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Defense leads Rapids past Ridgemen

The Genesee Rapids got their second win in a row Monday night with a 4-1 win against the Rochester Ridgemen at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex in New York Collegiate Baseball action.

Jordan Wilkerson (East Texas Baptist) got the win on the mound. He allowed only one run on five hits with two strikeouts.

“Jordan settled in and threw a great game for us,” said Rapids manager Tyler Rost.

“I was struggling to find the strike zone early,” commented Wilkerson. “I was able to throw some balls across the plate and get them swinging, but tonight I definitely relied on my defense. It’s good to know they have my back out there and can help get me out of some tough situations.”

The Genesee defense recorded only one error on the night and held the stolen bases by the Ridgemen to one.

The Rapids offense gained an early 3-0 lead in the first. Two of the runs came off a Karlis Graubics (Marymount) two-run RBI single and an error from the Rochester center field. Shortstop Nick Ippolito (Cal St. Stanislaus) also tallied a run from a Ryan Dickt (Virginia-Wise) RBI single.

“We got on the board early,” said Rost. “It’s always nice to score early and get some momentum.”

Ippolito crossed home again in the second off a Corey Andrade (Anna Maria) RBI double. Ippolito also added a double on the night.

Rochester tallied a run in the seventh as Tim Gurnow (Southwest Baptist) scored off a Michael DiViesti (Butler) RBI double.

Gurnow also recorded a double on the game.

“I would love to see us play a complete, clean game,” said Ridgemen manager Joe Shallenberger. Unfortunately an error put us in a bad spot, but nobody intends to make that error, so we just have to pick the kid up and let him know that accidents happen.”

“We’re still hitting the ball well, and we’re staying positive.”

The Rochester mound saw two pitchers on the night. Cameron Carney (Tusculum) received the loss. He allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits with six strikeouts in six innings. Tyler Taute (Mid America Nazarene) threw the last two innings for the Ridgemen.

The Rapids mound saw two additional pitchers. Jason Collingwood (Greenville) and Breton LaRose (Sacred Heart) pitched 1.1 innings a piece, with LaRose credited with the save.

The Ridgemen fall to 6-11 on the season and will travel to Olean to take on the Oilers Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The bottom line is, we have a choice,” said Shallenberger. “We can either hang our heads and let the season go away from us, or we pick ourselves up and approach the next game like we have a 0-0 record and it’s a whole new season, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The Rapids improve their record to 12-7 and look forward to taking on the Niagara Power on Wednesday for the first time this season. The Power sit on top of the NYCBL’s Western division, with the Rapids close behind them in second.

“We just need to treat [the game against the Power] like any other game,” commented Rost. “Obviously it’s big because those guys are on the top. But we just have to come into it like we have the past few games and I think we’ll be fine.”

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Rapids win first meeting with Ridgemen

The Genesee Rapids emerged with a tight victory in their first season meeting with the Rochester Ridgemen Sunday afternoon, 6-5 at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex in New York Collegiate Baseball League action.

There were four lead changes in the first five innings. The Ridgemen took an early 2-0 lead only for the Rapids to answer back in the bottom of the second with three runs to take the lead 3-2.

The Ridgemen retook the lead at the top of the fifth as Michael DiViesti (Butler) hit an RBI single to bring Alexander Stack (Dallas) home.

Cole Metcalfe (Bellarmine) recorded a double and a triple on the day.

The Rapids answered again and tied the score at five in the fifth inning off a two run RBI triple from Dan Crozier (Cazenovia).

Crozier also had a double and a single on the afternoon.

“We swung the bat a lot better today,” said Rapids manager Tyler Rost. “We were able to hit the gaps and get guys home.”

The Rapids scored the winning run in the seventh as Ryan Dickt (Virginia-Wise) hit an RBI double to bring Joey Chapman (Cedarville) home.

“This is our fifth game where we’ve lost by one run,” said Ridgemen manager Joe Shallenburger. “Someone has to come up with a big hit sooner or later. We were swinging the bats hard just right at somebody. So hopefully those will start falling our way.”

Jason Collingwood (Greenville) got the win for the Rapids. He allowed no runs on two hits and struck out one in 2.2 innings.

“I was able to keep the ball down,” said the Illinois native. “But all the credit to God and the defense. They hit a couple balls but luckily my defense was there. It was a great team win.”

“I don’t throw the hardest but if I can keep that ball down that’s where I do well,” he continued.

“Our defense was much tighter tonight,” said Rost. “We had a couple mental mistakes that we need to clean up but other than that I thought we did well.”

The Rapids mound saw two additional pitchers on the day. Brett St. Clair (Walsh) got the start and pitched the first five innings, while Breton LaRose (Sacred Heart) was credited with the save in the ninth.

The Rochester mound also saw three pitchers. Nick Jensen (Grays Harbor) started and threw 4.1 innings. Luke Brown (Rollins) received the loss. He gave up one run on four hits and struck out one. Jacob Purcell (Clearwater Christian) also came out the bullpen.

Timely hitting is a key for the Ridgemen moving forward.

