One big inning lifts Greencastle over Chambersburg
The way Chambersburg's offense is sputtering, a single run is precious.
The Trojans nearly nursed a 1-0 lead to the finish line Monday afternoon at Greene Township Park, but one bad inning spelled disaster. That enabled Greencastle-Antrim to cash in and produce a 5-1 non-league baseball victory.
Chambersburg scored four runs in its season opener, but the next four games have now totaled two runs in 28 innings.
It wasn't going to be easy Monday against G-A ace left-hander Nathan Starliper. And once he started getting his breaking ball across the plate, it was even tougher on Chambersburg. The Trojans managed six hits and struck out only four times, but the only inning that had more than one hit was derailed by a missed sign and a runner caught stealing.
G-A coach Eric Shaner said, "Chambersburg did a nice job of hitting Nathan early, but around the fourth inning he got control of his breaking ball. They had seen mostly fastballs until then, and that's a D-1 pitcher throwing a D-1 breaking pitch."
The Trojans' go-ahead run came in the third after No. 9 hitter Spencer Seaman led off with a base hit to left. On Austin Kopp's sacrifice bunt to third base, Seaman made it all the way to third when it was left uncovered.
"That's the kind of hustle play we need more of," Chambersburg coach Scott Folmar said. "That was good baseball instincts. And then Kaden (Hoover) did the right thing by hitting a grounder with the infield back to score the run."
The Trojans (1-4), however, had only one other baserunner reach second, and he was thrown out at third on a pitch in the dirt trailing 5-1 with two outs.
Folmar said, "We just seem to have a lack of focus on every pitch. He had just been reminded not to get thrown out at third."
Kopp, while allowing six hits and one walk through five innings, kept the Blue Devils (2-0) off the board, stranding runners in four innings, and getting an inning-ending play at second base by Seaman.
But in the sixth, the gates opened for Greencastle.
After an out, Evan Maun singled, Jimmy Beavers walked to end Kopp's day, and a base hit by Cade McDowell loaded the bases. Two consecutive errors on grounders and a hit batter made it 3-1, then Noah Brown added an exclamation point with a two-run single.
Brown said, "We were hitting the ball, but it seemed like when we got a runner to third base we slowed down. We've been itching to play a game (after three straight rainouts), so this felt good."
"Austin got into some trouble early, but got out of it and we would have left him in there except for the pitch count," Folmar said.
Shaner said, "We're a little frustrated because we can see how good we can be if we stop making mental errors. If you do it right in practice, you should do it right in the games. The good news is we're still 2-0, but we can't keep doing that."