Braves Stop Winchester, 5-2

The Staunton Braves improved to 5-2 on the season with a 5-2 victory over Winchester at Moxie Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Five Braves pitchers combined to limit the Royals to six hits. Starting pitcher Bailey Hall (Eastern Mennonite) turned in a strong effort, allowing just one run on four hits in five-plus innings. Justin Showalter (JMU) allowed one run on one hit in 1.2 innings to pick up the win, his second of the summer. Jeremy Cook (Miami) retired the only batter he faced to end the seventh and Brycen Thomas (Middle Tennessee State) pitched a scoreless eight. Brandon Wilkes (Bethune-Cookman) worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his second save of the summer.

The Braves scored first with a run in the third. Matt Golda (Western Oklahoma State) led off with a double and Cole Swiger (Bloomsburg) followed with an infield single. Golda scored on a throwing error on the play, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Reece Yeargain (Randolph-Macon) led off the fifth with a double and moved to third on Golda’s sac bunt. Swiger followed with a  double to make it 2-0.

Winchester tied the score with two runs in the sixth, but the Braves regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Eric Conner (Walsh) led off with a single and Hayden Leatherwood (Northwest Mississippi) walked. Conner took third on a wild pitch and score on a sac fly by Luke Jackson (UNC-Pembroke), making the score 3-2.

The Braves added two insurance runs in the seventh. Swiger led off the inning with a single and Brett Willett (VCU) doubled. Swiger scored on a single by Seth Hartings (UNC-Pembroke) and Willett raced home on a throwing error on the play, giving Staunton a 5-2 lead.

Swiger was 3-for-4, raising his average to .414 on the season. Hartings was 2-for-4 and is now batting .478 this season. Conner was 2-for-4 and has hit safely in all seven games to start the season.