Geneseo places fourth in regional

Amy Carton
The Geneseo 10U baseball team gathers for a pep talk before one of their games during the Ohio Valley Regional Tournament.

After coming off an exciting weekend of winning the Northern Illinois State Championship, Geneseo’s 10U Cal Ripken baseball team was on the road in the hunt for the 10U Ohio Valley Regional title. Despite a valiant effort, Geneseo came up short and placed fourth in the regional.

“We really enjoyed ourselves and it was a learning experience for the boys and they competed at the high level,” said coach Bob Thomas. “People at the tournament had no idea where Geneseo was, but after the tournament was done they informed us they would love to see us come back. They said we had a nice team, good parents and kids and we represented our town incredibly well.”

In the opening round, Geneseo squared off against Newburgh, Ind., lost 5-3.

The following day Geneseo bounced back to defeat Howard Township, Mich., 5-4 in 10 innings (a normal game is only six innings), which they followed up with a 3-2 seven inning win over Jasper County.

“The kids battled tough and the tournament director said our game with Howard Township was one of the top games he has seen played on that field,” said Thomas. “It was a good win.

“Against Jasper County, both teams were gassed, but we officially are the entire State of Illinois Champs since we beat Jasper County, the Southern Illinois Champions.”

Geneseo advanced to the next day of competition and the Final Four where they took on South Bend,?Ind. Geneseo was knocked out of the tournament, losing the game 12-4 to take fourth place.

“I thought we competed well, but the other team made plays when they needed to,” said Thomas.

“Overall it was a great experience and we represented Geneseo Youth Baseball well. We were playing for our town and I think we represented our town incredibly well and the boys should be proud of that.”

Geneseo finished the season in the top 42 in the country.

Members of the state champion Geneseo 10U team are Jordan Anderson, Keegan Banister, Ross Chapman, Hunter Girten, Austin Harmes, Cade?Humphries, Cole Hunzeker, Jordan Jackson, Trey Johnson, Mike Nelson, Dylan Pardoe,  Jacob Pauley, Quentin Radue, Keaton Rice, Braden Ries, Sam Thomas, Charlie Wiese and bat boy Keaton Johnson. The team is coached by Thomas, Guy Pauley and Darin Pardoe.

“It was fun and enjoyable,” said Thomas. “It is all about the kids and the coaches are just along for the ride.”