Game 16 Express 11 (5-11) Royals 2 (5-10)

By Josh Dorsey

Express Roll Over Royals, 11-2

Winchester – After an off day on Friday and a rain out on Saturday the Royals got back on the field Sunday evening against the Strasburg Express to try and string together two wins in a row.

Brandon Valentin of St. Thomas University took the mound for Winchester and the Royals showed their rust while continuing their disturbing habit of falling behind early in games. Valentin allowed a leadoff single and a walk to begin the game. The Express then cashed those base runners in on a double down the left field line putting Winchester in an early 2-0 hole.

The Royals’ Jerry Downs and Michael Landestoy collected two straight walks with two outs in the bottom of the first but they were unable to convert them into runs when Michael Sillyman struck out to end the inning.

Valentin was able to put the first inning behind him and put Strasburg down in order in the second.Winchester was able to threaten again in the bottom of the inning with back to back two out singles, but another untimely strikeout ended the inning with two runners stranded.

In the top of the third Valentin was able to work out of a bases loaded jam to keep the Express off the board.

Winchester once again stranded two runners on first and second base in the bottom of the fourth after Mac McCafferty reached on an error and Brandon Canizares drilled a single past the third baseman.

Valentin was pulled to start the fifth inning and the Express immediately jumped on reliever Tyler Gibson using three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. Winchester got what they wanted with a sharply hit ground ball to third and the force out at home plate, but catcher Mac McCafferty’s throw to first for the double play hit the base runner in the back, the error brought a third run across the plate for Strasburg giving them a 3-0 lead. Green Campbell took over for Gibson on the mound with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and was able to get the Royals out of the inning.

The Royals mounted their first real threat in the bottom of the fifth when Wes Hoover was able to reach on a walk and Alex Mata was struck by a pitch in the back to get two on with no outs and slugger Jerry Downs to the plate. Downs was able to knock a single between the first and second baseman that scored Hoover but Mata was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play. The out proved to be costly for Winchester as Michael Landestoy singled on the next pitch that would have brought Mata in to score. Michael Sillyman was able to bring the Royals within one with a one-out RBI on a fielder’s choice. Winchester continued their season long trouble on the base paths when Sillyman was picked off of first base to end the inning.

The Express were able to answer the Royals fifth inning charge by taking advantage of two Winchester errors and two wild pitches to score three runs in the top of the sixth while recording just one hit. Jackson Berumen of San Jose State came in to relieve Green Campbell and allowed two more runs. Berumen was able to finish off the top of the sixth but Strasburg had done their damage and pulled out to what ultimately proved to be an insurmountable 8-2 lead.

Addison Barber took over for Berumen to start the seventh but wasn’t able to finish the inning as Strasburg was able to touch him up for three more runs increasing their lead to 11-2. Conner Staskey of Temple University relieved Barber. Staskey was able to contribute two scoreless innings from the bullpen.

The 11-2 loss drops the Royals back down to a tie for the bottom of the Valley Baseball League standings with a record of (5-10) while Strasburg improves their record to (5-11).

The Royals will be looking to get back on track at home again tomorrow night playing a make-up game against the Charles Town Cannons, first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Friday, June 20
Game 15 Royals 3 (5-9) Generals 2 (12-4)

The Winchester Royals had only one hit thru 8 innings (a single by Alex Mata).  Things looked hopeless as the Royals headed to the 9th, trailing the first place Waynesboro Generals 2-0. Things started to happen as Downs led off the 9th with a double to left center. Landestoy then drew a walk. Carter reached first on an error by short stop and Downs scored. Hoover attemped a bunt and the pitcher couldn't pick up the ball and Landestoy scored. Cory Chafin then doubled inside the 3rd base line, allowing Zac Carter to score the go ahead run.

Luke Mould pitched a scoreless 9th to get the save. Mike Carpenter pitched 3 innings of scoreless ball to earn the win. Starter Darrell Thompson pitched well for 5 innings, giving up 2 runs while striking out 6.

The Royals are off Friday and host Harrisonburg on Saturday.

Thursday, June 19
Game 14 Braves 8 (4-8) Royals 5 (4-9)

The Staunton Braves looking to halt their 6 game losing streak topped the Royals Wednesday night at John Moxie Stadium 8-5.

