BASEBALL: Waynesboro staves off James Buchanan rally for 6-5 victory
MERCERSBURG >> Waynesboro has struggled to put together a complete baseball game all season.
That storyline didn't change Thursday afternoon against James Buchanan.
The Indians looked brilliant through the first four innings of the Mid Penn Colonial Division contest, but then they had to crawl and scratch their way to the end, eventually staving off the feisty Rockets for a 6-5 victory.
"Funny thing is, we've been playing well the last three but not the first four," Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler said. "But today, we played well the first four innings and not the last three. We're still looking for a complete game, but a win's a win, and we'll take it today."
The Indians (4-5, 2-2 MPC) put up three runs in the first inning and tacked on some insurance in the fourth and fifth innings. They led for the entire game, but the Rockets (3-5, 1-3 MPC) didn't go down without a fight.
After breaking through for a run in both the fifth and the sixth innings, James Buchanan faced a 6-2 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Pinch hitter Kyle Buchanan led off the frame with a single to leftfield, and Aaron Nagy reached on an error. Then came Jared Pine, and he delivered.
"We weren't focused enough at the beginning," Pine said. "I just knew I had to hit the ball hard somewhere, and I was looking for something I could drive far."
He found it.
With a 2-2 count, Pine laced a triple to dead centerfield that plated Buchanan and Nagy and gave the Rockets some life.
"There in the last couple innings, we were taking more pitches," JB coach Scott Folmar said. "That's not really our philosophy, but (Waynesboro's pitchers) were struggling a little bit and throwing a few more balls. We were getting later in the counts and put together some nice at-bats later in the game."
Waynesboro had the answer, though, and it came in the form of reliever Zach Kober.
"My mentality at that point was that my team needed me to produce," Kober said. "I had to do whatever I could to get three outs and get out of there with a win."
The first batter he faced, Michael McCartney, reached on error that drove in Pine, but that was all the Rockets got from him. Kober fanned the next three batters in a row, including two swinging strikeouts with full counts to end the game.
"Credit to Kober, he came in there and struck out the side, which we needed," Chandler said. "I don't know if we wanted another ball in the infield at that point."
Kober said, "I tried to work in some offspeed stuff because I wasn't throwing the first strike. I got to a full count there, so my catcher was giving me a fastball every time. I just took a deep breath, threw it as hard as I could and hoped for a strike. Luckily, they swung and missed."
Waynesboro had a fine hitting day, and an even better baserunning performance. The Indians finished with nine hits, including three from David Emmert and two from Austin Hanshew, and they swiped seven bases, including three by courtesy runner Todd Riddell.
"We know that they're going to run," Folmar said. "They typically do that often, and we just couldn't throw anybody out. We got one guy early, but they just kept running, and it hurt us. It put those guys in scoring position all day, and we couldn't get the job done."
Waynesboro 6, James Buchanan 5
WaynesboroJames BuchananabrhbabrhbDuffey dh4010Nagy lf4111Gsell rf0000Pine ss4112Maya cf3100MCartny cf3111Cline 3b3210HSpnhr dh3000Hnshew 2b4023Brand 3b0000Neterer c4010Vosburg rf3000Riddell cr0200Ramsey p3101Emmert 1b3032Bray c2000Hoffman lf1000Sowers 1b3010Wade ss3000RSpnhr 2b2000Wolfe p2110Bchnan ph1110McDanll cr0000Totals27695Totals28555
E: Way 3, JB 1; LOB: Way 5, JB 7; 2B: Hanshew; 3B: Pine; SAC: Hoffman 2; SB: Riddell 3, Maya, Duffey, Wade, McDannell; CS: Emmert.
Wolfe (W,3-1)532235Stultz123201Kober (S,1)100003
James Buchanan pitching
Ramsey (L,0-2) 576423Vosburg220010
Wolfe threw to 1 batter in the sixth.
Stultz threw to 3 batters in the seventh.
HBP: by Stultz (H.Spoonhour); WP: Stultz 2, Ramsey 2, Vosburg 2; PB: JB 1.