2013 Geneva College Baseball
“Mixing the recipe for success”
For a quarter of a century, the Geneva College baseball team has been led by one man. Alan Sumner begins his 25th season at the helm and it will be through his leadership that the Golden Tornadoes will try to rebound from a sub-500 season a year ago. Geneva finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 15-21 which included a 9-15 mark in league play. A far cry from where the Golden Tornadoes would like to finish, the 2012 season will hopefully serve as a motivating factor for a solid group of players returning for 2013.
“We had a great group of seniors that graduated from our program last year,” says Sumner. “They were a productive group on the field but more importantly they were a bunch of solid guys with tremendous leadership skills. Leadership is certainly something we are going to be looking for as we move forward this spring.” A good place to find leadership is in the center of the diamond on the mound. The Golden Tornadoes are fortunate to have one of the best pitchers in their dugout. Mike Jeffreys closed out his sophomore year with a 7-4 record and a team best 3.69 ERA and 78 strikeouts. Jeffreys’ 78 strikeouts were good enough to lead the PAC and help him garner a first team All-Conference selection. “Mike continues to improve every day. Having the opportunity to play in Alaska over the summer has taken his game to a new level,” says Sumner. “He is certainly the leader of our pitching staff and will hopefully be one of the leaders on our team.”
Joining Jeffreys as one of Geneva’s key returners on the mound will be junior Caleb Kilgore. Kilgore made ten starts and appeared in 13 games for Geneva last season. Eating up over 50 innings, Kilgore finished the season with four wins. “It’s nice to have a couple of experienced guys at the top of the rotation but we will need a lot more production than just those two veterans,” Sumner says. “We believe that some of the new faces in our program can step in and contribute right away but at this point we have to wait and see who grabs their opportunity and runs with it.”
While the pitching staff will be looking for some fresh faces and fresh arms to contribute immediately, the line-up will also need some new bats to step forward. Five of Geneva’s top seven hitters from a year ago picked up their diplomas in May and will need to be replaced at the plate. Jeffreys, who had great success on the mound, also was a force at the plate with a .330 batting average and 16 RBI. Jeffreys should see some time at first base while also spending some time in the DH spot when he is not pitching. TJ Lambert returns to his familiar spot in right field after posting a .313 average with 20 RBI. Patrolling the other corner outfield will most likely be sophomore Ryan McGonigle who is coming off a solid freshman campaign that featured 14 runs and 12 RBI to go along with his .272 average.
The infield for Geneva may pose more questions than answers in the early season. Looking for some new players to step up and contribute, the Golden Tornadoes will have junior Jeremy Herzog somewhere in the mix after he started 32 games at 2nd base last season. Behind the plate, Mike Jeffreys may be taking signs from a very familiar face as Dan Jeffreys looks to get the majority of playing time behind the plate.”We have some questions that will need to be answered early in the season around the infield,” says Sumner. “Again, we will look to some talented youngsters to fill the void which is always a little nerve wracking for a coach.”
The pass rate for Geneva graduates in the special education certification (Praxis II) is 100%.