GENEVA — The Geneva Red Wings played from behind for most of Monday night’s regular-season finale, trailing the Elmira Pioneers by as many as five runs in the seventh inning.
Geneva ended up staging a remarkable turnaround at McDonough Park to accomplish two things: nail down second place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League‘s West Division, and earn the right to host a win-or-go-home first-round playoff game.
The Red Wings could not summon similar magic 24 hours later.
Conor Grammes slugged a three-run third-inning homer, staking the Elmira Pioneers to their second five-run lead in as many nights. This time, the Pioneers did not relinquish their advantage en route to a 12-2 triumph at McDonough Park.
The Red Wings finished their second PGCBL season with a 29-22 overall record.
Elmira (28-23) will face either Onondaga or Jamestown in the best-of-three West Division championship series. Game 1 is tonight.
Brayden Combs (Kentucky) gave the visitors a second-inning lead, scoring Ayrton Schafer (Samford) with a sacrifice fly. The Pioneers seized control one frame later.
Colton Evans (UC Davis) and Andrew Orzel (Wofford) sandwiched hits around a flyout. Troy Dixon (Samford) followed with a run-scoring single; Orzel moved to third and Dixon to second on one of three errors Geneva committed in the first four innings. Grammes, who is entering his sophomore season at Xavier, followed by blasting a three-run homer.
Geneva got on the board in the home third. Jake Evans (Alabama Southern CC) walked and Justin Etts (NJIT) singled to open the frame. One out later, Trustin Riley (Tampa) walked. With two outs, Mikey Arman (Kenyon) struck out, but a dropped third strike allowed Evans to scamper home and the bases to remain full. Will Simoneit (Cornell) fanned to end the inning.
Elmira got that run back when Dixon delivered his second run-scoring single in the fourth. They added three more in the seventh on Schafer’s run-scoring double, Combs’ RBI single and Colton Evans’ sacrifice fly. Dixon and Schafer smacked solo homers in the eighth, and Colton Evans added a run-scoring single in the ninth.
The Red Wings managed only two hits against Elmira starter Houston Roth (Mississippi). Roth struck out 11 while going five innings.
Geneva loaded the bases in the seventh but managed only Simoneit’s RBI single with two outs.