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Panthers' outfield troubles blow No. 1 Indians' way

April 29, 2006|By CHRIS CARTER - Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, Pa.

All the Waynesboro baseball team had to do Friday afternoon was hit the ball in the air.

The No. 1 Indians made it a busy day for the East Pennsboro outfield, which struggled to cleanly field fly balls, helping Waynesboro to a 4-1 Mid-Penn Colonial victory.

The Panthers' outfield troubles began in the bottom of the second inning. With the Indians (13-1, 9-1) trailing 1-0, designated hitter Jamison Walck led off with a routine fly ball to center. But the ball fell out of East Pennsboro center fielder Cory Ness' glove for a two-base error as Walck reached second.

Cory Livengood followed with a fly ball to left field. East Pennsboro's Keith Wheeler appeared to have a beat on the ball but, battling the wind, couldn't snag it, as Walck scored and Livengood ended up at third with a triple.

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Still with nobody out, Chris Arendt hit a drive to deep right field. Dan Etter tracked it down, but had it fall out of his reach for another triple, scoring Livengood and giving the Indians a 2-1 lead.

"I can't tell you what was going on," East Pennsboro coach Mike Lebo said. "What I do know is that you can't give a good hitting team like (Waynesboro) four, five and six outs in an inning."

More outfield woes came for East Pennsboro (6-8, 4-6) in the fourth inning with the score still 2-1. After Walck led off with a walk, Livengood picked up his second hit with a bloop single that fell between Ness and shortstop Matt Hammaker. One out later, Matt Anderson skied a Nick Pasini pitch to left. The ball whirled in the wind before dropping just in front of Ness to to load the bases. Jordan Reitz followed with a virtually identical fly ball to left that again fell just in front of Ness to score Livengood and Anderson to give the Indians a 4-1 lead.

"There were some balls out there in left field that got caught in the wind," Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler said. "We got a couple of Texas leaguers."

The Indians' defense was much more reliable for starting pitcher Joe Minnich. Waynesboro did not commit an error, caught two Panthers in rundowns for outs and went around the horn for a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth.

Minnich (4-1), using his half side-armed release, went six innings. He scattered six hits, struck out two and walked none on just 66 pitches.

"Joe has been pretty consistent all year. He's a three-quarters pitcher and relies on the sinker to get some ground balls," Chandler said. "It's good to have a healthy pitching staff coming down the stretch."

Chris Arendt pitched a scoreless seventh for his first save.

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