 “Someone needs to come up with a hit when we need it, said Shallenburger. “We’re getting hits but they’re not coming when we need them.”

“We scored five runs, which should be good for a baseball game, he continued. “It seems like either the pitching is down or the hitting is down. We need to be more together.”

The Ridgemen fall to 6-10 on the season with the loss.

The Rapids end their three game losing streak and improve to 11-7 on the season, sitting in second in the NYCBL’s Western division.

The teams will face off again tomorrow at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex at 7pm. 

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Eleventh inning rally pushes Dodgers past Rapids

“For the two starting pitchers, it was a fifteen-round championship boxing match,” said Tom Kenney, the Hornell Dodgers’ manager as his championship defending team took a 6-1 victory over the Genesee Rapids in eleven innings Friday night at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex.

The first six innings proved to be a pitchers’ duel, as John Kopicky (Ohio Northern) of the Rapids and Connor Ryan (Mercyhurst) of the Dodgers battled it out and allowed no runs.

“It was my first start of the season, and I just felt really comfortable,” said Ryan. “My off-speed stuff was working really well and I just got into a rhythm.”

The Buffalo native went nine innings and allowed only one earned run on eight hits with nine strikeouts.

Kopicky takes the loss but pitched an impressive ten innings. The right-hander allowed only two earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts.

“[Kopicky] was unbelievable tonight,” said Rapids manager Tyler Rost. “You can’t say enough about him and the effort that he gave. He deserved better than what he got tonight.”

Both teams broke through in the seventh inning and scored one run a piece. The Dodgers struck first as Jimmy Latona (Monroe CC/Mercyhurst) crossed home off a Steven Goldstein (Kansas) RBI.

The Rapids answered back as Jake Shelby (Hesston) stole home to tie the game at one.

Along with the run, Shelby recorded a single, double and a triple on the night, while Jonathan Nola (Walsh) tallied two doubles.

The score would stay tied through ten innings until the Dodgers broke the game open in the top of the eleventh.

With Breton LaRose (Sacred Heart) on the mound for the Rapids, the Dodgers scored five runs. Brock Eissman (Vanguard) tallied the first run of the inning off a Kellen Brown (St. Petersburg) RBI single.

Brown came in off a Latona triple, and two more runs scored off a Tyler Walter (St. Bonaventure) single. Collin Fantaskey (Mercyhurst) also scored in the inning to make the score 6-1.

“They executed very well,” said Kenney of his club in the eleventh. “We got a guy in scoring position right away and then some big hits to bring them home. We did a lot of good things.”

“We didn’t execute on the first bat of the game and they got a guy in scoring position,” said Rost. “Things kind of compiled after that.”

Michael Jordan (Vanguard) got the win for the Dodgers. He pitched the last two outs of the tenth and all the eleventh and allowed no runs on one hit and struck out three.

The Dodgers improve to 9-6 with the three-game sweep of the Rapids.

“We just played hard,” said Kenney of his team the past three games. “We played with a lot of heart every game. Every game was a battle at some point and they just kept battling. To come out and win the game tonight like we did shows a lot of character.”

The Dodgers take on the Wellsville Nitros Saturday at 5pm in Wellsville.

The Rapids fall to 10-7 on the season and sit in third in the league’s Western division.

“We need to keep working hard,” said Rost. “The little things are what we didn’t do tonight. We didn’t get a bunt down when we needed to and we made a costly error late in the game. We have to fix those little things, but I think we’ll be fine.”

The Rapids have a day off and then battle the Rochester Ridgemen on Sunday at 2pm at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex.

“It was a terrific baseball game,” commented Kenney. “That’s about as good as it gets. It’s a shame that someone had to lose it.” 

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Dodgers win first of series with Rapids

The Hornell Dodgers were firing on all cylinders Wednesday night in New York Collegiate Baseball action as they shut out the Genesee Rapids, 8-0.

Troy Montemayor (Baylor) got the win for the Dodgers. He allowed no runs on four hits and struck out two Rapids in seven innings.

The rest of the Dodgers defense did not let a single Genesee runner past second base all game.

“I had a great defense behind me,” said Montemayor, the San Antonio native. “I threw some zeroes up but you can’t win without some hits. The offense scored a lot of runs for us.”

Dodger’s reliever Jose Almany (Erie CC) came out the bullpen in the eighth and allowed no runs, one hit and struck out two.

The Dodgers offense went off for eight runs on 13 hits. They scored four runs in the fourth and three in the seventh, with one in the third to claim the win.

Brock Eissman (Vanguard) tallied three RBI on the night, while Tommy LaCongo (Monroe CC/Bonaventure) recorded two. Steven Goldstein (Kansas) crossed the plate twice for the Dodgers on three at-bats.

Trevor Thompson (Ithaca) hit a game-high four doubles and Eissman had two.

“Our approach was good today,” said Dodgers’ manager Tom Kenney. “We executed a lot of little ball stuff. We got our bunts down and created a little havoc there in the fourth. And Troy pitched very well.”

The manager doesn’t have too many critiques of the way his club played. “They played well tonight. We played good defense, pitched well, and I don’t have any complaints.”

