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Indians win slugfest in spring rain

April 02, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Nary a cliche can escape Friday's Waynesboro-Martinsburg baseball game.

It was one that had a little bit of everything - runs, hits, errors, home runs, passed balls, wild pitches, hit-and-run attempts, bunts, etc., etc., etc.

It didn't escape Mother Nature's grip, either. There was a light mist at the outset and the rain became heavier as the game wore on toward its 3-hour, 15-minute completion.

When Zach Helman grasped Jesse Jean's pop fly at third base for the final out, it finished a 15-11 Waynesboro victory as the Indians finally played an official game this spring.

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"It was a wild one," said Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler. "You couldn't draw this one up any better."

There were three homers, 21 hits, eight errors (seven by Martinsburg), 18 walks (nine by each team) and six lead changes.

Through the first five innings, which produced a 9-9 tie, all of Waynesboro's runs were unearned as Martinsburg (1-4) provided the Indians with extra opportunities in the first three innings.

"We gave (Waynesboro) six extra outs in the first two innings," said Martinsburg coach John Lowery Jr. "You don't make physical errors if you're mentally ready to play."

Four of the errors came as Waynesboro constructed an 8-5 lead, in which Ryan Chaney had two of the Indians' five hits, including a triple in the second inning to plate two runs.

Chandler brought in Jay Wagaman to relieve starter Joe Minnich and put out the fire in the third inning after Martinsburg came back for an 8-8 tie on singles by Zach Newhouse and Armentrout and a bases-loaded walk.

"Jay came in and had a good game, especially since he was hurt in preseason," said Chandler of Wagaman, who had five strikeouts in 3 1/2 innings.

While Wagaman was holding down the Bulldogs, Waynesboro finally mastered the pitches of freshman J.W. Quinn, who was summoned by Lowery, out of the stands, to pitch in relief.

Beset by a shortage of pitchers, Martinsburg assistant coach Matt Cross handed over his uniform to Quinn, who pitched admirably for two innings before surrendering three go-ahead runs in the sixth.

Corey Livengood walked, and two outs and two strikes later, Herman singled to keep the inning alive. Jordan Reitz delivered a single to drive in Livengood for a 10-9 lead - Waynesboro's first earned run of the game.

Freshman Nathan Minnich provided a cushion for the Indians in the seventh inning when he crushed a 370-foot, three-run home run, his second in two games.

"We needed some pitching and Coach Cross brought up the idea of Quinn," said Lowery. "Roberts (A.J.) had 72 pitches alone in the first three innings and Quinn even threw 83. We need to develop some quality starting pitching. Being 1-4 stinks. ... It's part of rebuilding."

As Wagaman began to tire in the seventh, walking two Bulldogs, Chandler went to Scott Livengood, who came in and recorded the save.

"We came back a few times and didn't quit," Chandler said. "We've got a lot of young kids. Chaney's hit in the second inning kind of got the offense going."

Armentrout homered in the first inning on the way to a three-hit, five-RBI performance for Martinsburg, while Reitz had three of Waynesboro's 11 hits.

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