The Braves were riding a 3-1 lead going into the the 6th when they broke loose for 5 runs, chasing Royals' starter Nate Traugh.  Conner Stansky relieved and got into trouble by throwing away a sac bunt, allowing 2 runs to score. Jackson Beruman relieved and gave up 3 more runs.

The Royals made a mild rally in the 8th as they scored 3 runs on 4 hits.

Wes Hoover returned to the Royals' lineup and scored in the 5th as a pinch runner and beat out an infield single in the 8th.

The Braves had 2 earned runs while the Royals had 4.

The Royals travel to Waynesboro Thursday for a 7pm start.

Tuesday, June 17
Game 13 River Bandits 3 (3-7) Royals 2 (4-8)

By Josh Dorsey

Royals Comeback Falls Short, Lose to Woodstock 3-2

Winchester – The Winchester Royals (4-7) were desperately seeking a win Tuesday night at home against the Woodstock River Bandits (3-7) after yet another rain cancellation on Monday night’s makeup game and a late inning loss on Sunday night to the Aldie Senators.

This is Winchester’s second game of the season against the River Bandits. They currently hold a 4-0 lead in the first matchup that was suspended after eight innings due to a power failure and will be finished at a later date.

Royals’ starter Brandon Vogler of North Carolina-Charlotte did not get off to the start he we looking to when allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base. However, Vogler was able to settle down and record two timely strikeouts to get out of the inning only allowing one Woodstock runner to cross the plate.

Vogler continued to flirt with disaster in the second inning, allowing two singles and walk to load the bases with no outs. He was again able to work his way out of the jam only giving up one run and kept the Royals in the game despite a plethora of early base runners for the River Bandits.

When Vogler allowed a base hit to the first Woodstock batter in the top of the third inning, it was evident to head coach Stu Richardson that Vogler did not have his stuff on this humid Tuesday night. Vogler was replaced by University of New Mexico’s Tyler Gibson.

Gibson was able to work a solid two innings of relief, keeping the score at 2-0 in favor of the River Bandits. Richardson chose to start the fifth inning with another pitching change and pulled Gibson in favor of Charles Cantrell from North Carolina A&T.

Winchester got their first real offensive threat in the fifth inning when Zac Carter led off with a chopper to third that ended up with him on second base after a throwing error. Carter then stole third base and put himself 90 feet from scoring the Royals first run of the night. The threat died though when Carter was picked off of third when the Royals put a safety squeeze on and the pitch got by the bat of Scott Miller.

An error put the leadoff man on for Woodstock in the top of the seventh, after he then stole second, two wild pitches later he was able to cross the plate for the River Bandits adding third run of the game.

Winchester finally struck in the bottom of the seventh inning. An errant throw after a Zac Carter single gave the Royals base runners an extra base allowing Jerry Downs to score the Royals first run of the game. A few pitches later and Carter was able to score on an infield hit by catcher Corey Chafin. Scott Miller popped out to end the inning but not before Winchester was able to narrow the lead to 3-2 and set themselves up for another close finish.

After cutting the lead to one coach, Richardson chose to change pitchers for the fourth time and called on the Royals usual centerfielder, Green Campbell of Yale, on the mound. Campbell allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base but was able to keep Woodstock from scoring in the eighth. Campbell was able pitch 1 and 2/3 scoreless innings before the fifth pitching change of the night by Winchester. Luke Mould was called upon to get the final out in the ninth inning, which he was able to do successfully, and send Winchester to the bottom of the ninth down just one run.

The Royals were unable to get together any offense in the bottom of the ninth and therefore they did not get the result they were looking for, falling to the last place River Bandits by a final of 3-2.

Winchester will be in Staunton tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. start time.

Sunday, June 15
Game 12 Senators (5-5) 3 Royals (4-7) 2

The Royals lost in Aldie Sunday night as the Senators scored 2 runs in the last of the 9th on 2 hits and error and a sac fly.

The Royals took a brief lead in the top of the 9th as Alex Mata's double to deep left drove in Brandon Canazeris from first.

Michael Landestoy's homer in the 6th tied the score at one.

Michael Carpenter took the loss for the Royals.

