What the Vernon Verona Sherrill and Oneida baseball teams were supposed to do Thursday afternoon was slug it out to see who could gain the early edge in the Tri-Valley League race.
Instead, they just hit the ball, a lot, in a three-hour marathon. And it was the Red Devils doing all the slugging by the end of a 30-11 victory over the Indians that ended an inning early because both teams didn't want to cause any more damage, to themselves or each other.
In a week where VVS and Oneida had both already participated in high-scoring affairs (and won), it figured that the pattern would continue in their first head-to-head clash of 2010.
Oneida pitcher Andrew Hornyak did not make it out of the second inning. The Red Devils tagged him for six runs in the first, then got five more in the second as it bolted out to an 11-2 lead. Anthony Rocco, with a home run, double and three RBIs, led the visitors along.
But VVS hurler Jason Dalton didn't last too long, either - not after the Indians put together an eight-run rally in the bottom of the second to close within 11-10. Evan Watson and Mitch Dubois both had two-run doubles in that frame.
Jesse Whitmeyer replaced Dalton in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded and Oneida about to take the lead. But Wittmeyer, on a 3-2 pitch, struck out Nate Mallinder, and the Indians would never get so close again.
Incredibly, Whitmeyer would, in the course of facing 19 batters in the second through fifth innings, not allow a hitter to put the ball in play. He hit the first batter he faced, issued nine walks - and struck out 10, earning the win in the process.
Whitmeyer didn't need much help - but VVS gave it to him anyway, and then some. It got three runs in the fourth inning, three more in the fourth, four runs in the fifth - and to top it off, a nine-run outburst in the sixth (mostly due to errors) that could have been worse.
Once with an insurmountable lead, VVS (who had 30 hits on the day) did not take extra bases, and once the sixth inning was over, both teams agreed to stop play.
Steve Davis had five doubles and six RBIs to lead the Red Devils' onslaught. Mitch Iseneker added four hits as Rocco got four RBIs and Jamie Cielinski contributed three hits. Oneida saw Dubois earn three RBIs as Mallinder finished with three hits and Hornyak drove in two runs.