Waynesboro crushes Rockbridge, clinches division title
Joseph Lucas was solid in his second start of the season, and Waynesboro got four hits and four RBIs from leadoff hitter Brad Noland to beat Rockbridge 11-2. The win, coupled with Staunton’s 3-2 loss to Covington, clinches the South Division title and the #3 seed for the Generals in their final regular-season home game.
“It’s a big confidence boost clinching the division tonight. We’re confident going into the playoffs,” said Lucas, a Waynesboro High School graduate, who was dazzling on the mound in the clincher, giving up one run on six hits and striking out five in five and a third innings.
Noland once again set the table for the offense. The 5-8, 165-pound sophomore from Northwest Mississippi Community College raised his batting average to .344 in his 25 games in Waynesboro with 22 RBIs hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot.
“I came in kind of late and got off to a slow start. It felt good to go out tonight with a good game,” Noland said.
The outcome of the finale was not in doubt for long. Waynesboro took an early 1-0 lead on a two-out single in the bottom of the first off the bat of reigning South Division player of the week Jordan Walton that scored Dykota Spiess from third.
The Generals added two in the third when Travis Echols was hit by a pitch with two outs and scored on a triple to left-center off the bat of Travis Echols, who scored a batter later on another two-out RBI single by Walton.
Waynesboro broke it open in the middle innings, getting two in the fifth, three in the sixth and three in the seventh in support of Lucas (3-0).
Waynesboro (24-18) travels to Staunton (20-21) Wednesday night. The Braves, who have lost eight of nine to Waynesboro in the season series, still need a win in their final three games to clinch a playoff spot.