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By Dennis Atwood - email@example.com
NEW MARKET -- It took a go-ahead RBI single by junior Segrio Martinez in the home half of the sixth, and a 1-2-3 game-ending double play in the seventh, for the Generals to pull out a 6-5 Shenandoah District baseball victory over Luray on Tuesday night.
Stonewall Jackson had batted around in the third inning to cruise to a four-run lead over Luray, but then the road got rocky for the Generals, as the Bulldogs scored four runs in the sixth to knot the score. But Martinez came through in the home half of the inning.
"I was just thinking what we do in practice -- stay back, relax, then just drive your hands through the ball and make contact," Martinez said.
Stonewall Jackson pitcher Ryan Henschel started the scoring with a two-out single in the first inning, plating Martinez, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
Luray got its first tally in the third inning as Justin Courtney hit a first-pitch single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Price.
Henschel's errant attempted pick-off throw enabled Courtney to reach third, and he scored on a passed ball by Tyler Lonas.
Stonewall Jackson (6-6, 3-4 Shenandoah) unleashed its heavy barrage with two outs in the third inning.
Getz and Henschel (2-for-3, two RBIs) hit back-to-back triples, followed by Anthony Peacher's single knocking in Henschel. A Jake Montalbano double plating Peacher, and Matt Litten's single scoring Montalbano, gave the Generals a 5-1 lead.
Luray starter Jeff Cash was relieved by Dustin Griffin after 2 2/3 innings of work.
Henschel was in command on the mound, with a deep-breaking curve complementing his fastball and change-up, to limit Luray to one run on four hits, with four strikeouts and no walks, through five innings.
The Bulldogs (2-6, 0-4 Shenandoah) showed there was plenty of bite in their bark as they stormed back with four runs in the sixth to tie the score at 5-5.
First baseman Logan McCaughan led off the Luray sixth by hitting a homer.
The dinger didn't seem to faze Henschel, as he struck out Tommy Weaver on five pitches. But the third strike was a wild pitch, and Weaver reached first base safely.
"[It didn't bother me]," Henschel said. "I just made a pitch, and home runs get hit. It happens. I just shake it off and get the next batter.
"I didn't have a great game, but my pitches were coming in and I just kept throwing strikes and my defense kept doing the work and pulled me up in the seventh."
Henschel walked Griffith. Then things got unhinged as Henschel threw another wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Abe Turner (2-for-4) delivered a single to right field, plating McCaughan and Weaver closing the gap 5-4. Henschel responded by getting Cash to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Then Henschel plunked Monty Dickson with an inside fastball and Aaron Cook drilled his second consecutive double over Litten's head to drive in Dickson with the tying run. Henschel was relieved by freshman Colton Harlow, who retired Courtney on a flyout to end the inning.
With one out in the home sixth, Alex Collins and Josh Shafer (2-for-3) hit back-to-back singles. Then Martinez stroked the third consecutive single to right field, plating Collins with the go-ahead run, making it 6-5.
In the top of the seventh inning, Peacher took the mound for the Generals. The Bulldogs responded again as Kyle Price led off with a single to right field, but he rounded the bag too far and was thrown out by a Henschel-to-Collins peg.
McCaughan then reached first on an error by Johnson and moved to second base on a wild pitch by Peacher as he was pitching to Weaver, who walked on a 3-2 count. Peacher then plunked Griffith on the helmet to load the bases.
Lonas took over for Peacher and got Turner to ground into a 1-2-3 game-ending double play to preserve the win.
"It was an exciting finish," Generals coach Morgan Saeler said. "Tyler [Lonas] made a good pitch, and made a better play. Jared [Getz] really turned the double play nicely."
Although Harlow (2-1) worked only a third of an inning, he picked up the win as the Generals' pitcher of record when they scored the winning run.
"What I liked about the game tonight, was it was a total team effort," Saeler said. "I've been asking guys all season to execute their roles, whatever that role may be. I needed Colton Harlow to get one out for us and I needed Jared Getz to be behind the plate, and he made a great play."