Things can change fast on the diamond.

Things can change fast on the diamond.

After three consecutive regional titles, the Geneseo baseball team had to overhaul the roster during a season plagued by injuries in 2018.

The Maple Leafs found themselves depending mostly on a core of young inexperienced players and finished the season with a 10-22 record.

However, first-year Coach Joe Nichols believes Geneseo can turn last year’s struggles into a strength.

Last season, Geneseo had only a few players with varsity experience.

This season, the Maple Leafs have 23 players on the varsity roster with a group of 12 seniors who have all seen major playing time.

“Having a deep roster enhances some competitiveness,” Nichols said. “Guys will be pushing each other to get better which will help a lot too.”

With many players getting a season of experience under their belts, the Maple Leafs want to use last season’s struggles to build a path back to the winning culture they had developed.

“I think it speaks to the type of kids we have,” Nichols said. “They are eager to learn and self-driven to get the most out of everything we do.”

The Maple Leafs’ ace on the mound will be Jaren Brucher.

During an injury-shortened season, Brucher shined brightly during Geneseo’s regional victory throwing a one-hit shutout last season.

A senior, Ty Johnson returns as Geneseo’s most experienced pitcher with Jacob Winslow earning experience out of the bullpen last season.

Pitching at the sophomore level last season, Jacob and Joseph McConnell will be a pair of new arms in the mix for innings, and Jacob earned varsity innings in the outfield toward the end of last season.

A junior, Logan Loitz who has impressed the coaching staff with his performance in the run-up to the season.

Geneseo’s infield has the most experience returning with Zac Olson, Colton Garcia, Payton Clauson, Cole Hartman and Winslow all major contributors last season.

A senior, Olson was a game changer using his speed and gap power to bring life to the offense, and Winslow showed great raw power at the plate.

“Zac has all of it,” Nichols said. “He can hit the ball hard and get extra bases, but if he gets walked he could be on third because he’s so fast. There are so many variables to having a strong guy at the top of the order.”

Parker Magness gives Geneseo experience behind the plate, and Erik Stenzel and Tyler Green have impressed the coaching staff with their work in the batting cages.

A pair of sophomores, P.J. Moser and Nathan Beneke earned varsity spots after showing talent at the plate last season.

2019 Geneseo baseball roster

1    Tyler Green    Sr.    P/UT
2     Zac Olson    Sr.    UT
3     Tyler Seaman    Jr.    P/IF
4     Colton Garcia    Sr.    P/IF
5     Cole Hartman    Sr.    P/IF
6     Payton Swan    Jr.    IF
7     Cade Hornback    Jr.    P/IF
8     Jaren Brucher    Sr.    P/OF
9     Payton Clauson    Sr.    P/IF
10     Jacob McConnell    Jr.    P/OF
11     Erik Stenzel    Sr.    IF
12     Parker Magness    Jr.    C
14     P.J. Moser    So.    P/UT
15     Mitchel Benhart    Jr.    OF
17     Ty Johnson    Sr.    P/OF
18     Nathan Beneke    So.    P/UT
19     Joseph McConnell    Jr.    P/IF
20     Blake Laingen    Sr.    UT
21     Maison Lynch    Jr.    P/OF
22     Ethan Hott    Sr.    OF
23     Logan Loitz    Jr.    P/OF
24     Jake Winslow    Sr.    P/UT
25     Koltenn Minton    Jr.    IF
26     Matthew Eggen    Jr.    Mgr.
Coach: Joe Nichols. Assistant Coaches: Steve Brucher, Anthony Roome and Jeff Weller.

Geneseo 2019 baseball schedule

March 13    Geneseo at Rockridge    Rockridge High School    4:30 p.m.
March 14    Orion at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
March 16    Hall at Geneseo (DH)    Stone Field    11 a.m.
March 19    Alleman at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
March 21    Sherrard at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
March 25-27    Spring Trip - Myrtle Beach    Myrtle Beach, S. Carolina    TBA
April 2    Geneseo at Metamora    Metamora High School    5:30 p.m.
April 4    Geneseo at United Township    United Township HS    4:30 p.m.
April 8    Sterling at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
April 9    Geneseo at Sterling    Gartner Park    4:30 p.m.
April 11    Sterling at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
April 13    Springfield S.E. at GHS (DH)    Stone Field    11 a.m.
April 15    Geneseo at LaSalle-Peru     Veteran’s Park    4:30 p.m.
April 16    LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
April 18    Geneseo at LaSalle-Peru    Veteran’s Park    4:30 p.m.
April 22    Rochelle at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
April 23    Geneseo at Rochelle    Rochelle High School    4:30 p.m.
April 25    Rochelle at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
April 26    Geneseo at Galesburg    Galesburg High School    7 p.m.
April 29    Geneseo at Ottawa    Ottawa High School    4:30 p.m.
April 30    Ottawa at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
May 2    Geneseo at Ottawa    Ottawa High School    4:30 p.m.
May 3    Dunlap at Geneseo    Stone Field    7 p.m.
May 6    Geneseo at Moline    Moline High School    4:30 p.m.
May 7    DeKalb at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
May 9    Geneseo at DeKalb    DeKalb High School    4:30 p.m.
May 11    GHS at Bloominton C.C.    McGraw Park, Bloomington    noon & 2 p.m.
May 14    United Township at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.
May 16    Rock Island at Geneseo    Stone Field    4:30 p.m.  
May 17    Dixon at Geneseo    Stone Field    7 p.m.