The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Geiger exits State Tournament early with loss to Manhattan

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  • After the first two innings of Geiger Ready-Mix's game against Manhattan in the Junior American Legion State Tournament, all was well within the young team's dugout.
    Pitcher Tanner Morris had thrown two hitless innings with two strikeouts and Geiger capitalized on two hits, a Manhattan error and a wild pitch to take a 2-0 lead heading into the third.
    That was when the team's state tournament hopes began to fall apart.
    During the third inning, Morris allowed four hits and three walks which, combined with an infield error, allowed Manhattan to score six runs and take the lead for the rest of the game, ending in a 14-6 victory for Manhattan and an exit from the tournament for Geiger.
    "I was just hitting my spots and it just kind of went away," Morris said. "We had to do routine plays and some of them we made and some of them we didn't."
    Head coach Mike Iannone said the team's primary problem was its offensive production.
    The team stranded a total of 10 runners on base during the loss and finished the game with four hits.
    "It's a young team," Iannone said. "We just didn't keep up. We stranded more runners than I preferred to and our bats didn't keep up with our gloves."
    Iannone gave a special nod to the defensive play of shortstop Dalton Watkins and catcher Coy Howard after the game, but errors also plagued Geiger, as they finished with six.
    He said ultimately, the loss was a good learning experience for his young squad, and he looks forward to what the players pull from it.
    "We just (have to) keep digging," Iannone said. "Anybody can fill out lineup cards, we like to teach and sadly you learn more from losses than you do wins. We've got some work to do and they don't mind working hard."
    Despite the tournament-ending loss, Geiger still has more left on its docket before the summer season ends.
    Due to the Junior American Legion Midwest Regional Tournament being held at the Sports Field Complex, the team received an automatic bid into next week's festivities.
    Iannone said this week's competition in the state tournament provided high-level opponents for his team to hone their skills before going against the region's best next week.
    "It can't do (anything) but help us," Iannone said. "Not that we didn't see good competition all summer, because we did. But as it draws closer, the better competition you see, the more prepared you'll be."
    The Midwest Regional Tournament begins next Thursday, and the schedule is yet to be announced.
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