Give me the ball, coach: Armentrout’s effort one for the ages
Corey Armentrout wanted the ball. That was the building block of the game plan that brought Waynesboro its fifth Valley League Championship.
Armentrout, a sophomore at Bridgewater College, approached Generals coach Mike Bocock on Monday as the team was getting ready for Game 2 of the best-of-three VBL Championship Series to let Bocock know that he could give him five or six good innings in Game 3.
“I took care of myself really great in the summer. The last few days, I did a lot of extra running and arm stuff. Today would have been my bullpen day anyway, so I felt like I could go,” said Armentrout, who on two days’ rest gave up one run on five hits in five-plus innings, striking out five and walking two in Waynesboro’s 6-3 series-clinching win at Strasburg.
It was a foregone conclusion that Armentrout would be named the most valuable player of the 2013 VBL playoffs. The lefthander gave up just one earned run in 19 and two-thirds innings over three starts, all Waynesboro wins, two on the road in series clinchers. He shut out regular-season champion Harrisonburg over six and two-thirds innings in Waynesboro’s come-from-behind 4-3 win to close out the first round, and struck out 13 in eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win at New Market to finish off the Rebels.
As impressive as those efforts were, though, what Armentrout did in the season finale will go down for the ages in Valley League lore.
“He was phenomenal,” said Kevin Fagan (freshman, Stetson), who homered in the series clincher. “He came in on two days’ rest, and he said he wanted the ball yesterday, and he came out and was lights out.”
Somehow, Armentrout was left off the 2013 All-Valley League team despite going 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA in the regular season. The D3 kid with a D1 arm used the slight as motivation.
“I think the biggest thing is having confidence,” Armentrout said. “If you have confidence in yourself, you can do so many things. Coming in, I had confidence that I could give it a shot, do my best and see where it would take me. I think if you just do what you can do and put your heart into it, everything will work out.”
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