Ridgemen struggle in loss to Genesee

Senior Austin Marsh (Greenville College) struck out nine batters over seven-and-thirds innings in the Genesee Rapids’ 10-2 win over the Rochester Ridgemen in New York Collegiate Baseball League action Tuesday night at Basket Road Field. Marsh allowed one run on two hits and five walks.

“I knew our starting pitcher went pretty far against them last time,” Marsh said. “Our defense has been solid the last week, so I never have worry about anything like that, I know I can just throw strikes.”

The Ridgemen matched Marsh by starting sophomore Daniel Smith (University of Chicago) on the mound. Smith finished his start with six runs (five earned), eight hits and six walks surrendered, striking out two in five innings.

“It was a rough start. I got behind in too many counts [and] walked too many guys,” Smith said. “Then they just sit fastball and they know it’s coming. It’s tough to pitch like that.

Rapids’ head coach Joe Mina said the win was a very positive experience after a rocky road to open the season.

“We’ve been struggling, going up and down, kind of a roller coaster ride for the last week or so,” Mina said. “It was nice to see guys who have been taking a break coming off the bench and producing for us. Just a total team effort.”

The Rapids began scoring quickly, plating three runs in the first two innings.

In the first inning, after junior AJ Nitzschke (Northwestern College) doubled with two outs, senior Travis Ralls (Greenville College) singled to give the Rapids’ a 1-0 lead. The Rapids followed with two runs in the second on a single for senior John Zamites (Houghton College), scoring sophomores Josh Hayner (Messiah College) and Aneury Lara (New England College).

The Ridgemen broke up the shutout in the second, loading the bases with one out. This set up junior Connor Dunn (University of Puget Sound) to draw a walk, scoring senior Ethan Luna (Southwestern University).

Hayner came around to score again in the fourth when senior Adam Marston (Eastern Mennonite University) singled, but the Rapids delivered a blow in the fifth thanks to Lara.

With the bases loaded after Ralls reached on an error, freshman JP Knight (Tufts University) walked and Hayner reached on a fielder’s choice, Lara stepped to the plate with a chance to extend the lead. He wasted no time, jumping on the first pitch and driving it into the outfield for a two-run double.

Another two runs came across in the sixth when Knight drew a bases-loaded walk, with the ball getting away and allowing both Nitzschke and senior Judah Wollenburg (Indiana Wesleyan University) to score.

But Knight’s night was not over, as in the eighth inning with two outs and one on, he slapped a single into right field. The right fielder came up firing to try to get Nitzschke, who had walked, out at third, but the ball sailed out of play and Nitzschke scored.

“I felt like my last few games I’ve been seeing too many pitches, so I tried to attack strikes early,” Knight said. “Anything close I just like to drive it. [I] just got a couple good pitches to hit and took advantage.”

Lara scored on a sacrifice groundout by Zamites in the ninth with the Ridgemen adding a second run in the bottom half when senior TJ Lanning (Trinity College) tripled and scored on their own sacrifice groundout for junior Dillon McTague (Colorado Christian College).

However, this is as far as the Ridgemen got, as the Rapids got through the ninth to secure the win.

Ridgemen head coach Justin Dillard said there weren’t many positives to the game.

“It was weird night. We were bad [and] they made a lot of outs on the base paths,” Dillard said. “So what do you take from this? Not a thing. Hopefully, a night like this never happens again.”

The Ridgemen drop to 3-10, while the Rapids improve to 7-9 on the year.

The Ridgemen will next play Wednesday when they travel to Cortland to play the Crush at 6 p.m.

The Rapids will play on Wednesday, hosting the Olean Oilers at 7 p.m.

June 4th Game Recap

Written by Mikael Desanto

Senior Chris Wastchak (California University of Pennsylvania) went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored as the Olean Oilers beat the Rochester Ridgemen 9-3 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field.

“You get out there and go at it,” Oilers head coach Jay Weitzel said. “It’s a good win. [We] played good [and] got good pitching.”

Sophomore Cameron Weinberger (University of Florida) also contributed to the Oilers cause, throwing eight innings and allowing three runs (all unearned) on six hits with 10 strikeouts.

“I was just really trying to pound the zone,” Weinberger said. “I thought my fastball was moving and I just tried to get ahead.”

The Ridgemen sent senior Tanner Pruett (Crown College) to the hill to start, getting six-and-two-thirds innings and five runs, five hits and four walks surrendered from the left hander.

“[I] had a good catcher back there behind the plate,” Pruett said. “Towards the end I got a little tired. Like I said, [the] defense did well and the catcher back there, gives me confidence.”

The scoring began in the second inning as the Ridgemen took control early.

After two quick outs to open the inning, senior TJ Lanning II (ASA College) and junior Connor Dunn (University of Puget Sound) keep the inning going with singles. Freshman Trevor Cho (St. Cloud State) wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity, slapping a single to score Lanning and get the Ridgemen on the board.

