Eden Valley-Watkins pitcher Matt Geislinger gave his first two autographs after Thursday’s Class 1A state baseball tournament quarterfinal game at the Mini Met in Jordan.
The autograph-seekers, local youth baseball players, returned minutes later asking for Geislinger’s name because they could not read his signature.
Nobody’s perfect summarized Geislinger’s day. The senior lefthander lost a perfect game bid on a single with one out in the seventh and final inning, settling for a 3-0 victory against Providence Academy. He added a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
“That young man was the toughest pitcher we’ve seen all year, velocity-wise,” said Wes Crawford, coach of Providence Academy in Plymouth.
For five innings, Lions pitcher Nick Krueger nearly equalled Geislinger, holding defending champion Eden Valley-Watkins (21-2) to three hits and a walk. With runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Krueger escaped with a strikeout.
“Nick gave us nothing short of what we needed,” Crawford said. “But you can’t win a lot of ballgames with one hit.”
Flinching in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lions gave up an infield single to Kevin Kramer. A wild pitch moved him to second, and he scored on a single from Brendan Ashton and an error.
Geislinger followed with a two-run homer, then refocused on his perfect game. The Lions’ Rob Doboszenski hit a sharp single to right-center to snap Geislinger’s run of dominance.
“The ball felt heavy, and when the ball feels heavy to me, it usually means I’m feeling it,” said Geislinger, who struck out the side in the first inning en route to nine strikeouts. “Every at-bat, I told myself to get ahead.”