By MICHAEL ROTHSTEIN- Daily News Record
The stat line stunk: three pitchers, three errors, two hit batters and two walks. The result: a four-run top of the seventh inning for Waynesboro, which defeated Harrisonburg 6-3 in a Valley League baseball game Wednesday. "That was so ugly," Harrisonburg coach Bob Wease said. "If I was a fan, I would have gone home. In fact, I thought about going home. "It was awful. It was the worst inning I think I’ve seen in my life." The Turks (9-8) led 2-1 entering the top of the seventh. A Tony Thomas (Florida State) error started off the inning, allowing Amiel Traynum (Coppin State) to reach first. Tyler Tucker (St. Catherine) singled, sending Traynum to third. That’s where the comedy of errors got worse. The Turks caught Tucker in a rundown, and Traynum tried to score. The throw from Thomas was on-time, but catcher Matt Sluder (James Madison) dropped the ball, allowing Traynum to score, tying the game at 2-2. On the next play, Tucker stole third and Sluder’s throw sailed high and into left field, allowing Tucker to easily scoot home. "The play at the plate, that’s a tough ball to handle on a short hop," Sluder said. "Sometimes you’ll come up with it and sometimes you’re not. The throw to third, I don’t know what was in my head." Pitcher Jeff Carroll (Ohio State) hit Ryan Cunningham (Rhode Island) next and a double by Adam Hutchins (Lander) brought him home, giving Waynesboro a 4-2 lead. The Turks then loaded the bases with Generals (7-10) – with a pair of strikeouts mixed in – and then walked home another run. "This was nice for us," Waynesboro manager Derek McDaniel said. "We needed this. We needed something good to happen to us." The win snapped a five-game Waynesboro losing streak. Harrisonburg received bad news even before the game started Wednesday. First baseman Clint Robinson (Troy) – the Valley League leader with 19 RBIs – is out for the season after breaking a bone in his left hand. Robinson also led the Turks in hitting at .356, which was good enough for fifth in the league. "It’s a catastrophe," Wease said. "He may have been the best hitter in the Valley League, if not one of the best. He’ll be a big-league baseball player one day." Replacements are on the way for Robinson and to aid the ailing Sluder, who has played despite an injured right knee that had a sizable ice pack on it after the game. Matt Denker, a catcher from Eastern Arizona is a definite and Luis Martinez, an outfielder from Jackson State Community College who was an 11th round draft pick this year, is currently in discussions with Wease about joining the Turks.