May 07, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Such is baseball’s nature — as soon as one trend is established, another emerges to make the first one obsolete in a hurry.
Vernon Verona Sherrill had appeared to take control in the Tri-Valley League when it pounded rival Oneida 30-11 on April 29, a game shortened to six innings to spare further damage (and beat darkness).
So naturally when the Red Devils next took the field, in last Monday’s game at Whitesboro, it quieted enough so that the Warriors could beat them 4-3 at the wire.
It looked, for a while, that VVS would win anyway. Single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings pushed the Red Devils in front 3-2, as Tyler Mautner got two hits and Steve Davis earned an RBI.
Mitch Iseneker, with eight strikeouts and no walks allowed, was on the verge of throwing a complete game. But in the bottom of the seventh, Whitesboro, down 3-2, tied it and, with Collin Laguzza trying to force extra innings, prevailed on Matt Cornmire’s tie-breaking, two-out single.
After waiting a day for wild weather to clear, VVS met Holland Patent on Wednesday — and again stumbled, losing to the Golden Knights 10-3.
Despite eight hits, all the Red Devils could manage was a
trio of third-inning runs, two brought home by David and the other by Mitch Iseneker, that briefly put them ahead 3-0.
HP answered with four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, negating Jamie Cielinski’s three hits. Jason Dalton took the loss, with Mautner and Laguzza seeing relief duty.
Now the Red Devils needed a Thursday win over New Hartford to find its footing again — and though again it proved tough, VVS did beat the Spartans 5-4.
Mautner’s two-run home run in the third put the Red Devils up 2-0, but New Hartford got to Jesse Whitmeyer for a run in the third and three runs in the fifth (two of them on Joey Carcone’s triple), and suddenly VVS trailed, 4-2, staring straight at a third straight loss.
In the sixth, VVS cut it to 4-3 on Kevin Sayles’ sacrifice fly. Then, in the seventh, Mautner walked and Iseneker singled, an error putting both runners in scoring position.
Davis drew an intentional walk — but that backfired as Laguzza, facing Ben Zalewski, singled, bringing Mautner and Iseneker home to win the game for Cielinski, who worked in relief of Whitmeyer.
Meanwhile, Oneida more than atoned for the VVS debacle by sweeping its way through the first full week of May.
To begin with, the Indians continued its hot-hitting ways — and this time got rewarded for it with a 14-5 victory over Utica-Notre Dame where Brian Chevier assumed center stage.
With another helping wind (just like the VVS game), Chevier twice went deep for home runs on his way to a career-best eight RBIs, by far the highest total for any Oneida player in a single game this season.
Oneida led 6-1 through two innings and kept on going, as Dylan VanDresar earned a pair of doubles and Nate Mallinder got three hits. Bryan Sheridan and Evan Watson also doubled as Jeremy Rodriguez, in a five-inning mound stint, earned the win.
The Indians prevailed again 24 hours later, going to Clinton and beating the Warriors 8-6.
Mallinder’s home run to start the game ignited a three-run first inning, and five runs followed in the second as Oneida bolted ahead 8-1. Clinton answered in the bottom of the third, scoring five times to send Oneida starter Ryan Shene out.
That proved to be the turning point, though, because VanDresar came in, escaped that jam, then shut down the Warriors over the last five innings, striking out 12, including 10 of the last 13 batters he confronted. Even when Clinton put two on with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh, VanDresar struck out the side to end it.
Oneida met Whitesboro on Thursday and made it three wins in a row, holding on to beat the Warriors by a 10-9 margin.
With the game tied 2-2, the Indians erupted for seven runs
in the bottom of the second, Chevier ripping a three-run double and Mitch DuBois taking advantage of a howling tailwind to produce a two-run home run.
Another run in the third would prove important, as Whitesboro stormed back, pulling within a run before Chevier and Andrew Hornyak pitched strong relief stints. Chevier got the win and Hornyak earned the save.
Oneida, sitting atop the Tri-Valley with a 7-1 mark (10-4 overall), draws New Hartford, Holland Patent and Camden this week. VVS (9-3, 5-3 league) gets Camden in the middle of the week, after Clinton and before Utica-Notre Dame.