GENESEO — Senior outfielder Jimmy Root went 1-4 with a two RBI triple in the fourth inning to lead Geneseo to a 13-1 victory over York in the first round of sectional playoffs on Wednesday night.
“That triple, I can’t say enough about that. That really exploded it for us,” Geneseo manager Nick Drollette said.
After some rain delays that caused the game to start about a half hour later than scheduled, the Blue Devil offense got off to a slower start than it is used to. Geneseo outscored York 26-0 in their two meetings during the regular season, but were up just 2-1 going into the fourth inning. Four straight hits (including three RBI) followed by the Root triple effectively put the game out of reach for the visiting Knights, who won a sectional play-in game over South Seneca on Monday to advance to the first round.
“We came into this game ready to start off like that,” Drollette said of the fourth inning rally. “Then we had the rain delay in the beginning of the game and I think it really took some wind out of our sails. We had to fight off that rain delay and then fight through a couple innings of just not hitting the ball well.”
Geneseo standout junior pitcher Blake Phelps struck out eight through five innings, giving up just one run in the third. After a fielding error and a single had two men on base, Phelps gave up the lone York run on a RBI single but induced a pop-up out on the next batter to minimize the damage.
“They were kind of squeezing him a little bit behind the plate; I felt like the strike zone was a little small. And I think it got into his head a little bit,” Drollette said.
Geneseo junior third baseman Ryan LaGrou went 5-5 with four RBI and sophomore first baseman Sean Kelly went 4-4 with a walk and two RBI. Junior pitcher Jameson Moran pitched two perfect innings in relief of Phelps, striking out four York batters.
After the game, a short celebration was held for the five Geneseo senior players and their families.
“These seniors, they mean a lot for this program. They’ve got a lot of good memories, they were part of a good team that won a sectional title and went to states last year so [senior night] a huge thing,” Drollette said.
Geneseo (18-1) will take on the winner of Clyde-Savannah and Oakfield-Alabama on Friday.