WESTMORELAND — Trailing by three runs entering the top of the sixth inning after falling behind 4-0 early, the Oriskany baseball team scored the last 12 runs of the game in rallying to defeat Center State Conference rival Westmoreland, 12-4, on May 9.
Westmoreland tagged Oriskany starting pitcher Aaron Drake for three early runs in the first inning.
The Bulldogs put their first three batters on base, as Conner Mirasola led the bottom half of the first off with a single into left center, Mike Sweeney singled to right center and Justin Matteson singled into left field to drive in Mirasola. Cameren Rothdiener singled through the shortstop hole, which brought in Sweeney and Matteson in to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
Drake was lifted to start the bottom of the second inning and replaced by Carl Graziadei, who came in and shut down the Westmoreland offense. “I just like moments like this,” Graziadei said of his performance. “I had a job and I just did it.”
Graziadei worked five innings of relief in earning the win, allowing a run on three hits while striking out two.
Westmoreland added a run in the fourth inning to push the lead to 4-0. Rothdiener drove in his third run of the game after he singled down the third baseline which brought Sweeney around to score.
Oriskany scored its first run in the top of the fifth inning after Ricky Phelps reached on an error and then stole second. Phelps moved to third on Matt Enos’ single into left field off of Westmoreland starter Matteson, and Phelps came in to score on a Colton Davis single through the infield.
The rally picked up steam in the sixth inning with Brandon Reid leading off with a base hit past the second baseman, John Longeretta followed with another base hit into centerfield and the Redskins loaded the bases after Graziadei reached on an error. Reid came into score on Phelps’ sacrifice fly, Longeretta scored on Colin Kraeger’s single into left field to make the game 4-3 with one out in the sixth and Matteson still in the game.
Enos continued the Oriskany rally by working a walk, bringing up pinch hitter Kegan Kraeger, who’s two-run single into left scored Graziadei and Colin Kraeger and moved Enos to third base. Enos scored the fifth and final run of the sixth inning when he scored after Davis’ sacrifice fly.
“We talked a little bit in the dugout about wanting guys that want to play in tight situations and when your backs against the wall,” Oriskany head coach Tom Meiss said.
“It’s easy to play early on in the game but you got to want to play in tight situations. We kind of flat lined there for a bit when we weren’t getting much, but Carl’s pitching and some timely hitting got us going.”
The Redskins rode the momentum that they built in the top of the sixth into the top of the seventh when they plated six more runs. Reid led off the inning with a double to left field and scored on Longeretta’s double. Longeretta advanced to third on the throw home, and scored when Graziadei reached on an error and advanced to second. Graziadei scored the third run of the inning when he scored oh Phelps’ single through the right side and again came around to score when Colin Kraeger singled down the third baseline.
Enos got on base and Colin Kraeger scored on Kyle McGrath’s pinch hit single and Enos came into score on Drake’s single, but the inning ended after McGrath was throw out at third.
“We gave them that one run in the fifth inning,” Westmoreland head coach Paul Engelhart said. “We were rolling. And then all of a sudden, good base hits, a couple bloops and then it just snowballed from there. We still had a chance, we were only down 6-4 going into the bottom of the sixth.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” he added. “I just told the guys that we got to leave that here and come back tomorrow ready to play. We’ll be good.”
Oriskany is 12-1 overall, while Westmoreland is 4-7 overall. The Bulldogs travel to Morrisville-Eaton at 3:45 p.m. on May 16 and host Waterville on May 17 at 4:30.