Waynesboro scores 3 in seventh to rally past Shippensburg

Waynesboro's Mason Gochenour (5) throws a pickoff throw to first baseman Ethan Hotchkiss. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS

WAYNESBORO – For the second time in two weeks, the Waynesboro Area Senior High School varsity baseball team rallied to beat an opponent after trailing in the bottom of the seventh inning.

On April 27, the Indians trailed Northern York 2-0 but scored three runs with two outs to pull off a celebratory victory.

And, on a glorious Tuesday afternoon at Robinson Field, Waynesboro seemed like it was dead in the water as they trailed Shippensburg 7-5 in their Mid-Penn Colonial Division game.

Calvin Myers, who replaced Aiden Campbell at shortstop and as the second batter in the lineup in the second inning, laid down a bunt that no one from the Shippensburg infield was able to catch up to before Bryan Benedict slid head-first into home plate to give Waynesboro another come-from-behind win, 8-7.

An inning earlier, Waynesboro scored three runs to tie the game at 5-5 after the Greyhounds posted single runs in each of th first three innings and again in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead.

It was 4-2 after Bryan Benedict led off the fifth with a single and scored on a bases-loaded walk issued to Brett Powell.

But Shippensburg’s Troy Chamberlin launched a two-run home run over the fence in left field to give the Greyhounds a 7-5 lead in the top of the seventh as the Tribe (9-9) couldn’t hold its one-run lead in a game that took around 2 hours, 35 minutes to complete.

Using its third pitcher in the game, it was Shippensburg’s turn to close the door. However, the inning got off to a fortuitous start for Waynesboro as Kellan Smith singled and John Kahl reached base on an infield error. Dylan Morgan moved Smith and Kahl to third base and second base, respectively, with a sacrifice bunt, putting the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at the plate.

Benedict drilled a hard ground ball double past third baseman Melvin Urena in much the same manner that Shippensburg’s Tucker Chamberlin did twice to Benedict in the first and seventh innings. Smith and Kahl each scored easily, and Benedict was in scoring position with only one out.

Lead-off batter Mason Gochenour, Waynesboro’s starting pitcher who was replaced by Seth Dodson in the seventh inning, singled. Then, Myers delivered with a push bunt that got by relief pitcher Elijah Bailey and sent players from the home team sprinting down the right-field line to not only celebrate but to arguably release some pent-up nerves.

As significant as the seventh inning was (for both teams), it was the bottom of the sixth that set up the late-game theatrics. Kahl started the inning with a single, followed by a walk to Morgan. Following an out, Gochenour – who reached base in all five at-bats, walked to load the bases. Myers singled home Kahl, and Ethan Hotchkiss reached base on a fiedler’s choice that allowed Morgan to score. An outfield error sent Gochenour racing home with the go-ahead run.

Waynesboro goes on to play at James Buchanan on Thursday in the division finale before closing the regular season at home against Spring Grove on Friday.

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