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Waynesboro strikes last

August 07, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

Waynesboro is the type of team that isn't used to being fenced in.

Manager Ed Kirkpatrick and pitcher A.J. Freelove felt a little confined in the cozy setting at Funkhouser Park Thursday at the Pony League East Zone Tournament. That is, until Jeremy Geeseman set Waynesboro (Pa.) free.

Geeseman slugged a two-run home run with two outs in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie and give Freelove just the support he needed in his 18-strikeout performance for a dramatic 7-5 victory over Danville (Va.).

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"We don't have fences like this in Waynesboro," said Kirkpatrick. "We both hit home runs. We just hit ours with a couple more players on base. We were lucky ... very lucky."

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Luck or not, Waynesboro earned the right to meet tournament host Hagerstown Gray in a winners' bracket showdown today at 8:30 p.m. The game will follow the losers' bracket matchup between Danville and Fall River (Mass.), which starts at 6. Fall River stayed alive with an 8-3 victory to eliminate Hagerstown Gold.

Geeseman stole the dramatics of the situation away from Freelove with his shot to left center field. And he did it by not doing what he planned.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Waynesboro's second baseman said. "When I hit it, I thought it was going to bounce against the fence. But when I rounded first, I realized it was gone."

The homer made sure Freelove's effort didn't go for naught.

The right-hander's breaking pitch kept Danville swinging out front most of the game, except for three occasions. All three were home runs - a two-run shot by Adam Moore in the first, a two-run shot by C.J. Hedrick in the fourth and a solo shot by Miller to tie it in the sixth.

Waynesboro took a 3-2 lead in the third, highlighted by Brian Kirkpatrick's leadoff homer, his first of two. He added a two-run shot in the fourth. But Geeseman struck the decisive blow.

"When I saw Jeremy's home run, I said, 'We got this game now. Awesome,'" Freelove said.

In the opener, Hagerstown Gold was done in by a lack of hitting and Fall River's five-run second inning to fall behind 8-1. Steve Heagy's two-run homer in the sixth wasn't enough to rally.

"It's tough to win when you don't hit the ball," Hagerstown manager Carroll Talbert said. "You got to get breaks and we didn't get them. Still, you take away that second inning and we win the game."

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