“We can certainly play with the big boys when it comes to power, but we don’t have to,” Geneseo manager Nick Drollette said.
Indeed, after the homer in the first it was all small-ball for the Geneseo offense. A third-inning single from sophomore first baseman Sean Kelly drove in two more runs after a walk, dropped infield pop-up, and fielder’s choice left men on second and third with two outs.
The final two runs occurred in the fourth. The rally started with sophomore outfielder Trevor Frazier singling, then getting to second on an error and stealing third. That allowed junior second baseman Sam Johnson to bring him home with an RBI single. Junior third baseman Ryan Lagrou was hit by a pitch, then Cory Valentine moved both runners to second and third on a controversial pop-out that was called an infield fly rule. With men in scoring position and one out, senior outfielder Grainger Flint scorched a pop-up to center field. The fly ball was caught for an out, but it allowed Johnson to tag up and score another run.
“My main philosophy is scoring when you can,” Drollette said. “I play a lot of National League-style ball, small ball: move them over, and then let’s get ’em in.”
But it was the pitching efforts by Phelps that stole the show on this Spring evening. After giving up a hit to the second batter of the game, the junior retired 11 straight batters, including six strikeouts. He finished the game retiring eight of the nine final batters, with the lone baserunner getting caught stealing second.
“I can’t really say enough about what [Phelps] has done this year. Tonight he gave up two hits, and those were the first two hits he gave up all season. So he’s pitching phenomenally this year, and I can’t say enough about that,” Drollette said.
Geneseo met Avon on April 15th during their trip to Myrtle Beach, where Phelps threw a complete-game no hitter with 11 strikeouts. Geneseo won that game 3-0.
Geneseo (4-1) has now won four in a row since their season-opening 5-4 loss to Livonia. They take on Perry/Mount Morris on Wednesday.