The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
The Oneonta Outlaws will open the New York Collegiate Baseball League postseason against a slick opponent.
The regular-season champion Outlaws will host a best-of-three semifinal series against the fifth-seeded Olean Oilers at 7 tonight at Damaschke Field.
Oneonta (25-15), which won the NYCBL postseason championship in 2011, earned a first-round playoff bye after finishing the regular season with the best record in the 11-team NYCBL.
The Oilers lost their last seven games of the regular season en route a share of third place with the Wellsville Nitros and the Syracuse Junior Chiefs as all three teams finished 22-18. Olean dropped to the fifth seed based on tiebreakers as Wellsville earned the No. 3 seed and the Junior Chiefs took the fourth spot for the six-team playoffs.
Olean won its one-game wild-card playoff Wednesday night, beating the Junior Chiefs, 5-2, to advance to a semifinal series against Oneonta. After hosting the semifinal series opener tonight, the Outlaws will visit Olean for Game 2 on Friday. Should the teams split the first two games, the Outlaws would host the third and decisive game Saturday at Damaschke Field.
Wellsville defeated the sixth-seeded Syracuse Salt Cats, 4-0, in Wednesday’s other wild-card game. The Nitros advanced to a best-of-three semifinal series against the second-seeded Hornell Dodgers beginning at 7 tonight. The Dodgers, who went 23-17 during the regular season, will host tonight’s opener and, if necessary, the third game of their semifinal series.
Semifinal winners will go head-to-head in a best-of-three championship series next week. The times, dates and sites for the championship series have not been set.
As the top seed, the Outlaws will have home-field advantage throughout their playoff run.
Wednesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game at Newark was not completed by press time.
Pitcher Eann Cox and infielders Ben Hall and Nate Lotze represented the Cooperstown Hawkeyes on the East Division roster.
Cooperstown (13-24) is last in the four-team East Division, 9.5 games behind first-place Amsterdam (24-16) with seven days left in the regular season. The Hawkeyes visit Adirondack (16-24), which is third in the West Division, for a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m. today.
On July 31, the Hawkeyes will host their regular-season finale against Amsterdam at 5 p.m. on Organ Donor Awareness Night at Doubleday Field. The first 100 fans will receive a commemorative gift.