Waynesboro records another mind-blowing comeback

Waynesboro's Logan Clapsaddle slides home for the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday. The Indians defeated West Perry 8-7, erasing a 7-2 lead in the sixth inning to tie things at 7 and force extra innings. (Lee Goodwin)

WAYNESBORO – When the Waynesboro Indians varsity baseball team fell behind 5-0 in the first inning against visiting West Perry, it seemed like the winds swirling around Robinson Field weren’t in favor of head coach Travis Hardman’s team.

But in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

And it was indeed over when Logan Clapsaddle slid home ahead of the throw on a beautiful bunt off the bat of Brett Powell in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Final score: Waynesboro 8, West Perry 7.

The Mustangs, behind a strong outing from starting pitcher Cole Brown, and a big first inning, came close to heading back to Perry County with a Mid-Penn Colonial Division win.

Then came the bottom of the sixth. It was an inning that started like the first four with the Indians getting base runners early but failing to plate runs. Mason Gochenour led off the first frame with a double, but West Perry’s defense took over. Clapsaddle singled and came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Calvin Myers. But another runner was forced at second and Waynesboro left a runner on third and trailed 5-1.

Kellan Smith singled and scored on an error in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 5-2, but the Mustangs found home plate twice in the top of the fifth to build a 7-2 lead.

After the fifth-inning stretch, Waynesboro tried to put together a rally, but after two outs, Clapsaddle doubled, Smith walked and a fielder’s choice ended the inning.

First baseman Ethan Hotchkiss relieved starter John Kahl and retired the side in order in the sixth stanza.

In the bottom of the sixth, Powell and Myers singled. Both advanced on a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third. An element of joy returned to Mudville when Gochenour hit his second two-bagger of the game to score Powell and Myers.

A hush fell over the Waynesboro faithful when the Mustangs recorded the first out of the inning. Hotchkiss came up to bat and restored the roar as he singled home Gochenour. Suddenly, it was 7-5 with only one out.

Kahl, the third batter to face relief pitcher Bryce Smith, helped the pitching cause with a triple to the gap in left field. That scored Hotchkiss. Then, Clapsaddle tied the game with a base hit.

Neither team scored in the seventh inning, and Hotchkiss set down West Perry in order in the top of the eighth.

In the home eight, with daylight quickly receding, Clapsaddle led off with a single. Tyler Caron laid down a bunt, and the Mustangs tried to get Clapsaddle out instead of throwing to first base. However, the throw was high and Clapsaddle was safe. Smith reached first base to load the bases. Powell followed with a bunt to score Clapsaddle and set off a wild celebration.

Tank Benedict doubled twice and threw out Brown at home to prevent the Mustangs from scoring another run.

The win was Waynesboro’s fourth in a row. There’s no turnaround time for the team, as the Indians will host Shippensburg on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. The game was moved from Thursday due to the forecast of almost certain rain on Thursday.

Waynesboro then plays at Greencastle-Antrim on Friday.

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