Photo by Michael Johnson
Geneseo's Connor Ragan and the No. 3 seeded Blue Devils rallied for the 7-6 sectional quarterfinal victory over Kendall Wednesday. The junior Ragan had a big two-run single in the sixth inning as the Blue Devils overcame a 4-0 deficit.
Section V Baseball
The ‘Cardiac Kids’ do it again
GENESEO — If you’re a fan of Geneseo baseball, there’s a pretty good chance your heart rate has resembled that of a rollercoaster.
For the sixth time this season, the Blue Devils had to rally from a late inning deficit to pull out the win — this time on the sectional stage as No. 3 Geneseo dug themselves out of a 4-0 hole after five innings to earn the 7-6 eight-inning victory over No. 6 Kendall (8-9) in Class C quarterfinal action Wednesday.
“Once again, we found a way to win,” said Geneseo skipper Chuck Nesbitt. “Down four runs going into the sixth, there was a sense that this would be our inning and that proved to be the case.”
With Kendall holding the 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, Geneseo busted through in a big way as they scored six times. After a lead-off triple by Ben Kelly, four consecutive walks by the Kendall pitching staff would force in a pair of runs that set up a Connor Ragan two-run single that tied the game at 4-4. Xavier Copeland followed with a two-run single of his own to make it 6-4.
And with Geneseo pitching ace Taylor Semmel on the bump, a clean seventh seemed inevitable.
Not so fast.
A walk, a single and then a deep two-run double by Kendall’s Preston Vick evened the score at 6-6.
Geneseo had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh after Tony Belfiore and Billy Dunn had singles and went to second and third with one out but back-to-back K’s would end the threat.
After Kendall went quietly in the top of the eighth, Geneseo would open the bottom half as Jon Ridler reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a Copeland single and then touched home when Ben “Ice” Kelly hit a game-winning single through a drawn in infield.
Kelly led the Devils going 3-5 with finished the day 3 for 5 with a triple and one RBI, while Copeland was 2-4 with two RBIs.
Freshman Blake Phelps pitched well but was victimized by four Geneseo errors and allowed just one earned run through five innings. He allowed three hits with five K’s and one walk.
The senior Semmel, who picked up his ninth win of the season, tossed three innings allowing two runs in four hits with five K’s and one walk.
“Overall, I do not think we played well, leaving guys on base in scoring position to end innings several times and making some key infield errors to allow runs,” said coach Nesbitt. “All season, we have bounced back from below average performances with big games and we will need to do the same for a chance at the title.”
Geneseo will take on No. 2 Red Jacket (13-4) Friday at 7 p.m. at McDonough Park in Geneva in the semifinals. Red Jacket defeated No. 7 York 13-4.