Nick Watkins (Defiance) takes the loss for the Rapids. He gave up five runs on eight hits with no strikeouts in six innings. Jason Collingwood (Greenville) came out of the bullpen as relief in the seventh and Tommy Haas (Arkansas of Pinebluff) threw the ninth.

“There’s little things that we need to do to get better,” said Rapids manager Tyler Rost. “Our outfield has to throw the ball through the cut, we can’t give up extra bases, and at the plate our timing has to be better.”

“You’re going to have these nights,” he continued. “We just need to bounce back tomorrow.”

A defensive highlight for Genesee came in the top of the fifth when right fielder Bailey Smith (Howard Payne) made a diving catch with a runner on second for the second out of the inning.

Rapids’ shortstop Nick Ippolito (Cal State Stanislaus) recorded a double on the evening.

The Dodgers improve to 7-6 on the season with the win.

“If we come out and get after it like that everyday, the results are going to be big,” commented Kenney.

The Rapids fall to 10-5 with the loss, but have another chance at the Dodgers tomorrow at 11am at Maple City Park.

“We need to bring energy tomorrow,” said Rost. “It’s going to be an early game, but the guys need to get themselves ready and be awake and alert enough to play.” 

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Crozier Walk Off Single Completes Rapids’ Comeback Win

HOUGHTON, N.Y—There’s a reason Dan Crozier (Cazenovia) leads the New York Collegiate Baseball League in RBI: when you need one, he delivers.

He did just that Sunday afternoon at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex against the Geneva Twins as he hit a walk-off single to win 7-6 after his team trailed 6-1 in the sixth.

The Twins came out strong with three runs in the first inning after Taylor Vile (Castleton St) hit a bases-clearing triple with two outs. They struck again with a solo shot from Joshua Handzik (St. Josephs) in the third. A Jeremy Tejada (Southern New Hampshire) RBI double and a JT Pittman (Le Moyne) sacrifice fly made the score 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

JT Conti (Wayne St) was on the mound for the Twins for five full innings and got the first out of the sixth inning. The sophomore from Michigan allowed only two runs on five hits and struck out two.

“Their pitcher was pretty tough the first time through the lineup,” said Rapids’ manager Tyler Rost. “We’ve seen very few lefties this year, so I think it took a few innings to adjust to that.”

The bottom of the sixth inning was when the Rapids found a spark. They scored three runs, two of which coming from a Nick Ippolito (Cal St Stanislaus) triple with two outs against.

“We had a couple defensive miscues that hurt us a little bit,” said Twins’ manager Andy Weeks. “I told my guys we just need to be smarter in certain situations. I think we were a little overaggressive defensively. We had pretty good contact all day long, we just have to put a full game together.”

After one run in the seventh, the tying run came for the Rapids came again with two outs working against them. First baseman Corey Andrade (Anna Maria) smacked a triple to bring Ryan Dickt (Virginia-Wise) home to knot the score at six.

“Guys just grinded at-bats out,” Rost continued. “We were able to put a few good innings together late in the game.”

With the score still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Austin Hauck (Sienna Heights) and Jake Shelby (Hesston) singled. With one out, Crozier hit a perfectly placed ball into centerfield to bring Karlis Graubics (Marymount), pinch runner for Hauck, home for the victory.

“I was just thinking about the pitches he [Kyle Monk, Emory] threw me last at-bat and just keeping my head in there and driving the first thing I saw come over the plate,” said the New York native.

“As soon as I struck out the at-bat before,” he continued, “my teammates told me to keep my head up and that they had me. They were really positive; it’s a great team we have here. They were behind me 100 percent. They told me to just go out there and do what I do, and we ended up coming home with a win.”

Rost spoke highly of his team after the game. “It’s huge that we were able to be mentally tough enough, and from the fifth inning on just not giving up and taking every at-bat seriously; not giving anything away. It shows a lot of character.”

Breton LaRose (Sacred Heart) got the win for the Rapids. He allowed no runs, no hits and struck out one in the ninth inning.

Brett St. Clair (Walsh) and Jason Collingwood (Greenville) also pitched for the Rapids on the day.

At the plate, Ippolito and Andrade tallied a triple and two RBI each. Hauck recorded three doubles, while Bailey Smith (Howard Payne) had two.

The mound saw four different Twins in the course of the game. Monk takes the loss, while Max Tessitore (Le Moyne) and Andy LaLonde also saw action.

Vile had three RBI on the day for Geneva.

The Twins fall to 5-5 with the loss, and look to improve their record Monday night against the Dodgers.

The Rapids improve to 9-4 on the season and sit at the top of the Western division. They take on the Hornell Dodgers on Wednesday night in Houghton.

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Big First, Ninth Innings by Twins end Rapids win streak

Four runs in the first and three runs in the ninth by the Geneva Twins helped them blow by the Genesee Rapids on Friday night in New York Collegiate Baseball League action, 9-4.

“We came out there and swung tonight,” said Twins’ manager Andy Weeks. “We got guys on [base] consistently all day.”

