By Madison Hricik
Closing out Week 3, the Winchester Royals and Covington Lumberjacks met for a doubleheader Sunday night. With a combined 39 runs scored over two seven-inning games, the bats were hot as the teams split the late night twinbill.
Underneath the hot sun on a humid evening, game one brought as much action as any baseball fan could want.
After a quiet first inning, Winchester’s offense exploded to earn nine runs with two outs. Catcher Will Long got it all started when a wild pitch gave him the chance to sprint home. It was almost immediately followed up by outfielder Cameron Brantley scoring the same way.
Designated hitter Colin Smith scored and made the game 3-0 when infielder Nate Furman earned a walk with the bases loaded. Next up was outfielder Garrett Kennedy as he crossed home from a wild pitch. Furman finished his trip around the bases from another single, and continuing the pattern was infielder Ramses Cordova, who scored on a passed ball, and infielder Austin Bulman, who scored on an error. To close out the jam-packed inning, Long and infielder Christopher De Guzman joined the party, scoring on a Cameran Brantley single before the Lumberjacks closed out the inning. When the smoke cleared, the score was Winchester 9, Covington 0.
Although the Royals had a comfortable lead, the Lumberjacks didn’t let them get any further ahead. Outfielder Trendon Craig scored Covington’s first run on a solo home run into right field in the third. Week 3’s Hitter of the Week outfielder Victor Castillo celebrated his honor by scoring another run on an error. Outfielder Brock Edge scored on a passed ball, and infielder Nathan Becker and infielder Jack Howell both ran home on a Paxton Tomaini single to cut the deficit to four.
Long earned an additional run in the fourth inning for the Royals for the 10-5 lead, but it was no use. Craig tied the game at 10 in the next inning with a grand slam, sending the ball flying over the fence in left field. Becker broke the tie by scoring on a hit-by-pitch, Hall scored on a walk, and Howell scored on a single. To end the massive, 10-run inning, Craig singled for another three runs, making the score 15-10.
Things seemed to slow down into the sixth inning, and the score remained the same going into the seventh. In the final moments, Becker sent a three-run home run into left field for three more Covington runs, making the score 18-10. Brantley and infielder Sabin Ceballos Ceballos both scored in the seventh in an attempt to rally Winchester, but it was no use as the deficit was too great. The final was 18-12 Covington.
Although not as offensively heavy, Game 2 had the same energy into the late night. Covington got on the board first this time around when designated hitter Blake Bortok scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Cordova answered right back for Winchester thanks to a single sent into center field. However, the biggest hit of the second game came from Furman, who sent the second grand slam of the night straight down the right field line for a 5-1 lead.
Covington’s infielder Paxton Tomaini and Winchester’s infielder Dilan Espinal both scored an additional run respectively as the night slowed down, but the Royals maintained the lead nonetheless. The only extra run of the game came from infielder William Burbank scored on a Jason Roberts double to cut the Royal lead in half, but the game ended in a win for Winchester, 6-3.