Of all the crazy twists and turns in a game that lasted three hours with 26 runs on the scoreboard, Geneva senior third baseman Mitchell Endriukaitis made the best hustle play — and wounded up with the least to show for it.
With Metea Valley runners at first and second and no outs in the fourth inning, Endriukaitis raced from third base to the Geneva dugout to snag a foul pop.
When no Viking covered third base, Metea Valley’s Ben Doiron alertly tried to take the extra base. Endriukaitis sprinted from the front of the Geneva dugout back to third base and dove to apply the tag on Doiron for an unassisted double play.
Unfortunately for Endriukaitis, Doiron’s helmet hit — and broke — a finger on his throwing hand. Geneva’s three-year starter is expected to miss four to six weeks.
That left the Vikings (4-3, 1-1 in the Upstate Eight Conference) with a bittersweet feeling following a 16-10 win.
“It’s a tough loss but we’ll persevere,” Geneva first baseman Anthony Bragg said.
Metea Valley (3-3, 1-1) was its own worst enemy for much of the game, walking 10, hitting 2 batters and making 5 errors. Geneva scored in five of its six at-bats.
“If you would have told me we would score 10 I would have told you we’d definitely win the game today,” Metea coach Craig Tomczak said. “We didn’t. Especially here against this team you know they are going to put up some runs. Sixteen? I didn’t think it was going to get that high.”
The Vikings didn’t have an extra-base hit until Matt Guenther’s 3-run home run in the sixth. Eight of their nine starters had at least 1 hit; catcher Steffen Graham was the only who didn’t and he reached base twice on hit by pitches while also bunting in a run.
Bobby Hess (3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and freshman Nick Derr (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) led the 13-hit attack.
“Chalk it up to a crazy, early game of the year type of thing,” Geneva coach Matt Hahn said. “Neither team’s pitching was real strong today, both defenses (struggled).”
The Mustangs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first against winning pitcher Tony Landi only to see Geneva score five in its half with only one hit out of the infield.
Metea tied the game at 5-5 in the third before the Vikings scored two in the third and three in the fourth to go up 10-5. After the Mustangs pulled within 11-9 with four runs in the sixth, Geneva scored five more runs in the sixth.
“It was a hit parade today,” Bragg said. “We strung some together, got some bunts down, put some runners in scoring position. It was nice to get guys in that way.”
No. 9 hitter Sam Hanson provided a spark for Metea going 4-for-4 with 3 RBI.
“First time he’s really had a chance in a varsity game,” Tomczak said. “He’s played some JV games. He’s worked his butt off at the beginning of the year but in the last week or so we’ve made some adjustments to his swing, made it simpler for him, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Sam is a hard worker. That was a pleasant surprise for him today.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.