Ansett and Burkhardt lead the Ridgemen past Olean in home finale, 6-3
Looking for a sendoff to the 2012 home schedule, Taylor Hargrove and his Lake Ontario Ridgemen found the right combination.
Spencer Ansett (Whitworth) held one of the league’s top offenses in check for eight innings, and Jonathan Burkhardt (East Texas Baptist) sparked an 11-hit attack as the Ridgemen downed the Olean Oilers, 6-3 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field, Tuesday night.
Burkhardt broke open a 2-2 ball game with single up the middle scoring Matt Brynildsen (Concordia) and Rob Groeschell (Lower Columbia).
“He really stepped up big,” Hargrove said of Burkhardt’s performance. “That’s the one thing we couldn’t get all year long. Burkhardt in the ninth spot did it tonight.”
Burkhardt’s one-out single made it a 4-2 game, and the Ridgemen never looked back.
“I’m thrilled pretty much,” Burkhardt commented. “I was on an 0-6 streak, so it felt nice to get some hits and help out and win a ball game.”
Burkhardt added an RBI base hit in the fifth as Lake Ontario extended its lead to 6-2. Nick Flanagan (Martin Methodist) led with a base on balls. Josh Davis (Whitworth) followed with a line drive to left field. One out later, Groeschell loaded the bases when he reached on an error. Flanagan scored on a fielder’s choice before Burkhardt brought home Groeschell.
Ansett struck out five, walked one and allowed nine hits and three runs for the win.
“He did a great job,” Hargrove commented. “They’re a power-hitting team, and he’s a fly ball pitcher, but it worked out to our advantage.”
Ansett finished the season 4-4. Eight innings represents the longest outing of the season for the Spokane, WA native who made eight starts.
“Obviously it’s fun to win,” Ansett said. “Coach has been telling us all year if we stick together, we will survive. You’re seeing the fruit of a lot of hard work. It’s unfortunate that we are putting it together right now that we’re out of the running, but it’s special to finish on a good note.”
Olean scored two in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Kyle Mann (Potomac St.) led the fourth with a base hit, stole second and advanced to third when the throw bounded into the outfield. One out later, Brad Rush (St. John Fisher) delivered the Oilers’ first run with a hit. Joe Chittester (Clarion) and Pat Welsh (Marist) followed with a single and a walk to load the bases. Rush came home on a wild pitch.
Brian Dixon (MCC/New Orleans) had a pinch-hit single to left center to start the sixth. The Amherst, NY native used a delayed steal to swipe second and moved to third on an errant throw. He scored on Chittester’s ground ball to the right side of the infield.
Olean finishes their season Wednesday with a battle for first-round home-field advantage against the Niagara Power.
“Tomorrow’s a win we’re the two (seed); lose and lose we’re the three (seed) regardless of what happened tonight,” noted Olean head coach Bobby Bell. “Hopefully we got all the giggles and errors out of us before Niagara tomorrow.It’s definitely a big one for us.”
Davis Patrick (N. Georgia College) tossed a scoreless ninth for Lake Ontario.
Jordan Doherty (Mt. Vernon Nazarene) singled and scored in the first for the Ridgemen. Doherty went four-for-five with two runs scored.
Burkhardt had three hits in four trips with three RBI.
Chittester led the Oilers with three hits.
Zach Machmer (Medaille) took the loss. Machmer six runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
Lake Ontario (13-23) closes the 2012 season at first-place Hornell (25-13), Wednesday night. Game time is 7 p.m.