LEROY – Geneseo travelled to LeRoy Tuesday night hoping to avenge an 8-6 loss to the Knights one week ago, and the Thunder got the revenge they craved with an 11-9 win.
Thunder coach Mark Bennett has challenged his offense to put together complete games, and Tuesday the bats exploded.
“Offensively, we’ve really been working hard,” Bennett said. “These guys have been coming over to my house to do some soft toss, and at practices we’ve actually been taking extra swings.”
Geneseo (6-2) got to work early, putting their first four batters on base and scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. John Ridler added another run in the second with an RBI single to give the Thunder a 6-3 lead through the game’s opening innings.
However, Geneseo’s bats quieted down in the middle innings, and starting pitcher Zack Kolodziejski labored against a potent LeRoy offense. The Knights chased Kolodziejski in with two men on in the fourth and took a 7-6 lead after reliever Alex Yarton couldn’t strand the two inherited runners.
The Thunder knotted the game back up in the fifth with back-to-back doubles by Alex Syberg and Sean Mattle to lead off the inning. The next inning, Geneseo put the game out of reach, replicating their first-inning hitting clinic with a four-run frame capped off by a two-run double by Yarton.
Although the game took a controversial turn in the third when Geneseo’s Tyler Shutts threw out a runner at home, resulting in appeals from the LeRoy side that catcher John Ridler dropped the ball, the Thunder benefited from level heads.
“It shows (our players) have great character and good discipline,” Bennett said. “I got caught up in the moment, and I apologized to our guys. We managed to get (our composure) back, and obviously it worked because once we got it back, we started hitting the ball again – that’s when we put the pressure on them and took the lead.”
The second-place Thunder will look to continue their hot streak Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in York, when they host the third-place Webster Rattler’s (5-2).