WINCHESTER — The Winchester Royals season came to an end in the first round of the Valley Baseball League playoffs with a wild 10-8 loss to Strasburg on Monday night at Bridgeforth Field.
The win by Strasburg (28-16) — the top seed in the North Division — completed a two-game sweep of its best-of-three series with No. 4 Winchester (18-26).
The Express scored three runs in the second to take a 3-0 lead, but the Royals answered with five runs in the fourth to go up 5-3. Down 6-4, Strasburg scored three runs in the sixth to make it 7-6, but the Royals scored a run in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 7-7. Strasburg took the lead for good with a run in the seventh on Zachary Scott’s leadoff home run and expanded its advantage to 10-7 with two runs in the eighth.
Winchester scored a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Eliel Martinez to make it 10-8, but Masen Prososki was stranded at first when Justin Taveras grounded out to second for the final out of the game.
Strasburg finished with 12 hits and six walks and Winchester had 11 hits and three walks. The Royals made three errors while the Express had two.
Mark Timmins started for the Royals, allowing four runs (all earned), seven hits and three walks while striking out two batters in five innings. Ruben Ramirez (0-2) relieved and took the loss, permitting four runs (two earned), two hits and three walks while striking out one batter in 2.1 innings.
Offensively, Winchester was led by Jose Gutierrez (3 for 5 with a solo home run, two RBIs, and two runs), Prososki (2 for 3 with a run, double, and two RBIs), John Dyer (2 for 5 with a run and an RBI), Aaron Palensky (two runs and a double) and Michael Morgan (a double and two RBIs).
Scott went 4 for 5 with two runs, two doubles and two RBIs for the Express.
Strasburg advanced to the North Division finals with the win over Winchester. The Express hosted No. 2 Woodstock in the first game of the best-of-three series Tuesday.
SU announces schedule
WINCHESTER — Shenandoah University head women’s basketball coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft announced her 2019-20 schedule Tuesday.
Smeltzer-Kraft’s Hornets, the defending ODAC champions and the Division III champion for team GPA, have 11 home games in addition to a trip to Puerto Rico over the Christmas holiday on tap for the upcoming season.
SU opens the season on Saturday, Nov. 9 with perennial power Marymount coming to the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center for a 2 p.m. non-league contest.
Following a midweek trip to Hood on Nov. 13, the squad begins a two-game homestand that starts with Southern Virginia on Nov. 16 and ends with the ODAC opener versus Virginia Wesleyan on Nov. 20.
The Marlins are one of three ODAC schools that the Hornets will face in the opening two months of the season — Smeltzer-Kraft’s club travels to Ferrum on Dec. 1 and hosts Roanoke on Dec. 7.
In between those latter two ODAC games, the Hornets will make a quick trip to Towson, Md., on Dec. 4 to play Goucher College in the final non-conference road contest of the year.
The team wraps up the first half of the year by playing Elizabethtown and Colby-Sawyer Dec. 20 and 21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The two games mark the first time that Shenandoah has played non-exempt games outside the continental United States in program history.
The new year begins in earnest as SU hosts Randolph in a New Year’s Day ODAC contest. The WildCats are one of seven schools scheduled to visit the Wilkins Center in January and February. Lynchburg (Jan. 11), Bridgewater (Jan. 15), Washington & Lee (Jan. 29), Ferrum, Emory & Henry (Feb. 8) and Guilford round out the home ODAC slate with the Guilford contest on Feb. 15 serving as Senior Day.
The Ferrum contest, on Feb. 1, is Alumni Appreciation Day.
SU travels to E&H (Jan. 4), W&L (Jan. 7), Guilford (Jan. 12), Roanoke (Jan. 25), Eastern Mennonite (Feb. 4) and Bridgewater (Feb. 12) to complete the league slate.
The final non-league game is Jan. 22 at Mary Washington.