Big inning lifts Oriskany to baseball victory over CSC rival Westmoreland
ORISKANY — The Oriskany baseball team used a four-run fifth inning to lock down a 5-1 victory over Center State Conference rival Westmoreland on a chilly Friday afternoon.
After Brandon Reid flew out to centerfield to lead off the bottom half of the fifth, the Redskins strung four consecutive hits together from the top of their order. Leadoff man John Longeretta doubled to right field and scored on Colton Davis’ base hit into center.
Davis moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Aaron Drake’s double down the third base line. Drake scored after Ricky Phelps singled into left field and Phelps scored the final Oriskany run after Matt Enos singled into shallow right field.
“We were talking how we were playing perfect baseball other than the fact that we weren’t scoring runs,” Oriskany head coach Tom Meiss said.
“We just said it was the second or third time through the lineup so let’s lock in and it worked out.”
The Redskins scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning when Phelps came in on Carl Graziadei’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Drake, the starting pitcher for the Redskins, tossed five innings of six-hit ball for the hosts, striking out five Westmoreland batters and walking two. Mike Sweeney took the loss for Westmoreland, working five innings, surrendering all five runs on nine hits and he issued one walk, but hit two batters.
“I felt really confident and my warmups felt really good,” Drake said of his start. “I started off a little rough, but picked up speed and got more consistent through it.”
Drake said it’s “a fun matchup” whenever the Redskins play the Bulldogs.
The Redskins had an opportunity to score the game’s first run in the third inning after Reid led off with a double into right field. Reid moved to third on an unassisted groundout to first base, and Davis reached base after being hit by a pitch. With Davis on first and Reid on third, Drake hit a ground ball to Westmoreland third baseman Justin Matteson, who threw to second to record one out. Reid broke for the plate after the throw and Westmoreland second baseman Caleb Miller threw him out at the plate to keep the game scoreless and end the third inning.
“It was an unbelievable play,” Westmoreland head coach Paul Engelhart said. “He comes up, reads the infield and sees the guy breaking and he throws it home. That was huge, especially at the point of the game. Heck of a play, especially for an eighth-grader.”
Westmoreland got its lone run of the game in the top of the sixth inning after Cameren Rothdiener scored on Ty Rodriguez’s fielder’s choice.
“It was a close game throughout,” Engelhart said. “Then they scored on some hits. (Sweeney) had good two-strike pitches on the outside corner and they were protecting and they end up going over the infielder’s heads. But we battled, we squared up a lot more balls than we did the other day.”
Engelhart said that his squad is coming around and that “it’s early in the year and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about in a good high school baseball game.”
“I thought that both teams played pretty quality game given the conditions,” Meiss said. “Both pitchers threw strikes and it was a good high school baseball game.”
Oriskany is 2-0 overall and 1-0 in league play and is scheduled to travel to Dolgeville on Monday afternoon at 4:30 for another CSC game after visiting New York Mills today.
Westmoreland, 0-2, hosted Remsen on Saturday and went to Dolgeville on Wednesday. On Friday, the Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to Waterville.