Mid Penn Colonial Division baseball still undecided
And just like that, the Mid Penn Colonial Division title - which the Greencastle-Antrim baseball team looked to have all but locked up a week ago, is up for grabs.
The Blue Devils dropped their third straight game in a 7-2 loss to Waynesboro - and as the Indians gain momentum in the second half of the season, it seems as though G-A is losing steam after its 8-0 start.
Greencastle is now neck-in-neck with Big Spring, which G-A faces at home on Thursday. The Bulldogs can clinch a share of the division title with a win, while the Blue Devils can come away with their second straight outright Colonial Division title.
Big Spring is 6-3 in the division, while Greencastle is 7-2. The Blue Devils' only other loss in the Colonial is to James Buchanan. Waynesboro faces the Rockets on Wednesday and still has a chance to compete for the division title barring a win over James Buchanan and a Greencastle loss to Big Spring on Thursday. The Indians are 6-3 in the Colonial Division as of Tuesday night.
"I think we are overthinking this thing now," Greencastle coach Eric Shaner said. "That big picture we had - it's now the little picture. One game and we still control our own destiny. There's no focusing on anything else other than scoring one more run than Big Spring on Thursday, and winning the division."
Waynesboro (8-6, 6-3 MPC) outplayed Greencastle (9-5, 7-2 MPC) in virtually all angles, putting up a six-run inning in the third to put the game out of reach early as the Indian defense halted all Greencastle offensive momentum. G-A left the bases loaded twice and found trouble getting through Waynesboro shortstop Jarrett Biesecker.
"We stranded half the population of Rhode Island today," Shaner said. "The team that played better today clearly won. (Pitcher) Nathan (Starliper) wasn't himself today, so that's very unusual for him. But credit to Waynesboro, even when he's not himself he's pretty darn good, and whenever he made a mistake today they did a great job of capitalizing on it."
Biesecker had three straight inning-ending putouts and turned an unassisted double play in the third with a leaping grab, then dove to second base to successfully beat the runner to the bag.
Derek Buhrman, Cole Reed, Coby Rogers and Preston Witty all drove in runs for Waynesboro, then let the defense go to work to lock in the Indians' best win of the season.
"We started hitting the ball about a week and half ago and now we have been hitting the ball really well," Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler said. "I know Nathan is a quality pitcher, but I expected good quality at-bats from my guys. Everybody had big hits for us today."
"Usually those big innings go against us, but this time it was in our favor," Biesecker said. "We got pretty lucky and kept it going. We couldn't let them fight back so we let our pitchers do the work and backed them up with good defense."
Clay Wolfe earned the win on the mound, going 3 2/3 innings, while Cal Davis finished it off for the Indians.
"This was a big win for us," Chandler said. "When you knock off the first-place team in the league, after you look nothing like a first-place team yourself for so many weeks, that's big."
Noah Brown and Evan Maun brought in Greencastle's only runs of the game.