KANELANDâ€”Geneva gave Kaneland baseball a rude enough awakening at the beginning of Western Sun Conference play that made staying in Kentucky look like a better option.
Following an annual road trip during spring break, the Knights (4-5, 0-1 Western Sun Conference) were felled by Geneva on Tuesday, 23-9.
The game, originally marked for Maple Park, was switched to the Vikingsâ€™ turf due to unplayable fields at KHS.
Ty Hamer earned the loss, giving up 12 runs on 15 hits, but struck out seven in five innings.
Genevaâ€™s Chris Hipchen had a huge day, going 4-for-4 with five runs scored and three home runs with 4 RBI. Michael Monaghan went 3-for-6 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.
For Kaneland, Dave Dudzinski went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Tyler Callaghan went 2-for-3 with a homer and 3 RBI.
On March 31, the Knights began their trip down south and repelled Grayson County by a final of 3-2 on the strength of single runs in the first three innings.
The hosts put up a two-spot in the fourth for the remainder of the scoring.
University of Illinois-bound Hamer (1-2) went six innings on the hill and gave up just one earned run on four hits while striking out nine.
Murray State-bound Tyler Saltsman took the loss. Dudzinski nabbed the save for KHS, scattering one hit.
Knight Bobby Thorson went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Dudzinski helped his cause at the plate with a homer and two runs batted in. Jake Fiedler went 1-for-4 with a double, stolen base and run scored.
On Thursday, the Knights solved the sixth-ranked team in Kentucky, Apollo High School, by a final of 2-1. After Apollo scored one in the second, the Knights got one in the third and one in the fifth. Bobby Thorson (1-0) went the distance and struck out cleanup hitter Nick Laster with the bases loaded to end the game. Thorson fanned seven in the effort. Fielder went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while catcher Aaron Hayman went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
On Friday against Hancock County, Kaneland fell victim to a 9-7 loss.
Down 5-0 after three innings, Kaneland scored one in the fourth before the hosts put up three in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-1.
Kaneland scored five in the top of the sixth to make it 8-6 before the two teams exchanged single runs for the remainder of the scoring.
Outfielder Joe Camaliere scored three runs and was hit twice in the batter’s box.
Steve Colombe (0-2) surrendered five runs on four hits to get tagged with the loss.
Against McClean County on Friday, Kaneland put up three runs each in the fourth, fifth and sixth to buoy their fortunes in a 10-5 win. Jake Tickle (2-0) went three innings and struck out five.
Fiedler went 2-for-4, Thorson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored along with a double, triple and 4 RBI. Teammate Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.
The varsity troops try to improve their mark on Thursday, April 8, vs. Geneva and at Marengo on Saturday, April 10, with a doubleheader.
Photo: Junior Tyler Callaghan, shown in earlier action, had a homer and three RBI at Geneva on Tuesday.