Mason Gochenour pitches complete game, Waynesboro blanks Greencastle-Antrim

Waynesboro coach Travis Hardman talks to pitcher Mason Gochenour in the top of the seventh inning against Greencastle-Antrim. Gochenour went on to finish the game and earn the victory. (Lee Goodwin

WAYNESBORO – Senior pitcher Mason Gochenour has been a rock for the Waynesboro Indians varsity baseball team.

He was more like a boulder on a hot Monday afternoon. Gochenour pitched a complete game, and, fortunately, he didn’t need many runs – and he didn’t get many. The Indians scored single runs in the bottom of the third inning and sixth inning and held the Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils scoreless in a 2-0 Mid-Penn Colonial Division victory at Robinson Field.

Nine days ago, Waynesboro defeated G-A 2-1 in Greencastle.

The win improved the Tribe’s overall record to 10-3. Waynesboro upped its league-leading record to 9-1. Waynesboro’s win, coupled with Shippensburg’s 7-1 loss to James Buchanan, gives the Indians a 1 ½ game lead over the Greyhounds.

Waynesboro is on the road in its next two division games against West Perry on Wednesday and Shippensburg next Tuesday. After that, the Indians host James Buchanan (May 9) and Northern (May 13).

As for Gochenour, he was calm, cool and collected. No stranger to pitching deep into games, he mixed his pitches well and didn’t get frustrated when he was behind in the count or if the count went full.

Gochenour had a full count with two outs and runners on first and second bases. With a lot at stake and runners set to go on contact, Gochenour settled the matter with a called third strike on a breaking ball.

“It seems like he bends but doesn’t break,” said Waynesboro coach Travis Hardman of his ace pitcher. “Even that last inning he said his arm was good. But it’s a hot day. He’s not used to it. That’s the thing that bothered him the most. He had a wet towel in the dugout. I tried to give him breaks now and then, breathers when he was in a pinch.

“That was a big-time pitch there with a full count, runners at first and second. It was a good call by Tyler Caron. He catches a great game. Mason had to execute it. If he walks him, there’s the tying run on second base.”

Things could have been much different if the first inning didn’t end well for Waynesboro. Carter McCauley led off the game with a single and got to third base thanks to a single by Parker Funk and a fielder’s choice. The inning ended with a force out.

The Indians had a chance to dent the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. Brett Powell drew a one-out walk. After a fly out, Ethan Hotchkiss doubled, putting runners at second and third. A pop out to second base ended the inning.

Waynesboro left the bags loaded in the second inning. Greencastle had three base runners in the third frame, but a heads-up force out from shortstop Calvin Myers to third baseman Tank Benedict helped nullify any chance of a run by the visitors.

In the home third, Kellan Smith led off with a walk. After an out, Logan Clapsaddle doubled. Smith was held up at third base. The next batter, Eric Knepper hit a sacrifice fly to plate Smith.

Gochenour pitched to four batters in the fourth inning, while G-A starting pitcher Avery Horst, who pitched a very good game before being replaced by Jaxson Bostick with one out in the sixth inning, also faced four batters in the fourth inning. Two of the three outs came on called third strikes.

Gochenour helped himself when he singled to lead off the sixth stanza. John Kahl entered to run for Gochenour. An errant pickoff throw advanced Kahl to second base. After an out, Myers punched a single over second base to score Kahl and give the Indians some breathing room.

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