The Twins jumped to a big lead early, as Austin Kearney (Carson-Newman) hit a three-run RBI double and brought JT Pittman (Le Moyne), Connor Simonetti (Kent St) and Luke Waldek (Minnesota St) home. Nate Roethel (St. John Fisher) also scored in the inning to make it 4-0.

“We were really close that first inning to getting out of it,” said Rapids’ manager Tyler Rost. “We were about one pitch away, and then it exploded on us. Not a great start for us.”

Josh Laferty (Widener) got the win for the Twins. He gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out two.

“Nothing was working for me in the first two innings,” said the Pennsylvania native. I couldn’t locate and I was throwing everything up. But I started locating my fastball in the third inning and it started to work out.”

Laferty credited his offense as his help after his slow start. “I knew that even when I was struggling my team was picking me up. It was definitely great to have them there.”

With the score still close after eight innings, the Twins put the game away in the ninth. With no outs against them and the bases loaded, Simonetti hit a double that plated Roethel, Joshua Handzik (St. Josephs) and Pittman to make the score 9-4, and that’s where it stayed.

Simonetti recorded four RBI on the night, while Kearney tallied three.

“We’ve definitely started swinging better the last couple of days,” said Weeks.

Ben Wood (Pamona-Pitzer) was relief for Laferty at the bottom of the eighth, and Kyle Monk (Emory) emerged from the bullpen in the same inning to get the last out and finish the game for the Twins.

Vincent Santarsiero (Fontbonne) received the loss at the mound for the Rapids. He gave up six runs on 11 hits and struck out six batters.

The Rapids brought the score to 4-3 in the second inning, after RBI singles from Ryan Dickt (Viriginia-Wise) and Dan Crozier (Cazenovia) brought Nick Ippolito (California State Stanislaus) and Brandon Dupuis (Rochester) home.

Crozier had two RBI on four at-bats, and currently leads the NYCBL in RBI with 13 on the season.

“I don’t think we played a horrible game tonight,” said Rost. “Our hitters need to keep doing what they’re doing, hitting balls on a line. We hit some balls hard tonight.”

“Vinny threw well after [the first inning],” he continued. “We just couldn’t put enough runs across the plate to comeback.”

The teams face off again Saturday in Geneva as they fight for the second spot in the West.

“We definitely have to improve our pitching, we fell behind a lot of hitters tonight,” said Weeks. “There’s room for improvement defensively as well, but we’re going to come out there [tomorrow] and hopefully put together a win.”

The Twins improve to 5-3 with the win.

“We need John [Kopicky, Ohio Northern] to be able to throw strikes tomorrow, he has to be able to locate his off-speed stuff,” said Rost.

The Rapids fall to 7-4 with the loss and are ranked second in the West division behind the Niagara Power.

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Rapids sweep series with Nitros

HOUGHTON, NY—The Genesee Rapids swept a three game series with the Wellsville Nitros with a win Thursday afternoon, 5-4, in NYCBL action.

Nick Watkins (Defiance) received the win for the Rapids. He went six innings, allowed only three runs on six hits and struck out three Nitros.

“Nick threw well on the mound today,” stated Rapids manager Tyler Rost. “He battled for us, kept us in it, and that’s what we need our pitchers to do.”

“My changeup was working for me today,” said the Ohio native. “I had trouble locating my curveball all day, but I thought my changeup looked good and I was spotting my fastball really well.”

The Rapids faced a 2-1 deficit after the fifth, but answered back in the sixth inning and gained their first lead of the game. Tommy Haas (Arkansas of Pinebluff), William Lucas (Akron) and Bailey Smith (Howard Payne) crossed home plate to give the Rapids a 4-3 lead with two outs against them.

Karlis Graubics (Marymount), Nick Ippolito (California State Stanislaus) and Ryan Dickt (Virginia-Wise) tallied one RBI each in the inning.

“We were able to get guys on and move them over,” Rapids manager Tyler Rost said. “We just got some big hits in big situations. Two out hitting was big again today.”

Corey Andrade (Anna Maria) had two doubles on the afternoon, while Joey Chapman (Cedarville), Ippolito and Graubics tallied three, two and two RBI respectively.

“We didn’t have any home runs, there weren’t many extra base hits today, but guys battled at the plate and we were able to hit balls hard. We had a lot of singles here and there, we just took balls the other way pretty well today,” commented Rost.

Watkins also praised his offense. “It’s always good when you get your offense behind you. The guys put some good swings together and it gave me confidence all the way.”

A highlight for the Nitros offense came in the eighth inning, when Donny Killian (Buffalo) hit a solo home run to bring them within one run after the Rapids scored one in the seventh.

“We gave up three runs in the sixth inning. We take that inning away and it’s a completely different ball game,” said Nitros manager Jake Bannerman. “It’s just about limiting damage when teams score runs. We’ve been giving up multiple runs in innings instead of just one, and that’s killed us the last couple games.”

“On a positive note,” Bannerman assessed, “we were definitely swinging the bats a lot better. We’re getting hits it’s just those timely hits that we’re missing. We want to turn those one run innings into two or three runs.”

