By Tommy Keeler Jr.
NEW MARKET -- A slow start proved costly for Stonewall Jackson on Wednesday.
The Generals fell behind early and couldn't recover in a 6-0 loss to Wilson Memorial in Shenandoah District baseball action at Rebel Park.
The Green Hornets scored all of their runs in the first three innings.
"We started off really well," Wilson Memorial coach Rodney Cullen said. "We came out swinging really well in the first inning."
Wilson Memorial's Daniel Poole started things off with a single off Stonewall Jackson starting pitcher Jared Getz. Brandon Poole followed with a single, and Damon Frazier then hit a two-run single to give the Green Hornets a 2-0 lead.
One out later, Heath Hatfield's RBI single extended the lead to 3-0.
The Green Hornets added another run in the top of the second on a ground-rule double by Frazier.
In the top of the third, Hatfield, Evan Driver and Brandon Gochenour had back-to-back-to-back singles to extend the lead to 6-0.
Gochenour did his part for the Green Hornets on the mound. He held the Generals to only three hits in six innings of work.
The Generals (3-5, 1-2 Shenandoah) still had plenty of chances to score, leaving nine runners on base.
In the bottom of the fifth, Patrick Kerlin singled, and Matt Litten followed with a double. One out later, Kerlin tried to score on a wild pitch but was thrown out at the plate. Colton Harlow then flied out to end the threat.
"We had just as many baserunners as they did tonight," Stonewall Jackson coach Mike Lennox said. "We left nine on and you can't do that and win, obviously. That's another we can fix and work on."
In the bottom of the sixth, Getz and Anthony Peacher were both hit by pitches to start the inning. Gochenour struck out Kory Somers and Trey Alger flied out. Jeremy Lonas then drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Gochenour then struck out Kerlin to end the inning.
"I thought [Gochenour] did a good job," Cullen said. "He got into trouble a few times. He hit a few batters and had a few walks. I guess he was effectively wild, so to speak.
"We made some plays behind him. He gutted it out when he got runners on, and gutted it out and got out of it."
Harlow came on in relief of Getz and looked sharp for the Generals. The left-hander struck out seven in three innings of work. Somers also pitched an inning and retired the side in order.
Frazier had two hits and three RBIs, and Brandon Poole and Hatfield had two hits each for Wilson Memorial (4-2, 3-1 Shenandoah).
It was the third of four games in a row for the Green Hornets, who play Buffalo Gap today. The Green Hornets have won four straight games, after starting out 0-2 this season.
"I think we're swinging it pretty well," Cullen said. "I think we're getting there. Our pitching is really strong. We just gotta keep working and get better."
The Generals had only four hits. Litten had a double, while Harlow, Kerlin and Nathan Mills each had a single.
Lennox said he was very pleased with how his team played.
"It was one of the betters games we've played this year, especially pitching and defense," Lennox said. "[Wilson Memorial] is playing very well right now. They beat a couple good teams. Proud of what we did tonight, something we need to build off of."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org