The Geneseo baseball team started off the season this past week with four wins and only one loss in non-conference play.
“It is definitely a good start,” said head coach Steve Brucher. “I would say it is definitely a confidence and morale booster. Winning those close games is really key and managing to win those close games breeds confidence for the future.”
Geneseo vs. Alleman
Geneseo was unable to hold off Alleman in the end March 20 as the Pioneers slipped past the Leafs in non-conference play, 9-6.
“Alleman earned that win and hit the ball well,” said Brucher. “I also thought it was the first game we swung the bats well and hopefully that will continue.”
Alleman struck first with one run in the bottom of the first, but the Leafs responded in the top of the second with two runs for a 2-1 score. The Pioneers tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second with one run in the frame.
The Leafs drove in four runs in the top of the fourth to regain control of the game, 6-2, but Alleman cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fourth, 6-5 with three runs.
Alleman plated four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the Pioneers on top, 9-6. The Leafs were held scoreless through the rest of the contest to suffer their first loss of the season.
Steven Timbrook recorded the loss on the mound for Geneseo. He pitched four innings and allowed 10 hits, nine runs, while striking out three. JJ Rivera also came in and threw one inning and allowed two hits.
“We were up 6-2 and Alleman was able to answer right back and sure some might question leaving Steven on the mound, but it is early in the season and I want to have pitchers who can pitch through tough situations and get out of a tough jam so it will help them in the long run,” said Brucher.
At the plate for Geneseo, Matt Rowley (3 RBIs) led the team with two hits, while Ryan Williams, David Behrens (1 RBI) and Drew DeCap (1 RBI) each stretched out doubles for their lone hits.
Rayce Singbush, Michael Daniels (1 RBI) and Jon Solberg also contributed one hit apiece to the effort.
“I really liked the energy in the dugout,” said Brucher. “The guys are pulling for each other, there is a good vibe and chatter.”
Geneseo vs. Rock?Falls
To close out a weekend of action, the Leafs prevailed in two close contests with Rock Falls March 17, 7-6 and 7-5 at Stone Field.
“Sweeping a doubleheader from Rock Falls that was a big thing for this baseball team and program because Rock Falls is one of the elite small school baseball programs in the state,”?said Brucher. “Getting two wins from them was outstanding.”
After finding themselves in a 6-0 hole after the first inning in game, Geneseo fought their way back and got on the board with one run in the fourth for a 6-1 ball game.
The Leafs plated two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Rock Falls lead to three, 6-3.
In the sixth inning, Geneseo drove home four more runs to gain control of the game, 7-6. The Leafs were able to hold off the Rockets in the seventh to secure the win.
Rivera earned the win on the hill for Geneseo with two innings of scoreless relief.
Daniels led the offensive effort for the Leafs with three hits, which included one double.
Singbush, Solberg (2 RBIs) and Williams (2 RBIs) all contributed one hit.
In game two, the Leafs notched a 7-5 victory over the Rockets.
Geneseo struck first with one run in the bottom of the second. Rock Falls responded with two in the third, but the Leafs came back in the bottom of the frame to score three for a 4-2 advantage.
The Leafs added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth with one run to make it a 5-2 ball game.
In the fifth inning, the Rockets plated one run, but the Leafs countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame for a 7-3 lead.
Rock?Falls drove in two more runs in the top of the sixth and were held scoreless in the seventh as the Leafs earned the sweep.
Zach Alexander pitched the win for the Leafs as he threw five innings and allowed only three runs on three hits, while striking out five.
Singbush led the team with two hits, while Derek Mitchell, Brian Johnson (1 RBI), Eric Lindsey and Behrens each finished with one hit.
Williams and Nathan Yager each contributed an RBI.
Geneseo vs. Riverdale
Geneseo managed to hold off visiting Riverdale, 4-3 as the Leafs earned their second win of the season March 16.
“The seventh inning of the Riverdale game was a microcosm of a close baseball game,” said Brucher. “We had a two-run lead going into the seventh, made a couple of errors, but had a couple of guys make some great plays that saved the game for us. Rayce made a great catch in center for the second out and Steven made a great hustle play on an error and fired a strike home to Michael Daniels who did a great job of blocking the play and applying the tag to win the game.”
After two scoreless innings, the Leafs broke the stalemate with a run in the bottom of the third to take the 1-0 lead.
Riverdale tied the game up in the top of the fourth with one run, but Geneseo responded in the bottom of the frame with a run of its own to regain the advantage, 2-1.
Riverdale again tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, but couldn’t hold off the Leafs as they plated two runs for the 4-2 lead.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Riverdale managed to push one more run across the plate, but the Leafs were able to close out the game for the win.
Lindsey earned the win on the mound, while Williams recorded the save.
The Leafs had five hits on the night from Rowley with a double, while Singbush, Mitchell, Williams and Behrens all contributed one hit. Daniels finished the game with two RBIs and Johnson and Timbrook ended with one RBI?apiece.
Geneseo vs. Rockridge
The Leafs opened the 2012 season with a 3-2 victory at home over Rockridge March 13.
The visitors struck first and scored one run in the top of the first. Rockridge managed to hold on to the 1-0 lead through the second inning.
Geneseo responded in the bottom of the third with three runs to take the 3-1 lead.
Rockridge cut the Leafs lead to one in the top of the fifth as the Rockets scored one run for a 3-2 score.
The Leafs managed to hold off the Rockets through the rest of the contest to claim the win.
Timbrook pitched the win for Geneseo in five innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Jeff Lutz pitched the final two innings for the Leafs and struck out three to record the save.
Geneseo and Rockridge both finished the game with three hits. Singbush led the Leafs with two hits, which included a triple. Rowley added the team’s other hit and Mitchell contributed an RBI.
The Leafs (4-1 overall) will be on the road this weekend in a doubleheader with Monmouth-Roseville at 11 a.m. March 24.