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Indians only need Minnich or 2 for win

April 13, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro senior Joe Minnich needed just nine pitches to retire West Perry in the first inning Thursday night.

As it turned out, that was his third best inning of pitching in the game.

Minnich retired the side in order in the third and sixth innings and went the distance with seven strikeouts as the Indians topped the Mustangs 10-1 in Mid-Penn Colonial action.

"My off-speed stuff was working, but the fielding behind me is what did it for us," said Minnich, who allowed just two hits and walked three. "We've got a lot of the same guys from last year in the field and I know they can make the plays."

Minnich gave his defense a break in the third inning when he struck out the side - all on called third strikes - on 13 pitches. The Indians returned the favor in the sixth inning by executing three groundouts and Minnich got out of the inning on the minimum of three pitches.

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"Joey's a sinkerballer," said Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler. "He throws a lot of submarine pitches and gets some ground balls. A lot of times he does it when there's a runner on first base."

Minnich induced two double plays.

"There's a lot of confidence behind the pitcher when you know the routine ground ball is going to be fielded," Chandler said.

Waynesboro (4-2, 3-0) also provided Minnich with plenty of run support. Nathan Minnich blasted a solo home run, his fourth of the season, and Ian Smith had a three-run double to lead the charge. Brenton Kopecek, Chris Arendt and Nathan Minnich each had two hits and the Indians pounded out 10 in the game. Nathan Minnich and Jamison Walck each finished with two RBI.

"We've been scoring a lot of runs, but we've been leaving a lot of guys on base," Chandler said. "It was good to get a big hit out of the bottom of the order with runners on base."

Smith, hitting out of the seventh spot, doubled following three straight walks by West Perry pitchers to put the Indians ahead 7-1 in the fifth inning.

But it was still the top of the order that delivered the most punch. The Indians' 1-2-3-4 hitters - Kopecek, Arendt, Nathan Minnich and Walck - combined to go 7-for-13 with eight runs and five RBI.

"A big thing was a lot of guys made adjustments in the middle of the at bats," Chandler said. "Nathan Minnich made one and turned it for a home run and Ian Smith made one and drove it for a double."

The Indians used four hits to plate two runs in the bottom of the first. West Perry (5-2, 2-1) answered its lone run after David Dixon tripled and scored in the top of the second to cut the score to 2-1.

Nathan Minnich's fourth home run of the year and Matt Anderson's run-scoring single in the third inning upped the lead to 4-1. The first five batters reached base - three scored - and Waynesboro batted around in the sixth inning. The Indians had a chance to end the game via the 10-run-rule, but Jake Rowland hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded.

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