Friday night, the Princeton Rays belted out four home runs – three from 17-year old shortstop Adrian Rondon – in a 16-2 rout of Burlington. Less than 24 hours later, the P-Rays mustered only six hits as the Royals blanked them, 5-0, Saturday night in front of 3,827 fans at Burlington Athletic Stadium.
The Royals prevented Princeton from sweeping their three-game, season-opening series, and dealt the P-Rays just the third loss in their last 12 games on Burlington’s home field.
Royals starting pitcher Garrett Davila – who grew less than two hours from Burlington – sparkled in his professional debut. The 19-year old left-hander allowed only three singles over 5.2 innings, walking three and striking out five, while about 30 of his family and friends watched from the stands.
Princeton starter Jose Disla gave up only three hits over 4.1 innings, but walked three, and was lifted 69 pitches. Reliever Brian McAfee allowed five hits and one run in 1.2 innings before giving way to Peter Bayer. The hard-throwing right-hander worked the final two innings, striking out five but surrendering a solo home run to Chris DeVito in the 7th.
DeVito’s homer aside, Burlington relied on what historians used to call “inside baseball.” The Royals scratched out their first run in the bottom of the 1st, when Nicky Lopez led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Zane Evans’ sacrifice fly.
In the 4th, DeVito drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on another wild pitch from Disla, went to third on a flyout and scored on Vance Vizcaino’s infield single.
In the 5th, Tyler Straub led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on a groundout by Lopez, and scored on Jonathan McCray's single. Evans moved McCray to third with a well-placed hit-and-run single, with McCray coming home on DeVito’s fielder’s choice.
Blake Grant-Parks – a 2014 P-Ray back with Princeton – led the lineup by singling twice and reaching on a fielder’s choice.