YORK – Facing elimination, the Geneseo Thunder came up with an 8-5 win over LeRoy Saturday night to keep their championship hopes alive.
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The Thunder got massive production from the bottom of their lineup as Alex Syberg, JakeDuppengieser, Tim Jackson and Tyler Piraino, the No. 7 through 10 hitters in the batting order, went a combined 5 for 10 with six RBI and three runs scored.
Coach Mark Bennett said the ability to get contributions from every sport in the lineup is invaluable.
“We have such a balanced lineup, and that all comes to these guys and the hard work they put in,” he said. “I tell the guys at the bottom of the order they’re not there because they did anything wrong, it’s just because you look from (player) one to 16, I’m just throwing something together. You try to stick with your power guys in the middle and your finesse guys at the top and bottom. Today was a perfect example where the top got some hits, but the bottom guys were the ones who cashed those in. That’s what you need if you’re going to be successful.”
Geneseo got out to a 2-0 lead in the second after RBI from Syberg and Piraino, but starting pitcher Tim Layland couldn’t hold the lead, as LeRoy scored twice in the third and fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
However, LeRoy couldn’t keep the Thunder down for long. Geneseo pushed across four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to gain some breathing room with an 8-4 lead. LeRoy got one back in the sixth, but Zack Kolodziejski locked up the 8-5 win for Geneseo.
Layland picked up the win with a solid performance on the mound. He pitched into the sixth, allowing five runs and striking out eight. Kolodziejski pitched the final two frames, allowing no runs and striking out four.
At the plate, Syberg finished 2 for 3 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored, Duppengieser went 1 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored and Piraino went 2 for 2 with and RBI. Kolodziejski also added an RBI single, and Layland and Alex Yarton each scored two runs.
The Thunder, now 1-1 in the playoffs, will face either the Webster Mustangs or Coach Tony’s on Tuesday night in York. Geneseo split with both teams in the regular season.