Royals Run Past Lancers
By David Breidenbach, Correspondent
Apr 15, 2014, 19:30
Montae Bradshaw crosses home plate to push across a run for the Royals
COLONIAL HEIGHTS—And then again, sometimes it’s good when a plan doesn’t come together. Take for instance Prince George coach Mickey Roberts’ plan to rotate through three Royals pitchers in Monday night’s game against Manchester in their first-round match at the Colonial Heights Spring Invitational tournament at Shepherd Stadium.
The problem was Adam Harris came in throwing strikes and keeping most of Manchester’s big hitters off balance. At that point Roberts changed the plan and stuck with Harris. In the end, the Royals boosted their record to 6-3 on the season, besting the Lancers 11-3 in their second meeting of the year. By virtue of the loss, Manchester dropped to 6-3.
“The plan was to use three guys today. But Adam had good command of his pitches and was throwing strikes so I just left him in. He came in the last time we played them and kept us in the game,” Roberts said. The win avenged the Royals’ 5-0 loss to the Lancers two weeks ago.
The Royals pride themselves on playing good defense and keeping games close enough to earn the win. Against the Lancers, they managed to do just that, but also got some timely hitting. It didn’t hurt that the Lancers had seven errors, mostly coming when the Royals went small ball and executed five bunts.
It was a good night for the Royals offense, scoring in all six innings. Jordan Nase opened the scoring when he reached first on a dropped third strike. He promptly stole second base, and reached third on a passed ball. Mark King then slugged a ball to the base of the right centerfield fence for a double, scoring Nase and would later score himself to take the early 2-0 lead.
The Royals starter, Joey Runion, yielded one run in the top of the second when Ford Condrey reached on a walk, stole second, and scored on JT Creed’s double. A pop-up to King at shortstop ended the threat.
Prince George tallied four runs in the bottom of the second. Montae Bradshaw led off with a walk and Brody Rotzoll followed with a single. Jackson Rivera’s bunt was intended to push the runners to second and third, but he beat it out for a hit and drove in Bradshaw. Travis Wyatt also tried to advance the runners by a bunt. The bunt hand-cuffed the defense as Rotzoll scored from third and Wyatt was safe at first. Rivera and Wyatt also scored in the inning, but the Lancer’s Joey Lowry settled down to get a pair of ground outs and a fly ball to center to end the inning.
Lowry singled to open Manchester’s third inning, but was picked off at first with King making the tag. The Lancers picked up a pair of runs when Austin Glenn singled and Nick Butts followed with a homer that cleared the wall in left field. The Lancer’s number three batter, Alexander Mauricio was hit by a pitch, and Roberts made the move to put Harris on the mound.
Harris responded by inducing a pop-up to short and a fly ball to right to end the uprising. The Lancers only real threat after that came in the fifth inning, when Glenn reached on a single, stole second and managed to reach third. Harris got the next two batters on a fly ball to right and a pop-up to King in the edge of the outfield grass.
“I thought this was my best performance this season; I did what I had to do and we got a win,” Harris said. “My fast ball worked good early, and then I used the slider against the power hitters. I normally get pop ups and fly ball outs.”
Joey Runion uncorks a pitch during Prince George's win over Manchester
While Harris was keeping the Lancers off the bases, the Royals’ offense continued to rack up runs. They picked up a pair of runs in the third inning and single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Connor Daly singled to open the third inning and scored on Earl Long’s RBI. Long scored on Bradshaw’s RBI bloop single behind second base. King singled in the fourth inning and scored on Daly’s double; Rivera singled in the fifth and scored on Nase’s sacrifice bunt; and Daly closed out the scoring for the Royals in the sixth-inning when he singled, took second on an error, and later scored on a passed ball.
“They had problems with the bunt, and I think if you do it once and it works you should try it again. But we had some key hits. We need to be able to do that (score every inning) to be able to put pressure on the other teams. We don’t have great pitching, but we field the ball well and if we can get some hitting we will be all right,” Roberts said.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS SPRING INVITATIONAL
Manchester 012 000 0 – 3 5 7
Prince George 242 111 x – 11 12 0
Lowry, Solomita (6) and Davis, Roberts (6). Runion, Harris (3) and Rotzoll. W — Runion. L — Lowry.
Highlights: (M) Austin Glenn 2 for 3, run, SB; Nick Butts 1 for 3, 2-run HR; (PG) Mark King 2 for 4, 2 runs, RBI; Connor Daly 3 for 4, 2 runs, RBI; Montae Bradshaw 2 for 3, run, RBI; Jackson Rivera 2 for 4, 2 runs, RBI.
Records: Manchester 6-3; Prince George 6-3