The Rapids mound saw a total of three pitchers, with Edward Monthie (Houghton) coming in as Watkins’ relief in the seventh innings, while Breton LaRose (Sacred Heart) was credited with the save in the ninth.

Caleb Bennett (Pitt-Bradford) started for the Nitros and received the loss. He gave up four runs on nine hits with no strikeouts in five innings. Christopher Welch (Mississippi) came in at the bottom of the fifth for the last two outs of the inning, and Harry Montero Jr. (Bloomfield) finished the last two innings.

The Nitros fall to 3-7 with the loss, and will take on the Niagara Power, the top seed in the West, Friday at 7pm in Niagara.

The Rapids improve to 7-3 on the season, ranked second in the West division. They battle the Geneva Twins on Friday at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex. Rost simply wants to see “more of the same” from his team.

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College 

All Around Solid Play gets Rapids First Home Win

A solid team effort on both sides of the ball brought the Genesee Rapids their first win in front of a home crowd against the Olean Oilers, 8-1 on Wednesday night.

The Rapids’ offense found much needed life tonight as they went for eight runs, the most in a game this season so far.

Jordan Wilkerson (East Texas Baptist) went the distance on the mound for the Rapids, getting the win while only allowing one run, seven hits and two walks. He struck out ten Oilers on the night.

“Jordan was phenomenal on the mound. He got ahead of guys all night. He located his pitches well, and the offense just fed off of him,” says manager Tyler Rost.

The Rapids started slowly, as the Oilers went up 1-0 in the first inning off an Isaac Dillard (Gulf Coast CC) RBI. Lawson Wishard (Maryville) started on the mound for Olean.

The second inning was more of the same, with tight defense by the Rapids, going one-two-three with two strikeouts by Wilkerson. Wishard had one of his three strikeouts at the bottom of the inning.

The Rapids’ offense came alive at the bottom of the third. After a leadoff walk by Tyler Minogue (Bellarmine) and a single by Nick Ippolito (California State Stanislaus), Dan Crozier (Cazenovia) brought Ippolito home with a triple. Crozier was plated by a single from Ryan Dickt (Virginia-Wise). The final run of the inning was scored by Dickt from a Joey Chapman (Cedarville) double to make the score 3-1.

Oiler’s reliever Adam Rigney (Nichols) came out of the bullpen, getting the last out of the inning to bring in the fourth.

“They’re a good hitting team,” comments Oiler manager Bobby Bell. “I think five of their eight runs came with two outs, so we need to clean that up a little bit and really work hard to get that last out in some of those innings.”

The fourth inning brought another one-two-three for the Rapids’ defense, with one strikeout by Wilkerson.

“My defense really stepped up tonight,” says the pitcher. His success tonight came from, “working the ball in and out and staying low, that really helped out a lot when I’m getting ahead of a batter. It changed the whole aspect of the game.”

The fifth inning stayed at 3-1, with more strikeouts coming from Wilkerson.

“They had a shutdown pitcher on the mound,” states Bell. “And they put the ball on the bat pretty well. Anytime you face a team like that doing those things, they’re going to be pretty good.”

From the sixth to the eighth inning, offense was the name of the game for the Rapids. The sixth inning rally started from a leadoff walk from Rigney, giving Austin Hauck (Sienna Heights) the free base.

Hauck would score off an Ippolito RBI single. Ippolito was brought home by Dan Crozier once again with an RBI single.

Dan Crozier (Cazenovia) had a big night offensively with one triple, two doubles and a single, crossing the plate once and tallying three RBIs.

“Seeing the offense do well is big for me,” says Wilkerson. “I don’t feel like I’m squeezed and have to pitch perfectly. It allows me to relax a little bit and get a little groove going.”

The Oilers brought in their third pitcher of the night in the bottom of the seventh, Charles DiGuilian of Marymount University.

The Rapids ran away with the win during the eighth inning. Hauck led off with a triple, eventually scoring off a pass ball by the Oilers. Minogue walked to first and advanced to second off another pass ball. Bailey Smith (Howard Paine) shot a double, leading to Minogue crossing the plate off yet another pass ball. Dan Crozier delivered the RBI single that would bring Smith in for the final run of the night, making the score 8-1.

The teams face off once again tomorrow in Olean at 7pm.

Manager Bell is looking for “better plate appearances” in the contest. “But the best part of this game is that we get to have a chance again at them tomorrow.”

Rost is optimistic moving forward. “The offense was better tonight. We definitely hit the ball well. We rallied a few times when there were two outs so that was good. I’m hoping the offense can carry that momentum.”

Nick Ippolito went for one hit, one RBI and two runs from five at-bats, with a strong game at shortstop as well.

Cole Peterson (St. Bonaventure) of the Oilers had two hits and a walk at three at-bats.

Both teams have a 2-2 record on the season, and will face off once again tomorrow in Olean at 7pm. 

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, junior year business and communications major at Houghton College 

Aggressive Offense helps Oilers get past Rapids

Solid pitching by Ryan Pordes (El Camino) combined with hits from seven different players pushed the Olean Oilers past the Genesee Rapids by a score of 7-2 on a chilly Tuesday night in NYCBL action.

