Howard Joe went 3-for-4 and Brian Kraft drove in three runs Thursday night at Damaschke Field as the host Oneonta Outlaws beat the Olean Oilers, 9-2, in the first game of their New York Collegiate Baseball League semifinal series.
The fifth-seeded Oilers (23-19) will host the second game of the best-of-3 postseason semifinal series at 4 p.m. today. Should Olean win today, a winner-take-all third game will follow Saturday back at Damaschke Field at a time to be determined.
Top-seeded and regular-season champion Oneonta (26-15) fell into a 1-0 hole in the second inning when Mike Fahrman doubled off Outlaws starter Luke Crumley, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a fielder's choice by Kody Johnston.
Oneonta answered in the bottom of the second on back-to-back hits by Joe and Spencer Duffie. Joe doubled to left field with two out, then scored on a single to left by Duffie.
The Outlaws snapped the 1-all tie with four runs in the third inning.
Oneonta High graduate Chris Pindar sparked the rally with a lead-off single to left, and Jake Levine's single to right gave the Outlaws runners at first and second. Both runners scored when Kraft doubled to left for a 3-1 lead.
After an out, Kraft stole third to set up Mitch Hollander for an RBI groundout to shortstop that made it 4-1.
Heath Holder then drew a walk from Olean starter Nick Donofry. Holder stole second and scored on a single to right by Joe, putting Oneonta ahead, 5-1.
Ryan Tomita made it 6-1 in the fourth when he took home on the back end of a double-steal. Tomita walked, advanced to second when Pindar was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a fielder's choice by Levine. Pindar was forced out at second on Levine's grounder to first, leaving Oneonta with runners at the corners and one out. Levine was thrown out attempting to steal second, but Tomita stole home on the same play.