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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Home runs boost Leafs to victories

  • The Geneseo varsity baseball team had a successful week on the diamond as the Leafs grabbed four victories to improve to 7-2-1.
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  • The Geneseo varsity baseball team had a successful week on the diamond as the Leafs grabbed four victories to improve to 7-2-1.
    Geneseo vs. Moline
    The Leafs knocked off Western Big 6 foe Moline, 9-5 in non-conference action at Stone Field April 8.
    “We are playing pretty well right now,” said head coach Steve Brucher. “I would say the key (in the Moline game) was Billy (Converse). He pitched a great game and went the distance for the first complete game of the year. He does a great job of getting ahead and staying ahead of hitters. He doesn’t beat himself, and makes the opposition earn it.”
    Geneseo grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but Moline tied the game in the top of the fourth, 1-1.
    The Maroons took control of the game in the top of the fifth with two runs for a 3-1 advantage, but Geneseo responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame started by a three-run home run by Cooper Humphries to put the Leafs up 6-3.
    Moline added another run in the sixth, but Geneseo countered with three runs to extend its lead to 9-4. The Maroons plated only one run in the seventh.
    “It was definitely a good win, and, for us, the best part was we came from behind,” said Brucher. “We were down 3-1 going into the fifth, and Cooper had a big three-run home run. Just as important was Trevor (Craig), who had a couple two-out singles to drive in runs, which is just huge. There is no substitute for two-out RBIs.”
    Billy Converse pitched a complete game to earn the win on the mound as he allowed nine hits, five runs and struck out five.
    Adam Stenzel and Trevor Craig (3 RBIs) paced the Leafs at the plate with three hits apiece.
    Rayce Singbush, Humphries (3 RBIs), Zak White and Lane Akre added one hit each, which included a homer from Humphries and a double by White.
    Geneseo vs. Rockridge
    Home run blasts by Joe Thomas and Singbush ended up being what the Leafs needed to edge out visiting Rockridge, 5-1 April 7.
    “The home run from Joe was a huge momentum change in the game,” said Brucher. “I had thought about having Joe bunt to move Trevor to third, but it was a good decision I guess to let him swing away. It was good to see Joe come up big.
    “Rayce had a good at bat and three-run homer which gave Zach (Alexander) the cushion he needed. Pitching was key again.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Thomas put the Leafs on the board with a two-run homer to go ahead 2-1. Singbush followed suit in the same inning with a three-run home run blast to give Geneseo the 5-1 advantage. The Leafs managed to hold off the Rockets through the next two innings.
    Rockridge put the first run on the board in the top of the fourth.
    Zach Alexander recorded the win on the mound as he allowed four hits, one run and struck out six; while Jonathan Dahl gave up no hits, no runs and struck out three.
    Geneseo combined for five runs on five hits with Thomas (2 RBIs) and Singbush (3 RBIs) leading the way with home runs; while Humphries, Trevor Craig and Greg Rusk each added one hit with a double from Craig.
    Geneseo vs. Sterling
    Newman
    Geneseo made quick work of visiting Sterling Newman April 5 with a 10-0 shutout.
    On the mound, Rusk and Dahl combined to pitch a no-hitter shutout for the Leafs. Rusk struck out seven batters in four innings and Dahl struck out two in one inning.
    “The big thing about the Newman game was we scored a little every inning and kept putting the pressure on,” said Brucher. “Greg (Rusk) pitched a nice game and was very efficient, and Jon (Dahl) was able to get an inning of work which is the role we would like to use him in.”
    The Leafs plated one run in the first and knocked in four more in the second to go ahead 5-0. Geneseo tacked on five more runs in the bottom of fourth to go up 10-0, and the game was ended after five innings.
    Akre (1 RBI) led the Leafs at the plate as he went 3-for-3 with two doubles; while Humphries (4 RBIs) added two hits with one double.
    Stenzel, Singbush (1 RBI), Trevor Craig and White (1 RBI), all finished with one hit; while Alex Craig ended with an RBI.
    Geneseo vs. Orion
    Fifteen runs off 16 hits led the Leafs to a decisive 15-8 road win over Orion April 2.
    Geneseo jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, and drove in two more runs in the second; while Orion plated one run in the bottom of the second for a 4-1 score.
    The Leafs pushed four runs across the plate in the fourth, and tacked on five more runs in the fifth. Orion drove in a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to make it a 13-4 ball game in favor of the Leafs.
    Geneseo capped off the game with two runs in the seventh off a two-run home run shot from Humphries, while Orion attempted a comeback with four runs in the bottom of the seventh.
    Page 3 of 3 - Alex Christensen pitched the win for Geneseo as he allowed one hit, two runs and struck out eight. Drew Himmelman gave up one hit, two runs and struck out two; while Ian VanHerzeele allowed zero runs and zero hits, and Tyler Mackey gave up three hits, four runs and struck out one.
    Humphries (9 RBIs) and Matt Rowley (1 RBI) led the Leafs at the plate both going 3-for-4 for the night with two doubles apiece and a home run from Humphries. Mike Murray (1 RBI) also contributed three hits, which included one double.
    “Cooper has definitely exceed expectations,” said Brucher. “We knew we would have him play third for us and hit lower in the line up to adjust to varsity baseball, but he has performed at a very high level early on. He now is in the four spot behind Rayce. When teams pitch around Rayce a bit, Cooper has been able to come through for us.”
    Stenzel, Thomas and Alex Craig (1 RBI) chipped in two hits apiece with a double from Stenzel and Thomas; while Jeremy May finished with one hit.
    The Leafs (7-2-1 overall) will next host Morris in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. April 12 at Stone Field.

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