Keaton Mark made a strong first impression Friday.
Oneonta High freshman Mark hit a grand slam in his first at-bat for Oneonta Post 259’s Legion baseball team and pitched two scoreless innings in a combined no-hitter as the Green Wave opened their season with a 9-1 non-league victory at Unatego.
“He jumped on a high fastball and really clobbered it,” Oneonta coach Mike Jester said of lefty Mark, whose grand slam capped a five-run fourth inning that gave the Green Wave an 8-1 lead. “Keaton hit a long flyball to right-center at Unatego and it rolled down the hill. It was a good shot.”
Mark also got six straight groundouts in two innings of relief, following three strong innings from winning pitcher Brock Eichler.
Jared Jones drew a leadoff walk against Eichler in the third inning and took advantage of three wild pitches to complete his trip around the bases and pull Unatego to 3-1. Eichler struck out four and walked two.
Josh Davi and Noah Sheehan finished off the no-hitter with 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh, respectively.
“We retired 13 in a row after that wild pitch,” said Jester, who got a 2-for-3 effort from Sheehan at the plate.
Connor Tavarone contributed a triple for the Green Wave, which acquired OHS graduate and former Oneonta Outlaws outfielder Chris Pindar this season. The 2013 Daily Star Player of the Year for high school baseball, Pindar was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat and finished 0-for-1 as the Green Wave’s starting center fielder.
Pindar, who helped OHS to the Class B state title in 2012, is recovering from a second surgery on his right shoulder in December.
Seth Burnham took the pitching loss for Unatego, which will play an independent U-17 schedule this season under Unatego varsity coach Frank Microni.