By: Scoop Carter
WINCHESTER- Harrisonburg Turk Michael Precise had trumped two solo home runs from Mickey Wiswall with a 3-run shot in the top of the sixth but Wiswall would get one last chance
to be the hero in the bottom of the eighth. Wiswall did just that when the Boston College star hit his third straight home run to plate Paul Bingham and Gino Matias and give his Royals a 5-3 win in the first half of a two park, three team day night double header.
With the regular season set to end Sunday already pushed back to Monday the Turks and Royals needed a place to make up their washed out game from Wednesday night. After the first game the Turks will go in search of some relief from the heat but the Royals will board the bus and drive down to Front Royal for a 7:30 PM night cap with the Cards.
Wiswall gave the home team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a lead off home run to right field. Taylor Hill (W) and Matt Chaffee (HB) were both sharp early on with the solo shot accounting for the only run heading into the top of the sixth inning. Daniel Heatwole reached on an error by the Royals to start the frame for the Turks. Mark Brooks attempted to bunt Heatwole over to second base but Hill made a nice play on the ball and fired to second to retire the lead runner.
Drew Johnson worked Hill for a walk to put Turks on first and second base and bring Precise to the plate. Precise, with his parents (Mike & Karen) and girl friend(Jordan Hopson) from Alabama in the stands, sent Hill's next pitch over the fence to give the Turks a 3-1 lead.
Wiswall was back at it in the bottom of the sixth when he hit his second consecutive home run to pull Winchester to within 3-2. The first home run came of Chaffee and the second one came off reliever Ian Campbell but the Turks still led heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Paul Bingham singled off the third Turks pitcher, Austin Sloan, with one out and Gino Matias walked one out later to bring Wiswall to the plate for his final at-bat.
"My first swing of the at-bat I was trying to hit one over the fence but then I was just looking for something to drive up the middle," Wiswall said. "He threw me five straight sliders and with the count 2-2 I was able to hit the next one out."
I went on to ask Mickey if he had ever hit three home runs in one game and he said "No, never."
Not even in a back yard game of wiffle ball when you were younger?
"Maybe in a home run derby with my friends"
Ever hit two in a regulation game before?
"Yes- against the Harrisonburg Turks"
Five home runs in two games against the Turks...
3 Home Runs vs. 3 different pitchers...
ROYALS 5, TURKS 3
WP-Matt Gerbe 2-1
LP-Austin Sloan 1-3
Time of Game-2 hours, 6 minutes
Bottom 4TH- Winchester
- Wiswall homered to right
Top 6TH- Harrisonburg
- Precise homered, Brooks score, Johnson score
Bottom 6TH- Winchester
- Wiswall homered to right field
- Wiswall homered, Bingham scored, Matias scored