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Generals rally falls short in 11-9 loss

These Waynesboro Generals are going to cut a few years off the life spans of their fans before the summer is over with.

Waynesboro rallied from a big early deficit for the second time in three nights, but the rally Friday night fell short in a 11-9 loss to Covington at Kate Collins Field.

The Lumberjacks put the wood to the Generals early, racing out to a 9-0 lead in the fourth before Waynesboro responded with two in the bottom of the fourth, three in the fifth and a single run in the sixth that made it 9-6.

Waynesboro actually had the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth when third baseman Michael Katz struck out on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Cody Creamer.

It would stay that way until the ninth when Covington designated hitter Nick Hladek hit a two-run homer off reliever Jeff Conley to extend the lead to 11-6.

But Waynesboro was not done. Center fielder Julian Ridings reached on a wild pitch after striking out to lead off the ninth. Katz walked, and after first baseman Jacob Hoyle popped out for the first out of the inning, Conley stroked an RBI single to center to score Ridings and cut the lead to 11-7.

Katz hustled all the way to third, just beating a throw to the bag that allowed Conley to reach second. Right fielder Devin Smith promptly stroked a two-run single to right that cut the lead to 11-9.

Shortstop Caleb Palensky reached on a Covington error to give the Generals runners at first and second with one out. Catcher Tyrone Smith reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two outs in the inning before left fielder Jeb Weymouth flew out to left to end it.

Waynesboro High School alum Joseph Lucas shined in relief for the Generals, retiring all 13 batters he faced after entering the game with Waynesboro down 9-0.

“Coach told me to just go as long as I could. Ty called a great game back there. I was able to go out there and go right at guys,” said Lucas, a Bridgewater College junior in his second season with the Generals.

Starter Kyle Allen took the loss for Waynesboro, giving up nine runs, eight earned, in three and two-thirds innings of work.

Waynesboro will go on the road the next two nights – at New Market on Saturday and at Harrisonburg on Sunday. The Generals return home for a two-game homestand beginning Monday with a game against rival Staunton and Tuesday when Waynesboro hosts Rockbridge.

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