You Asked For It … You Got It

7/25/2006 – Daily News Record

Daily News Record Written By Dustin Dopirak Waynesboro’s Justin Jenkins fulfilled a fan’s prediction and clinched the VBL’s Southern Division. WAYNESBORO — Rarely do you hear prophecy like this coming from the grandstands. Waynesboro Generals fans were chanting "two-out rally" with two men on and two out in the bottom of the eighth inning when one fan changed the words to "three-run homer." That call came just as Harrisonburg reliever Danny Wells was delivering his 1-1 pitch to Waynesboro right fielder Justin Jenkins. Seconds later, the ball hit about three-quarters of the way up the light pole beyond the left-field fence, fulfilling the prophecy and giving the Generals a 7-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish in a Valley League Southern Division-clinching victory over the Turks. "Actually, I heard him yell that just before I swung," said Jenkins, a rising senior at West Virginia. "It was ironic because I just heard him say that. It was the only thing I’ve heard from anyone in the stands throughout the year. That was the one and only thing I’ve heard all year. It was unbelievable. It was really just ironic that he said that." The pitch, Jenkins said, was a change-up over the heart of the plate. The second it left his bat, its destination was evident. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone," said Jenkins, who was 2-for-5 with two run scored. "You don’t want to say that too often, but I felt good on my swing." Said Generals manager Lawrence Nesselrodt: "There’s not a stronger-willed player that I think I’ve ever coached. He just missed the last at-bat and had a great swing. Good hitters just get more confident after good swings. He’s a determined human being, and he got all of that one." After that, it was just a matter of time before the Generals (26-15) were celebrating, which they did by dousing Nesselrodt with a water jug and taking countless pictures with index fingers extended. Right-handed pitcher Jon Dages, who threw a complete game, finished off the Turks (24-17) with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Dages struggled early, allowing a two-run double to Harrisonburg center fielder Ryan Rachal in the third, then an RBI-single to designated hitter Gary Martoccio in the fifth, which was followed immediately by a solo homer by Rachal. However, he hunkered down with good control on his fastball and sharp curveballs and splitters. He struck out eight batters, yielding four runs — two earned — on six hits in nine innings. Waynesboro first baseman Ryan Cunningham went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and three RBIs, and second baseman Brandon Sizemore drove in the Generals’ other run. Harrisonburg 002 020 000 — 4 6 2 Waynesboro 002 020 03x — 7 13 2 VanZant, Wells (6) and Denker; Dages and Hulett. W-Dages (4-0). L-Wells (4-1). HR-H-Rachal (1). W-Cunningham (2), Jenkins (6).


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