By Jerry Holsworth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Cory Spangenberg clubbed a three-run double to deep right field in the bottom of the fifth to propel Winchester to a dramatic come-from-behind 5-3 victory on Tuesday over Woodstock in Valley League action.
The VMI freshman was the most productive hitter of the night going 2-for-2 at the plate with three RBIs.
"I just saw the ball real well in this game, and they started to fall in," Spangenberg said.
Spangenberg's heroics helped the Royals snap a three-game losing streak and spoiled an otherwise brilliant pitching performance by Woodstock starter Oscar Almeida.
"We definitely knew that we could score runs off him," Spangenberg said. "We'd seen him a lot. We just needed to string a few of those hits together, and we did that tonight."
Up until Winchester's five-run fifth inning, the University of New Mexico right-hander had completely shutdown the Winchester bats. Through his first three innings on the mound Almeida had got the Royals out in order. His first hit of the game was a double to Spangenberg to begin the fourth. Almeida, however, quickly recovered and got the next three Winchester batters out to strand Spangenberg on third.
While Almeida was holding the Royals at bay, the River Bandits' bats gave Woodstock what looked like a good lead, considering Almeida's pitching.
"Things were working good for me," Almeida said. "I just had one bad inning, but I was happy with the rest of the time I was out there. I thought that I had a pretty good start."
Buddy Sosnoskie got the River Bandits on the scoreboard with an RBI double in the third, and Billy Barber made it 2-0 with a solo home run in the fourth.
"We just didn't have the big inning and that was the game," River Bandits coach Donn Foltz said. "They have a good hitting team, and they were able to put some big numbers up in the fifth. We just didn't follow up. This is a long season, and we're not really that worried about it right now. Right now we need get some offense going, but I think that it will come."
The Royals five-run fifth, however, spoiled Almeida's night on the mound. He took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three.
"It was about time we started hitting him," Spangenberg said. "He shut us out for 14 innings coming into this game."
Winchester also got a good performance out of their starter, Charles Steinman. The Georgetown freshman allowed only two runs over 7 2/3 innings to get the win and improve his record to 4-0.
"Charlie was outstanding again tonight," Winchester coach John Lowery said. "He'll throw any pitch with any count, and he doesn't let the hitters get a rhythm on him. He struck two guys out with three-and-two curveballs. That was probably the last thing that they were expecting. But that's just the way he pitches, and he's pitched that way all year. He's done a great job."
Steinman's performance so far this season has been a great relief to the Royals, who have struggled at times on the mound. But the Royals' bats and their defense are as solid as any team in the league. The Royals committed just one error and have only 11 for the season.
"We've had a couple of pitchers who are beginning to come around," Lowery said. "We also saw tonight that we have some guys that can swing the bat when they need to, and we've played strong defense all year. If we keep doing those things I think it will give us a chance to win."