Last season, Geneva was forced into a rebuilding season when the expected ace of the staff, Mike Jeffreys, took his 94 mile per hour fastball to the Kansas Royals organization in the summer of 2013. The unexpected transition made 2014 a challenge but it does make the 2015 team more experienced than expected.
Now, in their fourth season as members of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, the Golden Tornadoes have 21 experienced players returning. In what will be his 27th season as head coach, Alan Sumner is excited about the potential of this year’s team:
“After a reenergizing fall, I am looking forward to experiencing what the Lord has in store for this enthusiastic and talented group of young men.”
Five seniors, first baseman Tyler Damazo (Beaver Falls, PA/Blackhawk), catcher Dan Jeffreys (Moon Twp, PA/Moon), outfielder Stephen MacLean (Woodbury, CT/Nonnewaug), outfielder Ryan McGonigle (Vandergrift, PA/Apollo Ridge), and outfielder Shane Wingard (Clarksburg, PA/Apollo Ridge) will spearhead the team’s efforts to reach higher levels of success on and off the field.
In addition to the senior leadership, junior catcher Aaron Witman (Greencastle, PA/Shalom Christian Academy) returns after finishing last season batting a .403 batting average with three home runs. Junior Andy Santana (San Pedro de Marcoris, DR/Desert Christian) heads into his third season at shortstop bringing with him valuable defensive experience and offensive skills as he batted .342 last year. Junior twins, JC Ackerman and Zack Ackerman (Lewis Center, OH/Worthington Christian) also return as playing at second base, third base, and appearing in the bullpen.
On the mound, right hander Zach Ackerman returns after obtaining a stellar 1.89 ERA. Junior righty, Ian Macdonald (Grantham, PA/West Shore Christian Academy), sophomore righty Jeff Parker (Green Brook, NJ/Timothy Christian), sophomore righty Caleb Metzler (Litiz, PA/Warwick), junior righty Drew Nichols (New Wilmington, PA/Wilmington), and sophomore righty Adam Trn (Fredericksburg, VA/Chancellor) all will bring valuable experience to the mound.
All the experience will get its first chance to show on Monday, March 9 at 9 a.m. in Fort Pierce, Florida against Martin Luther College, when the 2015 Golden Tornadoes take the field for the first time.