The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 23, 2013

DiGiacomo hurls Geneva past visiting Lakeside

GENEVA — The Geneva Eagles finally got to play a home game Monday and didn’t waste the opportunity.

Connor DiGiacomo threw a complete game and the Eagles scored runs in innings three through six to take out Premier Athletic Conference foe Lakeside, 5-1.

“The first thing we did is throw strikes, which is a big thing we need to get taken care of, lately we’ve been walking too many guys,” Geneva (2-4, 2-2) coach Justin Drapp said. “But then when they did hit the ball, the defense was there to shut them down. We did have one error and we could’ve let that snowball but we didn’t. We got the second and third out right after that.”

DiGiacomo was excellent throughout, retiring 12 of the first 14 Dragons he faced, fanning 11 throughout and walking just one.

The only person to get a hit off DiGiacomo through the first five innings was his counterpart on the mound, Nick Meola, who was 3-for-3 with a double.

Lakeside coach Andy Kiphart credited DiGiacomo for throwing an effective fastball, but admitted he wasn’t satisfied with his team’s approach at the plate.

“That kid, obviously, had a decent fastball, he was sneaky fast and were late early on,” he said. “Then toward the middle to the end of the game, we started taking fastball strikes, which is not going to be a good approach.

“He didn’t walk anyone until the last inning, he was throwing strikes. We’ve just got to be up there ready to hit.”

Geneva got on the board in the bottom of the third when DiGiacomo reached on a single, stole second (his second stolen base of the game) then scored on a Dan Camplese single.

Camplese came up big for the Eagles, going 3-for-3 with two RBI.

“Danny stepped up today,” Drapp said. “That’s what we preached, somebody’s gotta step up if we’re not hitting and get the team going and he was a real fire starter today.”

Geneva added two more in the fourth when David Smalley came all the way home from first on a throwing error then Kyle Burkhammer brought home Eric Juncker on a single to make the score, 3-0.

The Eagles made the score 4-0 in the fifth when Josh Sanchez, who struck out but reached first on a throwing error, came home on another Camplese single.

“We definitely started slow, guys weren’t waiting back, you gotta wait back and hit it up the middle,” Drapp said. “I think we were trying to do too much rather than letting the pitch come to them and we were trying to lunge for it.

“We stuck with it though and settled in. We had some battles at the plate and were able to get guys on base.”

Kiphart’s group answered back in the top of the sixth.

Meola hammered a double to left field and Austin DiBell followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one out.

Jared Pasrons plated Meola on a ground ball to third that turned into a throwing error and left runners at first and second and the score 4-1.

But, DiGiacomo settled in and struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

“Connor’s definitely one of our go-to guys this year,” Drapp said. “Every game he’s pitched he’s kept us in a great position to win, we just need to support him like we did today.”

Geneva added an insurance run in the fifth when Juncker smacked a one-out double to left then pinch-runner Vern Thompson came home on a Brandon Kovach single to left.

The Eagles score three runs and got three hits from their No. 7 through 9 hitters, something Drapp was happy about.

“Any support from the bottom of the order is good,” he said. “Juncker made a nice adjustment at the plate that we talked about before the game, his only two hits before that were kind of pop ups, but today he was hitting the ball hard.”

Caleb Garcia led off the seventh with a walk for Lakeside (3-6, 0-3), but DiGiacomo retired the next three batters to close the game out.

The Dragons’ three errors were cause for concern for Kipharrt, who said he’s seen his team struggle in the field throughout the first nine games of the season.

“We make some critical errors in critical moments,” he said. “(Meola) makes them put the ball in play. If we make plays, he keeps us in the game. If we don’t make plays, then the score looks worse than it was.

“For us, it’s just about relaxing and being confident in making plays. We just seem to tense up.”

Drapp was happy his team finally got to play at home, three weeks into the season.

“We didn’t quite have the crowd that they did at Progressive Field,” he said with a laugh. “But we had beautiful weather. Hopefully, we’ll have some more days like this. It was a good day all around for Geneva.”

In his third year with the Eagles, Drapp likes what he’s seen from his team so far.

“We’re definitely improved from last year, we’re having that quiet confidence that we’ve been preaching for three years here,” he said. “The kids are starting to listen, starting to believe in the program and they know that they’re better that what their record has been in previous years.

“Every game we’ve been in has been a close game and that’s something we’re priding ourselves on and we’re starting to find a way to win these close games.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Complete performance

    It has taken a while for the Grand Valley Mustangs to put it all together on the softball diamond this season. Wednesday afternoon, the Mustangs did just that, combining a superb pitching effort by Katie Paskey with a tight defense and opportune offense to smother the Maplewood Rockets, 8-1, in Northeastern Athletic Conference action.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pirates sail past Eagles

    The seniors on the Perry softball team wanted to talk with coach Frank Rico. They had some ideas for how their coach could help the Pirates. Rico was receptive of the players’ thoughts. It didn’t hurt that the Pirates were right on the mark in their assessments.

    April 24, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Years of wonder, indeed...

    The recent effort that appeared in this space last week about things yours truly did while growing up that prompted several replies, which were also published as a followup, brought one more into my inbox the other day.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thompson breaks own vaulting mark

    Geneva pole vaulter Ally Thompson is competing mostly with herself in the early going. She claimed a major victory in that category in toppling her own Ashtabula County record in the Eagles’ victories over Lakeside and Harvey at Spire on Wednesday.

    April 24, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    SOFTBALL
    NAC
    Grand Valley 8, Maplewood 1
    at Grand Valley

    April 24, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 24
    Baseball

    Ledgemont at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Campbell at Edgewood (5)
    Lordstown at PV (4:30)
    Riverside at Perry (7:30)
    Champion at Jefferson (5)

    April 24, 2014

  • Tribe bests Royals

    The top of the Cleveland lineup has been starting to hit. If that continues, it will bode very well for the team.

    April 24, 2014

  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video