LEWISTON – One bad inning, a five-run fifth ended Holland’s chances in a 5-1 loss to Geneseo of Section V in the Class C Far West Regional baseball playoff at Lewiston-Porter Senior High School.
Following a small delay due to Geneseo’s late arrival, the teams delivered a hard-fought game defensively, riding each of their pitchers through the whole game.
Holland’s Pierce Gardon started very strong and delivered a complete game effort, striking out seven in the process.
He was mirrored by another complete game from Geneseo’s Jameson Moran. He struck out six in earning the win.
Until the fifth inning, the teams were locked in a tense pitching duel. Each side was waiting for an offensive breakthrough.
That came in the fifth inning, when Geneseo erupted for all five of its runs to take the lead for good.
Geneseo loaded the bases on an error by Holland shortstop Cooper Rahn and two consecutive walks by Gardon. Geneseo’s Jake Clar’s low shot to left field scored Trevor Frazier and Blake Phelps for a 2-0 lead.
Gardon struck out Sam Johnson and Ryan LaGrou and seemed back in rhythm, but Geneseo finished out the inning with three more runs, from Brian Linton, Sean Kelly and Jake Clar.
“I think we were a little tight,” Holland head coach Tim Schulz said.
“I’m not sure if the delay hurt or not, but I think we played four innings of flawless baseball. I just think we made that error and” Gardon “got a little rattled.”
Geneseo protected the lead, only allowing one run in the sixth inning.
With runners on first and third with two outs, an RBI single from E.J. Staniszewski scored catcher Jacob Ratajczak.
“I told the team that we are off the bus, now we just have to protect that lead,” said Geneseo coach Chuck Nesbitt. “Moran threw a bit more than I wanted him to, but all in all he threw well.”
Gardon was disappointed that Holland couldn’t score more than one run.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get those four runs to finish it off,” he said.
Geneseo will take on Section IV Tioga on Saturday in the state semifinals, while Holland finishes the season at 11-11.