The Royals travel to Woodstock Monday night to take on the Strasburg Express.

Saturday, June 14
Game 11 Cardinals 3 Royals 0

The Royals came to Bing Crosby Stadium Saturday night on a one game winning streak and a chance to make it two in a row.

It wasn't  meant to be as Keegan Long shut down the Royals' batters thru 7 innings on two hits and Logan Longwith and Kevin Becker-Menditto finished the 8th & 9th for the Cards. The Royals hit only two balls to the outfield in the loss.

Brandon Valentin started and took the loss for the Royals.

The Royals travel to Aldie Sunday night for a 6 PM start.

Friday, June 13
Game 10 Royals 6 Lumberjacks 5

By Josh Dorsey

Winchester Chops Down Lumberjacks 6-5 with Walkoff Squeeze

Winchester -- The Royals (3-5) attempt to avenge the 9-3 thumping they took at the hands of the Covington Lumberjacks (4-1) on May 31 was delayed thirty minutes on Friday night when weather threatened to affect a third straight game for Winchester. Fortunately, Mother Nature let up at Bridgeforth Field and the Royals were able to get back on the field after two straight cancellations.

Unfortunately for the Royals, Covington was able to jump all over hometown favorite Darrell Thompson (Shenandoah University) for two early runs in the top of the 1st inning. Thompson allowed a leadoff hit and then a questionable no-call of batter interference on a double steal later in the inning helped Convington’s rally in the first.

Winchester was able to cut the lead to one in the bottom of the first on clutch hitting by Memphis University's Michael Sillyman when he was able to pick up his first RBI of the season on a two-out single up the middle that scored left fielder Michael Hyman from second base.

The Royals were able to threaten again in the bottom of the third inning after Hyman picked up his second hit of the night with a one-out double. However, Winchester was not able to get Hyman across the plate and the Lumberjacks took their 2-1 lead into the fourth inning.

The leadoff man became a problem again for Thompson in the top of the fourth inning. This time leading off the inning for Covington was Cody Strong, who muscled a double past Green Campbell in center field. The Lumberjacks were able to then turn to their small ball game and move Strong to third on a sacrifice bunt and then across home plate when a pitch got past Royals' catcher Codey Chafin and rolled to the backstop. Thompson was chased from the game with a 5-1 deficit in favor of Temple University's Connor Staskey after 4.2 innings pitched, allowing five runs on six hits.

Winchester showed some life with another clutch two-out hit, this time by designated hitter Jerry Downs of St. Thomas University. With runners on first and second, Downs crushed a ball to the gap in right center for a 2 RBI double that cut the Lumberjacks lead to only 5-3 headed into the sixth inning.

Tyler Gibson took over on the mound for Winchester in the top of the 6th trailing by 5-3. In the bottom of the sixth it was Covington making all the mistakes and Winchester taking advantage. Several hit batters and passed balls led a run by Winchester and a one run game with the bases loaded and two outs for Michael Landestoy from Texas Christian University. However, Landestoy flied out to right and the Royals were only able to score one run on the Lumberjack’s miscues.

In the bottom of the seventh the Royals were able to complete the comeback when Jerry Downs came to home plate and leveled Covington catcher Matt Fortin to score the game's tying run in style.

Michael Carpenter made a solid pitching appearance for Winchester and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth tied at five with a chance to upset the second place Lumberjacks.

After a Jerry Downs walk with one out, Coach Stu Richardson made the decision to pinch hit with Zac Carter. The decision paid off when Carter singled to right field moving Downs all the way to third base with one out and the tying run 90 feet away. Covington walked Scott Miller to load the bases and create a force at home. The chess match continued when Richardson went to his bench again with Brandon Canizares. In a gutsy call the Royals sent Downs on a suicide squeeze, another decision that paid off for Winchester as Canizares laid down a perfect bunt and Downs was able to once again squeeze in at home to end the game with a Royals comeback 6-5.

There was some controversy at the end of the game if the Royals had continued running the bases, however Covington was unable to talk the umpires into changing the call on the field.

Winchester improves to (4-5) and will be in Front Royal tomorrow night to play the Cardinals.

Royals Notes: Second Baseman Edwin Medina left the team when he was selected in the MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. Congratulations to Edwin Medina!

