LEROY – The Geneseo Thunder couldn’t muster enough offense in their two final at-bats, and the local travel team fell to LeRoy 8-6 Tuesday night.
Geneseo entered the sixth inning trailing 8-2, and to that point, their bats had been anything but thunderous. However, the offense busted out in the second-to-last framed thanks to RBI by Perry’s Alex Syberg and Keshequa’s Korey Gillen. Geneseo plated a third run in the inning on a throwing error to cut the deficit to 8-5 heading into the seventh.
Livonia’s Zack Kolodziejski delivered a one-out single, and York’s Tyler Shutts followed with an RBI double to pull the Thunder within two. Geneseo’s John Ridler walked, presenting cleanup hitter Alex Yarton with an opportunity to give the Thunder the lead with one swing. Yarton lifted a short fly ball to left center, which LeRoy’s shortstop dropped, but Shutts was forced out at third for the second out. Syberg then ended the game on a hard groundout to first.
Ridler finished with a double and two runs scored, and Syberg finished with a hit and two RBI. Yarton chipped in with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Geneseo struggled through the middle innings, giving up three runs in the third and four runs in the fourth, and head coach Mark Bennett said pitcher Tyler Piraino’s limited work and shaky defense were to blame.
“I threw a kid in Tyler Piraino who hadn’t thrown since the high school season, and we just made some bad plays behind him,” Bennett said. “(Piraino) did OK…just that one bad inning. If you take that inning away, we probably end up on top.”
Starter Jake Duppengieser, of Perry, lasted just two plus innings, giving up four runs before being relieved by Piraino with no outs in the third. Piraino cleaned up in the third but couldn’t get out of the following inning, giving up four runs. Kolodziejski came on to pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh.
Despite a mediocre game in the field and on the mound, Bennett said the team’s biggest problem has been their lackluster starts offensively.
“The last few games weve been waiting till late in the game to start hitting,” he said. “If we can continuously string two or three hits together every inning, I think we’ll be alright. I keep telling these guys to have fun, don’t get discouraged and just keep working. We haven’t reached out peak yet, and we haven’t consistently done the things we need to do…they understand that, and we’re working on it. Once we start hitting, every team in this league better watch out.”
The Thunder (3-2) split a doubleheader last weekend and play Coach Tony’s tonight (June 20) at 6:00 p.m. at their home field in York.