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.