Gens Win Fourth Straight
Even though the Generals were facing one of the top arms in the league on Thursday night, they managed 10 runs on 15 hits to put up their 13th win of the season and fourth win in a row.
With Winchester’s Michael Anderson on the mound, the Gens figured to have a low scoring affair. Anderson was 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA coming into the ballgame with wins over some of the top teams in the league. However, when Winchester came out swinging, the Gens knew they needed to keep swinging the bats the way they have been the past 5 games.
The Royals scored two runs right out of the gate. An error, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with nobody out in the inning. After a strikeout recorded the first out of the inning, Winchester came up with a sacrifice fly to center field to score the game’s first run. The next batter hit a ground ball to short stop for what looked to be the third out of the inning. However, the throw across the infield was a low one and wasn’t able to be dug out. The first inning for Winchester included two runs on no hits and two errors by the Gens.
The Generals didn’t take long to bounce back in the bottom of the first. Kobe Lopez (Florida International) started things off with a single down the left field line. He took a big round and thought about heading for second, but decided against it. It ended up being a great decision because in an 0-2 count on the very next batter, Joey Kinker (Florida Gulf Coast) hammered a no-doubter into the pine trees in straight away left field for his second home run of the summer. It was also his second consecutive at-bat with a home run after hitting the game tying homer against Staunton the night before.
The Royals responded right away in the top of the second inning. A single by Will Long lead off the inning. He was moved to second base on a tapper back to the mound that the Generals fielded cleanly for out number one. Another single, this time by Trent Burgreen, put runners on the corners with one out in the inning. Mason Prososki then skied one to left to drive in their third run of the ball game.
The Gens would match the run total in the inning to tie the game again in the bottom of the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Jackson Tate (Alabama) and Jack Murphy (St. Mary’s) had things off and running. Jackson Greene (Florida State) rolled a grounder to the third baseman, but it was so well placed and slowly hit that Murphy was able to move into second, and Tate was able to score from third. The game was tied after 2 complete innings with a score of three to three.
The Royals scored for a third consecutive inning to start the ball game. Singles from Dyer and Palenski had runners at first and second with nobody away. After a strikeout for the first out, Will Long would come up huge with a double that perfectly directed the center and right fielders for a bases clearing double. The score going to the bottom of the third was now 5-3.
Finally in the bottom of the third, the Gens said enough is enough and would take the lead instead of just matching scores. Elijah Quiceno (Gannon University) would start the hitting with a one out single. Bryson Worrell (East Carolina) rolled into a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning. However, he would steal second to put himself in scoring position for Seth Cannady (Florida International). Cannady wouldn’t waste the opportunity. He ripped a single to center field for an RBI single. A couple pitches later, Cannady would also steal second base. This time it was Jackson Tate who wouldn’t waste the opportunity. He hooked a line drive down the left field line for an RBI double. Finally, it was Jack Murphy with another 2-out RBI single to drive in Tate to take the lead 6-5.
After a scoreless fourth inning from both sides, the Royals would tie things up yet again in the 5th. Back-to-back one-out singles from Palenski and Barnett had runners at first and second. After a strikeout, it again looked like the Generals were going to get out of the inning unharmed with a ground ball to shortstop. However, the throw was low once again and not able to be dug out at first. The throw skipped away and allowed the Royals to tack on the tying run. Three out of the six runs that had score were unearned runs.
But the Generals did what they seemed to do all year when a team scores on them. They responded with more runs of their own. A walk to Eli Quiceno lead things off, but after two straight outs, it looked like the inning may stall. The good thing for the Generals is that they had Jackson Tate and Jack Murphy up, who went a combined 7 for 8. Tate kept the inning going with a single through the left side. Jack Murphy then doubled to left center field to drive in Quiceno. This gave the Gens the lead, but they weren’t done there. Jackson Greene drilled a single up the middle after a pitching change to put up two more runs. The Gens led 9-6 after 5 complete innings.
From there, things really calmed down. Zach Blankenship (Valdosta State) settled in and dealt a strong three innings to eventually pick up his third win of the season to lead the Generals in that category. The Generals would tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th to make the score 10-6. Eli Quiceno ended up being the guy to start things again, this time with a two out single. He moved into second base on an error by the left fielder. Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State) then drilled a double to left center field to drive in Quiceno. That brought the score to its final tally of 10-6.
Key Performers for Winchester:
Will Long: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Aaron Palensky: 2-4, RBI, 2 R
Jordan Barnett: 2-5
John Dyer: 2-5, R
Key Performers for Waynesboro:
Joey Kinker (Florida Gulf Coast): 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, R
Jackson Tate (Alabama): 3-4, 2B, RBI, 3 R
Jack Murphy (St. Mary’s): 4-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Elijah Quiceno (Gannon U): 2-4, 2 R
Jackson Greene (Florida State): 1-3, 3 RBI
Zach Blankenship (Valdosta State): W (3-0), 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
The Generals (13-7) will be back in action Friday night at home vs the Covington Lumberjacks in a South division matchup. First pitch at Integrity Home Mortgage Park at Kate Collins Field is set for 7 pm. The Gens look to win their fifth in a row.