Pordes only allowed 3 hits on the night, giving up 2 earned runs and walking no one.

“For Ryan to come out throwing strikes after not getting a ton of experience at school as a redshirt freshman is very positive for us,” comments Oilers’ manager Bobby Bell on Pordes performance. “It really helped us gain some momentum.”

After a scoreless first inning, the Oilers struck first, with Aaron Phillips (Liberty) crossing the plate off of an RBI single by Dan Pellinen (Friends).

The top of the third inning was impressive for Rapids starting pitcher, Brett St. Clair (Walsh). With Oilers on second and third, St. Clair struck out Isaac Dillard (Gulf Coast CC) to thwart Olean’s threat.

The score remained 1-0 through four innings, until both teams found some offense in the fifth inning. For Olean, after a leadoff single by Pellinen, a successful bunt by Evan Ryan (Erie CC) and a single from Cole Peterson (St. Bonaventure), David Hollins brought home Pellinen and Ryan with a two-run RBI double. Samuel Kysor (South Carolina Upstate) also tallied a single and a run to make it 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth.

“They like to bunt,” states Rapids manager Tyler Rost. “We have to be able to defend that better. We were sloppy tonight defensively.”

Jason Collingwood (Greenville) subbed in at the mound for St. Clair in the inning, ending his run allowing 8 hits, 4 earned runs, walking 2 and striking out 2 in four innings.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Rapids found a little life of their own. Third baseman Jake Shelby (Hesston) and Brandon Dupuis (Rochester) scored due to a stolen second base by Shelby and a double by Dan Crozier (Cazenovia). The score was 4-2 after five.

“I thought our offense was better tonight,” says Rost. “We were getting solid hits, they were just right to someone. Two runs isn’t too bad, we just have to focus on hitting the gaps more.”

The score remained the same through the sixth and seventh innings, with good defense and pitching by both teams.

“They had two double plays on us and we can’t let that happen,” Bell comments. We have to clean up our base running a little bit and when we do I think we can be a really strong team.”

Austin Kirksey (Florida State) subbed in at the pitching position for Pordes, who receives the win, in the seventh inning.

When asked about the keys to his success tonight, Pordes replied, “just throwing strikes. I was able to hit the zone with the fastball and then throw a changeup that got them off balance a little bit. I would like to be able to go longer though, in the future.”

Aggressive offense during the eighth inning by the Oilers was the nail in the coffin for the Rapids. With Karlis Graubics (Marymount) on the mound for the Rapids, Dillard stole second and third base to score off of a Matthew Kamenicky (Clarion) sacrifice fly. Phillips also scored in the inning to make it 6-2.

“We’re a fast team,” says Bell. “We run hard and we like to steal bases to put pressure on their defense. It helps when guys are hitting and bunting well.”

The Oilers scored once more in top of the ninth, as Evan Ryan was plated off of an RBI double from Kysor. The Rapids failed to generate anything in the bottom of the ninth, and the final score was 7-2.

After this game, the Rapids fall to 1-2 on the season, while the Oilers improve to 2-1.

The Oilers and Rapids will face off again Wednesday, June 3rd at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex at 7pm.

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, a junior year business and communications major at Houghton College

Old Timer's Game a Success for Genesee Rapids & Houghton Community

To kick off their second season, the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s (NYCBL) Genesee Rapids hosted their annual Old Timer’s game, in which members of the surrounding community gathered to play a fun, light-hearted exhibition game against the Rapids’ starting lineup. Although the scoreboard displayed the Rapids 27, Old Timer’s 9, the game was far from boring or drawn-out.

After a scoreless three innings, the Old Timer’s finally brought one home, scoring Don Haingray on the play to make it 19-1 at the end of the fourth. Efficient defensive plays at center field by Drew Hannan, Houghton men’s basketball coach, and Jon Cole, youth pastor of Houghton Wesleyan Church, held the Rapids to three runs in the fifth inning. When asked about his two big plays in the outfield, Jon Cole said it was, “sheer luck.”

Pitching for the Old Timers was Jim Nola, the father of current Rapids catcher Jonathan Nola. According to Jim, this game “wasn’t the first time I’ve pitched against him. It’s actually the second time.” He adds, “It’s a lot of fun.”

When asked about having his father pitch against him, Jonathan, with a laugh, stated, “I thought he’d give me more fastballs to hit, but I guess he wanted to get me out or something.”

This was the first time, however, that the son had ever caught for his father. “It was a really cool experience.” Jim adds.

Going into the sixth inning, the score was 22-1, but the Old Timers rallied for four runs, making the score 22-5 at the bottom of the sixth. Jeff Boon scored the second run after hitting a triple to deep center field, over the head of the defense. Dave Brubaker and Drew Silbert came in off a two run single by Drew Hannan. Dan Haingray scored for a second time to lead all Old Timers scorers on the night. Matt Cox, Souly Sanasith and Billy White also scored runs for the Old Timers.

Highlights of the Rapids performance included an infield home run by Corey Andrade as well as a ground rule double in the second inning.

