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Three doesn't allow Indians to join playoff crowd

May 17, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler figured that three runs against Central Dauphin ace Zach Whitman would measure up to a win and a trip to the Pennsylvania Class AAAA District 3 playoffs.

He was wrong.

Waynesboro scored three, but not before Central Dauphin had done all its damage as the Indians watched an 18-win season came to a bitter end with a 6-3 Mid-Penn playoff loss on Tuesday.

"Coming into this thing I thought if we can get three runs off (Whitman) then we would win the game," said Chandler. "But we didn't get up on him early and we only got pressure on him a couple of times."

By the time Waynesboro got those runs, it was too late. They were already trailing Whitman, 6-0. The Indians rallied in the bottom of the seventh with singles by Jamison Walck and Cory Livengood and a walk by Matt Anderson. Walck scored on a Jordan Reitz single and Livengood and Anderson scored when Josh Mummert reached on an error to send Andrew Caron to the plate representing the tying run. The Indians catcher worked a full count, but Whitman returned to form one last time with a called third strike on his 35th pitch of the inning to shut the door once and for all.

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"I felt good with what we had coming up," Chandler said. "We had Andrew coming to the plate and Nate (Minnich) on deck. We were right where we wanted to be."

Had Waynesboro (18-2) been in that place a few innings earlier, the outcome may have went in its favor. The Indians had four baserunners and only two hits through the first six innings.

Mummert tripled in the first, but was stranded after back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. Zach Helman singled to lead off the second and Walck followed with a four-pitch walk, but Whitman (5-1) retired the last three batters in order to escape unscathed.

"(Whitman) deserves a lot of credit. He wasn't going to give up two hits in a row," Chandler said. "We needed to put him in the stretch more. The key to beating any good pitcher is to get him in the stretch. No pitcher is as dominant from the stretch."

Whitman, who struck out 11 and walked three, wasn't forced to pitch from the stretch again until the sixth inning when Mummert drew a one-out walk.

Meanwhile, Central Dauphin (12-8) began to chip away at the Indians pitching staff. Joe Minnich started the game and pitched four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth. The Rams loaded the bases with no outs, prompting Chandler to pull Minnich (5-3) in favor of Livengood, who surrendered a single, but got the Indians out of the inning trailing just 1-0.

Waynesboro wasn't as fortunate in the sixth as the Rams turned three extra base hits, including a solo home run by Tom Healy, into a four-run outburst. Healy added an RBI triple in the seventh to extend the lead to 6-0.

"I'm going to be disappointed that we didn't make it to districts, but we've had some great individual and team efforts this year," Chandler said. "I can't leave here without smiling.

"Eighteen and two. Come on. What can you say?"

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