Generals rally late, stun Braves
A three-run Jordan Walton triple keyed a five-run seventh-inning rally, and another run-scoring hit by Walton aided a three-run eighth that helped bring Waynesboro back from a 5-1 deficit and push the Generals to a 9-5 win over Staunton Sunday night at Mathers Park.
The win gives Waynesboro a two-and-a-half-game lead over Staunton in the Southern Division with three regular-season games remaining. The Generals’ magic number to clinch the division and the #3 seed in the upcoming Valley League playoffs stands at one.
It looked for the longest time that Staunton would close the gap on Waynesboro as the Braves raced out to a 5-1 lead with two in the fifth and another in the sixth putting some distance between the two teams. The Generals seventh began with a leadoff walk to Jimmy Holton and a Devin Smith single to right. Brad Noland sacrificed the runners to second and third. With one out, Dykota Spiess walked, and Rob Amaro followed with an infield single that scored Holton from third.
Walton was next and tripled to left-center to clear the bases and tie the game at five. Chase Worthington, who had homered earlier in the game, followed with an RBI single that gave Waynesboro a 6-5 lead.
Holton reached on an error to lead off the eighth, and Smith followed with an infield single, with both runners advancing on a throwing error by Braves third baseman Josh Wenger. Holton scored on a sacrifice fly by Noland to make it 7-5 Waynesboro. RBI singles by Spiess and Walton added some extra insurance.
Andrew Blackwell (2-0) pitched three scoreless innings to notch the win out of the bullpen. Tyler Clayburn (3-3) gave up three runs on three hits without recording an out to take the loss for Staunton, which has now lost eight of nine to Waynesboro in the season series between the two teams.
Waynesboro (23-18) can clinch the Southern Division title Monday night on the road at Covington. The Generals return home on Tuesday to play Rockbridge.