Despite the unbalanced scoreboard, this event was an overall positive experience for everyone involved, community and players alike. Souly Sanasith, a community member playing in this game for the second year in a row, stated, “This is such a great community experience. Did you see the turnout? It was awesome. Definitely bigger than last year…this is such a great thing not only for the Rapids’ program, but for the community in general. It really brings people together.”

The Rapids look to build on the solid foundation of the past week of practices and scrimmages as they head into their season opener tomorrow against the Wellsville Nitros at 5 p.m. They head back to the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex in Houghton for the home opener on Sunday, May 31st, also against the Wellsville Nitros. Admission for this game and all other home games will be $4 for adults, $2 for ages 6-12 and children 5 and under are free. Come out and support your Genesee Rapids!

Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at and on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, @geneseerapids

Rapids to have Eventful First Week

The Genesee Rapids staff in Houghton have been tirelessly preparing for the team’s arrival for the summer season. They have a very eventful first week planned for the young men to make them feel welcome and at home for the summer.

The team arrives on Tuesday, May 26th to be introduced to their individual host families, followed by a Bar-B-Q with all the players, coaches and hosts. This will be a great way for the players to unwind and get to know each other and the people of the Houghton community. After a relaxing night to settle in, the team gets down to business on Wednesday, May 27th with the first team meeting and double practices. After practices are over, the RVER group will be providing dinner for the players.

The RVER group, which stands for Regional Ventures in Economic Revitalization, is a group of Houghton community members and Houghton College faculty who are focused on increasing economic activity and bringing a refreshing, new look to Houghton and the surrounding area.

On Thursday, May 28th, the players will again have double practices and will then be travelling to Charcoal Corral in Perry, NY for dinner and a round of mini-golf. The men will also be touring the falls at Letchworth State Park, which recently received USA TODAY Readers’ Choice Award for the best state park in the United States.

After a single practice on Friday, May 29th, the Rapids will be hosting the Old Timer’s All-Star game at 7pm to kick off the season. Saturday, May 30th holds the first game of the season in Wellsville, NY at 5pm.

The week will be rounded out with the home opener at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex in Houghton, NY on Sunday, May 31st against the Wellsville Nitros at 2pm. The Rapids look forward to bringing much success and excitement to Houghton this summer. Come out and support!

Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at or on Facebook or Twitter @geneseerapids

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, a sophomore business and communications major at Houghton College

Interested in participating in the "Old-Timers" All-Star Game on May 29th?

Register here!

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Rapids to Host "Old-timers" All-Star Game

The Genesee Rapids second season is quickly approaching. Before regular season play kicks off, the Rapids will host the annual Old Timers All-Star game on May 29th at 7:00pm at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex at Houghton College to get the summer started. Local residents, including Dr. Rob Pool, Vice President of student life at Houghton College, Drew Hannan and Alicia Mucher, men’s and women’s basketball coaches at Houghton and Andrew Cahill, maintenance worker at Houghton will be battling the Rapids regular season player lineup in a lighthearted, family-friendly exhibition game. Admission to this game is free and there will be program booklets, Rapids merchandise and refreshments sold throughout the evening.

Kevin Austin, assistant pastor at Houghton Wesleyan Church will be returning as the coach the Old Timers team this year. He says, “I coached last year because I enjoy an atmosphere of competition surrounded with the concept of having fun! [The event] is a nice mix of enjoying the game all while catching up with friends and family.” Austin adds, “because of the pace of baseball, spectators often spend a lot of time during the game visiting and talking about all kinds of things. Well the Old Timers game is much like that for the coaches and players too.” He ends with, “laughter is good for the soul, and we certainly had a lot of good laughter last year and expect much of the same this year too. Winning the game would be fun, but not nearly as fun as playing the game.”

Souly Sanasith, a Houghton community member who participated in the game last summer, said, “I had a great time. It brought everyone together, the community and the players. I felt so proud and excited to show the great guys who we are and the facilities we have here in Houghton.” Souly and his family were also a host family for head coach Tyler Rost last year, and will be again this year. He says, “Our kids loved him and the team. What great and respectful men they are.” He adds, “I am so anxious to begin another great season here in our community.”

The first regular season home game will be Sunday, May 31st versus the Wellsville Nitros at 2pm at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex. Admission for these games is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, and children under 5 year old are free. Individual and family season tickers are also available for purchase. Come out and support your Genesee Rapids!

Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at or on Facebook or Twitter @geneseerapids

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, sophomore communications and business major at Houghton College

A Generous Gift

Thanks to the Allegany County Area Foundation for a generous contribution towards the Rapids Kids Day on June 11! Students from throughout Allegany County and other surrounding counties have been invited to attend the Rapids game vs. the Wellsville Nitros at 10 a.m.

Free admission for all students has been made possible by this generous gift!

Pictured Above: Rapids General Manager Ralph Kerr presenting the generous check from the Allegany County Area Foundation

Rapids Roster Being Finalized

The 2015 Genesee Rapids' roster is being finalized as the summer season approaches. 12 states and 21 different colleges will be represented on the diamond.

