BY RYAN COBB Sports writer
ORISKANY — The Oriskany baseball team hit on all cylinders during its Section III Class D first-round matchup against Cincinnatus on Tuesday as the Redskins overwhelmed the visitors in a 17-1 victory.
The Redskins pounded out 21 hits with seven batters having multi-hit games, and on the mound four pitchers allowed just two hits while compiling 13 strikeouts.
The victory puts the sixth-seeded Redskins into the quarterfinal round on Thursday, when they will visit No. 3 seed and 15-3 overall Sackets Harbor at 4:30 p.m.
On both the mound and at the dish, it was Nate Keating leading the charge.
The senior threw four scoreless innings and allowed the two hits, including one to Jason Lindley for a RBI single in the fourth as Joe Peri scored. While at the plate, Keating went 3-for-4 while collecting four RBIs and drilling a two-run triple in the fourth to put the game completely out of hand at 15-1.
Aside from his performance, Keating credited his relievers for completely shutting down the Lions along with him. The Oriskany bullpen gave up no hits and had seven strikeouts, with Anthony Pickard, Noah Lupini and Chaz Koss throwing an inning apiece.
"Today a lot of it was the pitching. Every pitcher that came in for us threw strikes," said Keating, who had five strikeouts and raises his record on the bump to 3-1. "It’s a good feeling because we were struggling in the last two games and I think that woke us up and brought a lot of confidence. Hopefully this carries down to Sackets Harbor, and we do the same thing to them and keep going."
Oriskany coach Tom Meiss said he wanted to keep his pitchers as fresh as possible in not only this game but also in other possible future games as the playoffs roll along.
"Nate did a great job getting us going," he said. "We’re at the point where we want to save as much pitching as we can. We threw everybody an inning after him and they all did great."
Senior Austin Smith also tallied three hits and even helped the Redskins pull the game out of reach when they scored six runs in the second as he drilled a one-run triple to score Patrick Manna for a 8-0 lead. Smith even scored four times in the contest. Lupini also collected three hits and scored a run.
Batters hitting second through sixth in the starting lineup collected a total of 13 hits. Cody Murphy was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, as Dan Buehler connected with two hits and had an RBI. Manna claimed two hits, including a double, and recorded two RBIs, and Alex Liddy hit two singles.
Cincinnatus starting pitcher Peri received the loss after two innings of work while giving up eight runs on nine hits and two walks as the Lions finish the season at 5-9 overall.
"It was a good first [game] to get out of the way," said Meiss. "It brought confidence and hopefully we can build on it against Sackets Harbor. We caught some breaks early with some slow rollers turning into hits and then (hitters) two through four really started to tee off and hit some line drives."
The win also notches Oriskany’s record up to 14-5 overall. For Thursday’s game, Meiss said he plans on having Smith as the starting pitcher with senior Steve Rossi available in relief.
Meiss said it was a solid test to have early instead of having to practice nearly the whole week in preparation of a match later on.
"It’s more productive to play a game than it is to practice all week," he said. "You kind of saw some things and we were able to work on some game situations and hopefully it’ll help us."