Oneonta Post 259 is no longer the defending District Six Legion baseball champion.
The Green Wave’s season ended Wednesday night with a 10-0 mercy-rule loss in eight innings to Vestal Post 89 in the title game of the double-elimination District Six Tournament at Conlon Field in Binghamton.
The game, which was not completed by press time Wednesday night, followed Oneonta’s 2-1 victory over Binghamton Post 1645 in the losers’ bracket final earlier Wednesday.
“They were locked in,” Oneonta coach Mike Jester said of Vestal, which jumped to a 7-0 lead after four innings against Green Wave starter Ben Moxley (6-4). “Hats off to them. I don’t think they’re that much better than us, but they battled Moxley terrifically at the plate.”
Moxley earned two of his four strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first inning but gave up a leadoff single to Sean Mullins in the top of the second. Jake Spellane followed with an RBI double for a 1-0 lead, but Moxley escaped further damage by getting the next three batters out.
“In the third inning, they kind of broke our back,” Jester said.
Vestal rode back-to-back one-out singles to a three-run third. Oneonta (23-17) then made two straight errors, leading to three unearned runs and a 4-0 cushion for Vestal.
“We could have got out of the inning down, 1-0, but they really battled Ben at the plate,” Jester said. “He threw 80 pitches against Binghamton Post 80 on Saturday and 50 pitches in relief against Endicott on Monday, so he’s been a workhorse.”
Casy Kies went 4-for-5 with three runs and an RBI for Vestal, which got two RBIs in a 3-for-5 effort from Mullins.
Vestal starter Ryan Franz struck out two, walked one and scattered three hits — a double by Ben Payton and singles from Collin Neer and Zach King — in seven innings. Reliever Austin Beck gave up a single to Matt Horne but pitched a scoreless eighth to secure the victory for Vestal, which dropped the Green Wave into the losers’ bracket with a 14-8 triumph Saturday.
Vestal advanced to the Legion State Tournament, which begins this Wednesday in Utica.
Moxley walked none but yielded seven runs — four earned — on nine hits. Three of those earned runs came on four hits in the fourth inning.
Vestal also scored three runs in the eighth off Post 259 reliever Kragh Delello, who took over for Moxley in the seventh.
“We’re kind of banged up,” Jester said. “We lost Mark Giallanzo, who was a hot hitter and our No. 2 pitcher, so that hurt us a lot.”
Jester said Giallanzo tore a ligament in his right elbow earlier this month and could be out for an entire year, meaning he would miss his second season as a pitcher for Mohawk Valley Community College.
Before his injury, Jester said, Giallanzo was leading the Green Wave with a .460 batting average.
Giallanzo, Moxley and Payton were starters for Oneonta High when the Yellowjackets won the Class B state championship in 2012. Moxley went on to win 2012 Class B Player of the Year honors from the New York State Sportswriters Association.
VESTAL 10, ONEONTA 0
District 6 Championship
Wednesday at Conlon Field
Vestal 013 300 03 - 10 13 1
Oneonta 000 000 00 - 0 4 4
Ryan Franz (W), Austin Beck (8) and TJ Wegmann. Ben Moxley (L,6-4), Kragh Delello (7) and Peter Brunetta. 2B: Jake Spellane (V), Sean Mullins (V), Casy Kies (V), Ben Payton (O).