The most recent addition to the team is Nick Watkins, an outfielder and pitcher from Defiance College in ohio. Watkins will join four other pitchers on the mound; Dylan Gerdts of Marymount University, Brenton LaRose of Sacred heart University, Vincent Santarsiero of Frontbonne University and Jordan Wilkerson of East Texas Baptist university. A variety of strong pitchers will be essential to the Rapids success.

Similar to Watkins, additional players on the roster specialize in more than one postitin. William Lucas from Jamesdwon Community college plays shortstop and second base, while Jake Shelby out of Hesston College competes as a third baseman and at shortstop as well. Versatility among players will be another characteristic that will help the Rapids field a competitive team this summer.

With twenty-one different young men from different backgrounds comes the challenge of building strong team chemistry. the players' various experiences, strengths and weaknesses can be used as an advantage to not only make the team more successful; but result in the young men growing in relationship with one another, leaving the summer with life-long friendships. Head coach Tyler Rost states, "Last season was my first experience as a head coach and I learned many valuable lessons about managing and coaching young men. I am excited to meet this year's team and begin developing relationships with each of the guys. We are going to work hard to bring home some wins for the Rapids baseball community and awesome fans."

Check the complete game schedule as well as any future roster changes at or on Facebook or Twitter @Geneseerapids

-Written by Abigail schmidt, a sophomore communications and Business major at Houghton College.

Get to Know the Coaches!

Baseball’s Genesee Rapids return to Houghton this summer and again will be led by the highly experienced Tyler Rost. A former first team All-American at Cedarville University and professional for the Alpine Cowboys in Texas, Rost showcased his prowess during his inaugural season last year leading the Rapids to 21 team wins, to shatter a league record and to produce the MVP of the annual All-Star game. Coach Rost, aside from winning games, also desires to see his team members grow in Christ through the game of baseball.

Joining Rost for a second season, assistant Coach Bill Swanson also possesses a rich baseball background, which includes working as the batting practice pitcher for 13 years with the Buffalo Bisons, the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. When the Rapids are not in season, he serves as the assistant baseball coach at Alfred State University. Coach Swanson has a great love for baseball and for Christ and wants to share those attributes with all of the members of the Rapids.

The coaching staff will be finalized with the addition of Chad Muise, a member of the 2014 Rapids’ team, who will serve as the pitching coach and director of the annual Kids Baseball Camp. Muise is currently a senior pitcher on the Houghton College baseball team. As a communications major with a minor in sports ministry, Chad should transition smoothly in his fresh role for the Rapids. He comments, “Being a player last year is a big help because it allows me to know Coach Rost, know the league and know the organization.” Muise also adds, “I am most excited to be in a role of leadership to share my knowledge and passion of the game with younger guys. A majority of the players in this league aspire to a future in baseball, and I want to work with them.” Like Coach Rost and Swanson, Chad additionally wants to spiritually invest in the men. “The overall goal is to have them leave here feeling better in every aspect of their lives,” he states.

This coaching staff will strive to stay true to the Genesee Rapids mission statement, “to present to baseball players, coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of living for Jesus Christ in a needy world, through the game of baseball. With this at the forefront, the leaders hope to bring measurable success to the program this summer!

Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at or on Facebook or Twitter @geneseerapids

-Written by Abigail Schmidt, a sophomore Communications and Business major at Houghton College

The 2014 Season is History

August 28, 2014

The inaugural season of the Genesee Rapids Baseball team is over. Thanks to all the players, coaches, volunteers and fans who contributed to the success of the season. The players grew in their game as well as matured in their faith. 

The Rapids finished one game out of the playoffs in the Western Division of the NYCBL, considered by all an outstanding result for a new franchise. Finishing out the season just shy of playoffs was disappointing but we have numerous proud moments to reflect on in 2014.

Highlights include...

  • Players and Coach Rost had ministry opportunities in area churches
  • Players completed a community service project, painting the exterior of the Houghton Movement and Dance Studio Building
  • 21 team wins
  • Over 3,000 people attended home games

Join the Rapids

in 2015!

Genesee Rapids Fact Sheet

Team Apparel

Rapids Swag available at the Rapids Store, in "Buddy's Place"
9726 Rte. 19, Houghton, NY
Call 716-969-0688


The New York Collegiate Baseball League is a summer wood bat development league for professional baseball, founded in 1978. The league affords college players the opportunity to develop their skills at a higher level of play, gain experience with wood bats, and be evaluated by Major League Baseball scouts. The NYCBL is located in Upstate New York and a small portion of the league's annual budget is funded by Major League Baseball.

Teams play a 46 game regular season schedule with games beginning in June and ending in the last week in July. All games are 9 innings, with most doubleheaders scheduled on the weekends. The All-Star game is played in early July, and the League Championship Series concludes in the first week of August.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes was established in 1954. Their mission is to challenge coaches and athletes from youth to professional levels to impact the world for Jesus Christ through their gift of athletics.

The FCA equips, empowers, and encourages their athletes to make a difference for Christ as they serve their local communities.
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