Cardinals rally past Royals in 12 innings

WINCHESTER — Front Royal rallied from a five-run deficit for a 9-7, 12-inning Valley Baseball League victory over Winchester on Friday night.

In the top of the 12th inning, Front Royal’s Joe Mundy led off with a single, and Tyler Kaiser followed with a single off Winchester relief pitcher Justin Bureau.

After a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Williams Jr., Sebastian Diaz reached on a bloop single to load the bases. Front Royal’s Martin Napleton was then hit by a pitch from Bureau to give the Cardinals an 8-7 lead, their first of the game.

The Cardinals added another run on a wild pitch by Winchester relief pitcher John Bentley.

Winchester’s Jaylen Woullard doubled to the left-field corner with one out to get things started in the bottom of the third. It appeared Front Royal starting pitcher Kristopher Van Camp might get out of the inning after Winchester’s Derek Gibree flied out for the second out.

Then things began to cave in for Van Camp. Winchester’s Kevin Suarez hit an RBI single, and took third on an error. Trevor Jensen drew a walk, and Devin Gearhart followed with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.

Matt Allen’s RBI double and an RBI single by Gabriel Garcia gave the Royals a 5-0 lead and ended Van Camp’s night on the mound.

The Cardinals responded in the top of the fourth. Front Royal’s Zac Wiley and Mundy reached on back-to-back singles against Winchester starting pitcher John Barr. With one out, a sacrifice fly RBI by Williams cut the lead to 5-1. An infield single by Diaz and an error scored Mundy to cut the lead to 5-2.

Winchester came right back in the bottom of the fourth. Winchester’s J.J. Shaffer singled and went to second a sacrifice bunt by Woullard. Shaffer stole second and scored on an RBI double by Gibree off Front Royal reliever and Warren County graduate Joseph Catalini.

Suarez reached on an infield single, and a sacrifice fly RBI by Jensen stretched the lead to 7-2.

The Cardinals added a run in the top of the fifth. Front Royal’s Michael Hartnagel drew a two-out walk from Barr. Wiley followed with a single. Wiley reached second safely on an attempted force out off the bat of Mundy, which allowed Hartnagel to score.

Wiley hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 7-4. It was Wiley’s second home run in his last two games. Milo had three hits in the game and also picked up the save on the mound.

The Cardinals tied the game in the top of the eighth. Williams led off with an infield single off Winchester reliever Mackenzie Krupp. One out later, Tanner Halstead reached on an error. Michael Centeno followed with a two-run double to cut the lead to 7-6.

Yamil Pagan’s RBI single tied the game at 7-7.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or