Comeback for the Ages Highlights Split at Thiel

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April 25, 2009

CONTACT: Van Zanic

(724) 847-6886


Greenville, PA - There are many ways head coaches can measure his or her team′s character. On Saturday, Geneva College head baseball coach Alan Sumner got all the answers he needed about the character on his 2009 team. The Golden Tornadoes rallied for nine runs in the top of the seventh inning of game one against Thiel to steal a 15-14 victory. Geneva dropped game two by the count of 5-3, but the story of the day was the Golden Tornadoes rallying for the best last inning comeback in school history. The split moved Geneva′s overall record to 21-12 while Thiel moved to 24-12 on the season.

Geneva′s defense let itself down early in game one on Saturday. It appeared that six errors would be the undoing for the Golden Tornadoes as they took a 14-6 deficit into the seventh inning. When Tadd Eyster opened the final frame with a base hit no one could have predicted that 15 minutes later he would be coming up with a two-run triple to tie the game. Eyster was 2-2 in the seventh inning and led a nine run, six hit attack that put Geneva up by a run heading into the bottom of the seventh. When Jon Jurinko delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly to score Eyster the comeback was complete, but Geneva still needed three outs to secure the victory. Derek Sumner made his first relief appearance of the season and struck out three batters sandwiched around a walk to pick up his first save of the year.

Jon Jurinko picked up four RBI′s in the win while Justin McGurgan knocked in three runs, including a run scoring single in the seventh inning rally. Phil Shallenberger was handed the victory despite allowing three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work. Geneva led the game 4-1 early before Thiel plated a combined 13 runs from the fourth inning through the sixth, which set the stage for Geneva′s historic comeback.

Geneva′s offense seemed to have spent all of its energy in game one by picking up only three hits in the night cap. The Golden Tornadoes did plate single runs in the first, second and sixth innings, but a four-run second inning for Thiel proved to be the difference. Chris Slick was handed the loss with three earned runs allowed in four innings of work. Jon Jurinko had two of Geneva′s three hits in the night cap.

Geneva hosts Saint Vincent in a single game on Tuesday before facing off against Gannon University in a four-game series beginning with two games in Erie on Wednesday afternoon.