Tuesday, June 10
Game 9 Rebels 5 Royals 4 (10 innings)

Darian Carpenter's 10th inning lead-off home run sunk the Royals in a closely contested game Tuesday night at Bridgeforth Field that was delayed 40 mins due to an earlier rain. The Royals were retired in order to end the game.

The Royals started off well with 2 runs in the first and 2 in the fourth to hold a 4-1 lead into the 6th when the Rebels got to starter Nate Traugh for 3 runs. Jackson Beruman relieved to stop the scoring. Beruman pitched well for 3.1 innings 'til he gave up the lead-off homer to Carpenter.

The Royals were led at the plate by Alex Mata with 3 hits.

Tomorrow's game at Strasburg has been postponed until Monday, June 16th.

Sunday, June 8
Game 8 Turks 4 Royals 2

The Harrisonburg Turks scored 3 runs early and that's all they needed in defeating the Royals 4-2 Sunday night at Eagle Field in Harrisonburg.

The big blow was a two run single by Rob Gold in the first. The Turks added a run in the 2nd and 1 in the 6th.

The Royals 2 runs were unearned as the Turks commited 3 errors. Alex Mata had 2 hits and scored both Royal runs.

The Royals had their chances in the 8th and 9th but couldn't get the timely hit they needed.

The Royals are off on Monday and host New Market on Tuesday.

Friday, June 6
Game 7 Royals 6 Generals 3

The Royals broke out early, scoring 2 unearned runs in the first behind a 2-run double by Michael Landestoy. They scored two more in the 5th, mainly on a triple by Edwin Medina. Medina scored on a sac bunt by Alex Mata.

Starter Darrell Thompson pitched shut out ball for 6 innings to get the win. Thompson allowed 2 hits and struck out five. 

The Generals touched reliever Conner Stansky for 3 runs in the 7th before Charles Cantrell came in and stopped the scoring.  Luke Mould faced 3 batters in the 9th to earn the save.

The Royals are off Saturday and travel to Harrisonburg Sunday to take on the Turks at 7:30.

Thursday, June 5
Game 6 Royals 6 Braves 4

By Josh Dorsey

Royals Edge Braves in Sloppy Contest Winchester – The Winchester Royals may have still been feeling the effects of Wednesday night’s confusing finish in Woodstock that left the game suspended in the top of the ninth inning with Winchester leading by a score of 4-0 after a power failure. (That game will be finished at a later date.) Despite a sloppy start in the field and on the base paths against the Staunton Braves on Thursday night Winchester did manage to come out of the first inning with a 3-1 lead.

Royals’ starter Brian Fortier struggled in the first inning allowing two hits and walking two batters, however he was able to work his way through the inning only surrendering one run to the Braves.

Winchester’s offense was able to jump on Braves starter Kyle Andre on their half of the first inning scoring three runs despite a slew of base running errors including two Royals getting into run-down situations while in scoring position.

Fortier settled down in the second inning and only faced the minimum three batters.

Sloppy play continued for Staunton when Winchester was able to increase their lead to 4-1 on an unearned run due to a throwing error by Staunton shortstop Richie Ricciardi.

Three errors by the Royals in the top of the fourth inning accounted for 2 unearned runs and narrowed Winchester’s lead to 5-3.

Brandon Richie replaced Kyle Andre on the mound for the Braves in the bottom of the fourth and inherited the 5-3 deficit. Richie was able to record the first scoreless inning all night in the fifth when the Royals stranded a runner on second base.

Brian Fortier left the game in line for a win after five innings only allowing one earned run. Jackson Berumen, who traveled all the way from San Jose State University to join the Royals this season took over for Fortier on the mound to start the sixth inning. Berumen retired his first four batters faced before finding some trouble in the top of the seventh after a walk and an error by Royals first baseman Jerry Downs. With two runners on and only one out Berumen was taken out of the game in favor of Mike Carpenter. Two of Carpenter’s pitches got past catcher Payton Thomas and rolled to the backstop leading to a Braves run and left the Royals with only a 5-4 lead heading into the seventh inning stretch.

