Olean Oilers dismantle Rochester AIA
WEBSTER, N.Y. – The Olean Oilers scored 19 unanswered runs en route to a 20-7 victory over the Rochester Athletes in Action in New York Collegiate Baseball League play at Basket Road Field, Wednesday night.
Olean sent 14 batters to the plate in a 12-run seventh inning to blow the game away.
Seth Heck (Tacoma CC), Jon Kemmer (Clarion) and Joe Pantano (Erie CC) knocked Rochester starter, Zachary Hedges (Azusa Pacific), from the game with three hits to start the frame. Pantano’s ground rule double scored Heck with the first run of the deluge. Pat Welsh (Marist) tied the score with a sacrifice fly. Three errors followed before Steve Pollakov (University of Rochester) dropped a suicide squeeze with bases loaded, and the rout was on.
“We were down at first,” Olean coach Bobby Bell said. “I thought the guys were ready to give up. One or two things go our way, and they come alive. It tends to be the slogan of our season.”
Rochester scored five in the first and eventually took a 7-1 lead. Jonathan Burkhardt (E. Texas Baptist) doubled into left center. Josh Davis (Whitworth) walked before Zac Goodno (Indian River St.) plated Burkhardt with an opposite field single into right.
Nick Flanagan (Martin Methodist) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Matt Brynildsen (Concordia) doubled home two. Frank Dreslinski (Rend Lake) capped the first inning with a single off the glove of Olean starter, Mike Tolsma (Canisius).
Rochester added single runs in the second and third. Goodno tripled with two outs in the second, and Flanagan plated the run with a single.
But it was all for not as the Oilers unloaded in the late innings. Olean added four in the eighth highlighted by Kemmer’s three home run to left field.
“A lot of teams can roll over when they’re down by six runs,” Kemmer commented. “It shows what kind of team we got here. Being down six runs and turning around shutting them out the rest of the game shows a lot.”
Thomas Richards (University of Buffalo) ended the scoring with a mammoth home run over the right field fence.
“He’s been due,” Bell said of the ninth inning home run. “Hopefully, that’s getting him out of his slump.”
Zach Machmer worked four and two-third innings for the win. The right-hander struck out four, walked and allowed no runs.
“Zach got on the mound and did his job,” Bell explained. “We’re harping on our pitchers so much. We got to cut down on our walks. We can’t be losing games 11-10, 13-8 things like that when we’re scoring runs and our pitchers aren’t doing the job.”
Machmer was pressed into service when Tolsma and Oiler catcher Brian Dixon (New Orleans) were ejected after Goodno was hit by a pitch.
“It’s not something we’re about,” Bell said of the incident. “A few of our players were rather embarrassed. It’s not a good thing.”
The incident stemmed from the previous meeting between the two teams when tension developed.
Rochester skipper, Taylor Hargrove, was also ejected from the contest for arguing a runner’s interference call. The ejection was the second of the young season for Hargrove.
Mike Scarello (University of Buffalo) came on and pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out the side.
Kemmer had a game-high five hits and five runs scored. He also drove in four along with teammates Welsh and Brad Rush (St. John Fisher).
Rob Groeschell (Lower Columbia) led Rochester with three hits.