A slo-mo look at Sandy Paulino's triple in the first inning. Brandon Stoneburg
Central York manager Mike Valencik might have worn out a path walking back and forth from the dugout to the mound Friday.
Valencik sent four pitchers to the mound in five innings with none finding much more success than the one before him.
Valencik and the Panthers knew coming into the season that pitching would be the main concern, and Friday's 15-3 season-opening loss to Waynesboro in five innings may have been a small glimpse of that. Central's four pitchers combined to give up 14 hits, 15 runs and five walks in five innings. Granted, eight of those runs were unearned resulting from three errors, mostly caused by the blustery conditions, but it still wasn't the way Central wanted to open the 2016 season.
"Our starter threw well, but things didn't go so well after that," Valencik said. "I'm beating a dead horse, but pitching is everything. We had three critical errors and they had nine unearned runs. If you don't pitch and you have the errors, what are you going to do? You can't recover sometimes from that."
The Indians put up two runs in the first inning, but they really usurped the momentum in the second. With two outs and two runners on, Cody Cline hit a lazy fly ball to left field that drifted in the wind and eventually bounced off the glove of Central left fielder Ben Ward. Instead of the inning ending with Central down 2-1, the error extended the inning and allowed Waynesboro to tack on four more runs.
"If we make that play in left, I think we're winning," Valencik said ."You look at the scoreboard now and we're not winning now."
Waynesboro sent 13 batters to the plate and added nine runs in the fifth inning to induce the 10-run rule. The Indians tagged left-handers Brendyn Martin and Brady Abel for four hits and six runs without either recording an out, then scored three more on Kevin Ehrman.
"We need to hit the outside and hit our spots better," Central catcher Joe Kroeger said. "We left a lot out over the plate and that's why they were driving the ball. ... And we didn't hit as well as we should've either. But it's lessons learned."
The Panthers can take some positives out of Friday's loss. Besides the four unearned runs, starter Beau Burris flashed some potential. And the offense took several counts deep, drew four walks and made good contact including a Sandy Paulino double and an Elzir Stroman double to deep right back-to-back in the first.
"There were some positives believe it or not," Valencik said. "We're try to enhance on them and not focus too much on the negatives. But it has to be addressed and the kids have to play better. You have to make the easy plays. ... We'll get better."
Waynesboro 15, Central York 3 (5)
Waynesboro_ 240 _ 09x _ x _ — _ 15_ 14_ 2
Central York _ 120 _ 00x _ x _ — _ 3_ 3_ 3
WB, Kyle Hoffman. CY, Beau Burris, Brendyn Martin (4), Brady Abel (5), Kevin Ehrman (5).
SO-BB — WB, Hoffman 3-4; CY, Burris 1-2, Martin 0-2, Abel 0-0, Ehrman 0-1 W — Hoffman; L — Burris; 2B — WB, Hoffman, Bubba Hamilton; CY, Elzir Stroman 3B — CY, Sandy Paulino.