Winchester was able to regain a two run lead after a Michael Sillyman triple lead to a run in the bottom of the seventh, however Staunton stayed within two when the Royals left the bases loaded. In the top of the eighth Winchester was able to turn a huge double play to come within three outs of winning their second straight contest.

The Braves had two men on via a walk and a single in the 9th but a timely double play ended the game.


Wednesday, June 4
Game 5 Royals 4 River bandits 0
The Royals won the suspended game 4-2 on 1 July 14. Luke Mould pitched the 9th inning.

Tuesday, June 3
Game 4 Royals 5 Senators 4

The Royals won their first game of the young season defeating the Aldie Senators 5-4 Tuesday night at Bridgeforth Field.

The Royals were out hit by the Senators 10-4 but the Senators committed 5 errors. The Royals had 3 earned runs and the Senators had 4. The bottom part of the Royals order each had 1 hit. Zac Cater had the Royals only RBI.

Charles Cantrell got the win coming in for starter Brandon Valentin, pitching 2.1 inning of scoreless ball.  Luke Mould got the save, pitching 2.1 innings of solid relief.

The Royals travel to Woodstock Wednesday for an 8PM start.

Sunday, June 1
Game 3 Cardinals 6 Royals 2

By Josh Dorsey

Cardinals Efficiency Outlasts’ Royals Power

Winchester – A beautiful Sunday night at Winchester’s Bridgeforth field turned into somewhat of a homerun derby as three total homeruns were recorded at a park that does not typically yield many long balls. In the end it was the Cardinals ability to manufacture runs on their nine hits that gave the Royals a 6-2 loss and an (0-3) start to the 2014 season.

The Royals faced early trouble Sunday night in their home opener at Bridgeforth field when the Front Royal Cardinals threatened with two runners in scoring position after a double by Hunter Newman and a throwing error by Royals shortstop Alex Mata in the top of the second inning.

This time the Royals were able to get out of the early jam behind the left arm of Shenandoah Universities’ Darrell Thompson who struck out the next two Cardinals to end the inning.

Winchester’s offense responded quickly with a solo homerun crushed over the center field fence by first baseman Jerry Downs to lead off the second inning. Thompson was almost able to escape trouble again in the top of the fourth inning but Cardinals first baseman Chris Stevens crushed a two-run, two-out homerun to left field giving Front Royal a 2-1 lead.

Thompson finished his night with a quality start when he was pulled after the fifth inning in favor of Mike Carpenter. The hometown lefty finished the night allowing five hits and two earned runs with six strikeouts.

Front Royal was able to get to Carpenter early when a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt manufactured another run on a hit up the middle by third baseman Hunter Newman. Newman would cross the plate later in the inning to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead in the sixth.

Winchester was able to chip away at the Cardinals lead and flex some muscle in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff solo homerun by shortstop Alex Mata.

The seventh inning was more of the same for the Royals. The Cardinals were able to add two more runs after their leadoff batter was able to reach base for the fifth time in seven innings.

After shutting out Front Royal in the final two innings Winchester remained within striking distance only down four runs in the bottom of the ninth. However, Cardinals closer Kevin Beckett-Menditto was able close the door and hand the Royals a 6-2 loss, their third straight loss to start the season.

The Royals will be at home again on Tuesday night when they host the Aldie Senators at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 31
Game 2 Lumberjacks 9 Royals 3

The Covington Lumberjacks scored 7 runs in the 3rd inning and proved to be too much for the Royals to over come.  For the inning, the Jacks had 7 runs and 5 hits, 2 walks, two Royal errors and 2 wild pitches.

The Royals were led at the plate by Edwin Medina and Alex Mata with 2 hits each.

The Royals host Front Royal Sunday for a 7PM start.

Friday, May 30
Game 1 Cannons 6 Royals 4

The Charles Town Cannons scored 4 runs in the first inning and hung on to defeat the Royals 6-4 Friday night at Jefferson High School. The Cannons managed a dbl and 3 singles and a walk off starter Nate Traugh and a fly out to score the runs.

The Royals managed a mild come back in the 6th as they scored 2 runs on a triple by Cory Chafin. 

Edwin Medina had 3 hits and a walk for the Royals. Bower, Hyman, and Mata added 2 hits each.

The Royals travel to Covington Saturday for a 7PM contest.