“I just wanted to be aggressive,” Cho said. “First pitch was a ball and it was a fastball. I was sitting fastball on the next pitch, it was a little outside but it was still a strike, so I swung, put a nice swing on it and we scored.”

Freshman Jonathan Sabino (Coppin State University) and junior Joshua Parks (University of Chicago) would follow with an RBI double and RBI single, respectively, to put the Ridgemen up 3-0 after two.

However, in the fourth inning, the Oilers chipped into the Ridgemen lead and sparked the offense with one swing. Wastchak, who had a long fly out to right field in his first at bat, stepped to the plate with one out in the fourth. He then proceeded to square up a hanging curveball from Pruett and dispensed it over the right-centerfield wall for a solo home run.

“I saw him the first at bat and I know he was throwing all that slide stuff,” Wastchak said. “I saw on (sophomore Jacob) Burlingame (Canisius College), he struck him out with that slider in, so I was looking for something like that on me. On that first pitch out, I could hear him (the catcher) move out, then I could hear him move in on me. I was looking for something in, I saw it and drove it.”

But the Oilers were not done, as sophomore Isaac Porter (St. Bonaventure University) singled home a run in the sixth to put the Oilers down one.

However, it would be the seventh inning which proved the difference. Pruett picked up two quick outs and it appeared it would be smooth sailing through the seventh. The Oilers had other ideas, getting two runners on and setting up sophomore Alex Amos (University of Pittsburgh) for a game-tying single.

But the run scoring was not over, as the next batter worked a walk to load the bases. Two more walks brought in two more runs and the Oilers left the top of the seventh leading 5-3.

The Oilers would add four insurance runs in the eighth inning on a single from sophomore Jacob Miknis (St. Bonaventure University), a bases-loaded hit by a pitch for Burlingame, sacrifice groundout from Wastchak and, finally, a wild pitch.

The Ridgemen were set down 1-2-3 in both the eighth and ninth, ending the game.

“I thought Tanner threw the ball really well. He gave us a chance to win,” Ridgemen coach Mitchell Holland said. “Overall it was encouraging.”

The Ridgemen fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Oilers get their first win of the season at 1-2.

The Ridgemen’s next game will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the road against the Cortland Crush.

The Oilers will next play on Monday at home at 10:30 a.m. against the Genesee Rapids.

Napleton’s strong finish leads Twins past Ridgemen

WEBSTER, N.Y. — Marty Napleton (St. Joseph’s) had a tough start to the game, cracking two line drives that were caught in right and center field. But he would rebound, recording a hit in his next three at-bats, including leading off the 10th inning with a single.

Geneva’s catcher would later score the game-winning run, giving the Twins a 5-4 win in extra innings over the Rochester Ridgemen in New York Collegiate Baseball League action on Sunday afternoon at Basket Road Field.

“We’re a good team. I just told the guys there’s no reason to press,” Geneva manager Andrew Weeks said after his team blew a three-run lead in the eighth inning.

(read the rest of the article here)

Ridgemen kick off their 2015 campaign

Baseball is back in Webster. The New York Collegiate Baseball League starts back up again, and the Rochester Ridgemen are calling Basket Road Field home for another summer.

The Ridgemen, under the direction of general manager Chris Rainwater,  is a collection of summer collegiate athletes from all around the country that play summer ball in hopes of improving their skills or getting noticed by scouts who will come to various games.

Players from this league include Hunter Pence and Rajai Davis, who currently play for the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively.

Head Coach Joe Shallenberger is in his first year as head man for the Ridgemen, who are looking to make it two playoff appearances in a row after making it to last year’s NYCBL Western Divisional Series before falling in the best-of-three to the Geneva Twins.

Assistant coach Trent Sullivan is also in his first year of coaching, transforming from his role as a player from a season ago.

Sullivan was able to compile a .208 batting average in the summer of 2014, with four doubles and a triple while driving in 10 runs on the season.

The Ridgemen feature two players from Western New York, as Cameron Carney is from Niagara Falls and Tage Johnson calls Jamestown home.

Rochester also features three players from the baseball-heavy state of Texas, while two hail from California and two from the Sunshine State of Florida.

The lone returner to the 2015 team from last season in player form is Shane Soria, who is from Auburn, California and takes his classes at Westmont College. Soria batted .318 last summer, with four doubles and two triples while driving in 17 runs over the course of the season.

Soria also featured 14 multi-hit games throughout the season.

Rochester was home on Monday night, taking on the Wellsville Nitros, but the game ended too late for publication.

The Ridgemen are home on June 3 and 4, taking on the Twins and then the Niagara Power. After a road game on the fifth, they are back to take on the Power and Twins again on June 6 and 7, respectively.

Admission to the games is free.

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