Baseball: Geneva knots up series with Batavia

 
 
Updated 5/16/2018 10:24 PM
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The Venditti brothers will have a lot to talk about before school Thursday morning.

While senior Tyler Venditti delivered a go-ahead, pinch-hit infield single to cap a 2-run sixth-inning rally, younger brother Hunter Venditti tossed the first complete game of his varsity career during Geneva's 3-2 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over Batavia (18-9, 12-7) Wednesday afternoon in Batavia.

"We'll have a good drive to school tomorrow morning," admitted the elder Venditti.

Trailing 2-1 after 5 innings, the Vikings (16-11-1, 12-6-1) staged a 2-out comeback that began with a 7-pitch walk to Cullen Geary before Dom Guido's single put runners on first and second.

Senior catcher Josh Rose then laced an RBI double down the third-base line to tie the game at 2-2 before Tyler Venditti's pinch-hit heroics put the Vikings on top to stay.

"Last year, I was in a lot more pinch-hit opportunities," said Tyler. "I was just trying to put the ball in play with a runner on third base and try to make something happen. Good things happen when you put the ball in play."

Hunter Venditti did the rest, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits with a walk and 3 strikeouts during an efficient 89-pitch outing that saw the junior retire the final 10 batters he faced.

"I was tired but my team was putting up all they could so I had to provide, too," said Hunter. "My brother clutched up for me and got us ahead and helped motivate myself to continue."

"He got his first major start last week against Elgin and looked sharp for five innings," said Geneva coach Brad Wendell. "Today, I kept asking him how he was feeling and he said, 'I feel good.' He said he was ready."

Obviously pleased with the outcome, Wendell felt even better about his pitcher's control during the game.

"If we stay in the zone, we can compete," said the coach. "Hunter did a real nice job and we played good defense behind him."

Junior third baseman Nick Black provided a pair of web gems, including a diving stop to record the first out in the sixth and a nice play on the run on Carter Gette's chopper for the game's final out.

"Nick's the best at third (base)," said Hunter. "I feel so confident with him at third."

Black's second-inning RBI double gave the Vikings an early 1-0 lead before Batavia tied it in the bottom half of the frame on Jared Martin's run-scoring single.

Martin's 2-out RBI double in the fifth put the Bulldogs in front 2-1, setting the stage for the Vikings' rally.

"It's one of those days where we felt we didn't do anything wrong," said Batavia coach Alex Beckmann. "We played a great game but the bounces didn't go our way."

Martin suffered the tough-luck loss for the Bulldogs, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts during a complete-game effort.

"He did a great job for us," said Beckmann.

The teams will resume action in the rubber game of the 3-game series Thursday in Geneva with the Vikings up 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

"It'll be fun," said Beckmann.

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