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May 24, 2013

Vega gives OHS baseball a lift

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Senior Jonathan Vega’s walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning sent Oneonta High’s baseball team into the Section Four Class B semifinals Thursday.

With the bases full and two outs in the seventh, Vega sent a drive that short-hopped the fence in left to score Conor Tavarone as the third-seeded Yellowjackets beat visiting Dryden, 7-6.

The Yellowjackets (13-6), winners of the 2012 Class B state championship, will travel to second-seeded Chenango Forks on Tuesday in the semifinals. OHS lost twice to the Blue Devils this season.

Forks (11-5) advanced with a 14-0 win over seventh-seeded Newark Valley on Thursday.

Oneonta watched a 6-2 lead slip away as sixth-seeded Dryden scored twice in each of the fifth and sixth innings to tie the score.

In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Tavarone walked to lead off. Classmate Josh Garufi then dropped a single in shallow left that sent Tavarone to second. Collin Neer, another sophomore, then walked to load the bases.

After a strikeout and a popout, Vega delivered the winning hit.

“Not bad for a bunch of sophomores,” said OHS coach Joe Hughes, who graduated all but one starter off of last season’s team and has six sophomores contributing heavily to this year’s squad.

After Dryden scored a run in the top of the first, senior Chris Pindar’s fourth home run of the season — a two-run shot to left — gave the Yellowjackets a 2-1 lead.

Matt Bitzer extended Oneonta’s lead to 3-1 with a bases-loaded walk in the third inning.

The Lions (12-7) scored once in the top of the fourth, but Oneonta answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Sophomore Noah Sheehan hit an RBI single, Bitzer drew another bases-loaded walk and the third run scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2.

“We took advantage of their mistakes, but we also let them off the hook,” Hughes said. “We had bases loaded in the second and third innings and scored one run. We kept Dryden in the ballgame and they took advantage.”

Dryden’s two runs in the sixth inning that tied the scored were unearned.

Sophomore left-hander Brock Eichler earned the win. He allowed no earned runs and struck out one over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Sheehan finished with two hits.

CLASS CSeton CC 2, B-G 0

Austin Bauerle struck out two and walked two in a four-hitter, but Bainbridge-Guilford’s season ended with a quarterfinal loss to top-seeded host Seton Catholic Central at Broome Community College.

“He’s just been a warrior all year for us,” Bobcats coach Tim Mattingly said of Bauerle, who struck out 15 in a one-hitter that gave eighth-seeded B-G a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Spencer-Van Etten on Tuesday. “He still had pop on his fastball today. He’s just the type of kid who says, ‘I’m good. I’ll just do it.’ That’s the way he’s been all season. I love that kid.”

Seton scored its runs in the sixth inning, putting runners at first and second following a fielding error and a walk. Neil McCormack then hit an RBI double to left-center field that also resulted in runners at second and third. Connor McCormack followed with a successful squeeze bunt to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.

Neil McCormack doubled twice in his 2-for-3 effort, which marked the only multiple-hit performance.

Winning pitcher and Division I prospect Mike Korchak struck out 10 and walked one in a three-hitter for the Saints, who advanced to host a sectional semifinal Tuesday.

Two of B-G’s hits came in the first inning. Lucas Butcher hit a sharp single up the middle on Korchak’s first pitch before Corbin Palmer singled.

“We had runners at second and third in the first inning with one out, but Korchak struck out our Nos. 4 and 5 hitters,” Mattingly said. “I talked to my kids about being aggressive at plate and looking for fastballs early. The second time around, he started mixing it up and kept us on our heels. We still did a pretty good job.”

Jacob Mazzarella contributed a fifth-inning single for the Bobcats, whose 14-4 finish marked their best record in Mattingly’s three seasons as head coach.

Sidney game suspended

Sidney’s Section Four Class C quarterfinal at Lansing was suspended by rain with no score after the top of the first inning, Warriors softball coach Mike Brazee said.

The game will resume at 1:30 p.m. today back in Lansing with the Bobcats taking their first at-bats.

Sidney (14-6) is seeded seventh. Lansing (17-1) is the No. 2 seed.

CLASS C-2Pulaski 2, Cooperstown 0

Tom Taplin struck out 16 and walked two in a three-hitter as No. 5 Pulaski downed fourth-seeded host Cooperstown in a Section Three Class C-2 quarterfinal at Doubleday Field.

“He’s the best we’ve faced all year,” said Cooperstown coach Frank Miosek, whose team had two of its three hits in the seventh inning.

Taplin got out of the seventh-inning jam with a comebacker and back-to-back strikeouts to secure the victory for Pulaski (9-7), which advanced to a C-2 sectional semifinal Saturday.

Jack Donnelly, James Johnson and Ray Cabrera singled for Cooperstown (9-7), which got four strikeouts in six innings from Ethan Bliss in a combined four-hitter with Sawyer Haney.

Pulaski clean-up batter Steven Glenister hit an RBI single to left field in the first inning to open the scoring. Kevin Koehler walked, stole second and moved to third on a balk by Bliss, who was penalized for “pitching too fast,” Miosek said, to set up Glenister.

Pulaski also scored in the sixth, after Chris Mosher doubled and was sacrificed to third. Mosher made it home after an errant pickoff throw to third ended up in left field.

CLASS DMarathon 9, Stamford 2

Three batters into the Section Four Class D quarterfinal, fifth-seeded Marathon had a 3-0 lead en route to beating host Stamford.

The game’s first batter reached on a dropped third strike. Follwing a stole base, Jeff Contri hit an RBI double and winning pitcher Kody Barry followed with a two-run homer.

“It was 3-0 before we could shake our heads,” Stamford coach Mike Faulkner said.

Delaware League champion Stamford (13-3) stranded 11 running, including six in the fourth and sixth innings.

“We played against better teams around here,” Faulkner said. “The guys just came up flat today. I saw stuff I haven’t seen all year.

The top four hitters in Stamford’s lineup went a combined 1-for-14 with two walks.

“That hasn’t happened to us all year,” Faulkner said. “Someone has always picked us up. It was a great season, but it was tough to see our 1-4 hitters struggle.”

The Indians won once in 2011 and then six times last season.

“I’m pretty happy,” said Faulkner, who’ll lose three seniors to graduation. “It’s been quite a turnaround in two years. “I’m very, very proud of them.”

Losing pitcher Erik Ehrhart, a senior, had 10 strikeouts.

Hancock 5, Jefferson 2

Tenth-seeded Jefferson jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Tyler Phillips’ two-run homer in the bottom of the third gave host Hancock the lead for keeps en route to a Section Four Class D quarterfinal victory.

Jefferson got on the board in the first inning. John Quagliano walked, advanced to third on a two-base throwing error and scored on a passed ball.

The J-Hawks extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the third on Hunter Minalga’s RBI groundout that plated Nick Smith.

Second-seeded Hancock responded in the bottom of the inning starting with single from Tyler Chatman. Lane Bass’ double sent Chatman to third. Ryan Slatcher’s groundout scored Chatman and Phillips followed with a two-run drive to left as the Wildcats took a 3-2 lead.

Phillips single in the top of the fourth inning marked his 162nd varsity hit.

Brian Smith (8-0) struck out nine and walked four, allowing two hits over five innings for Hancock (16-5), which will host Margaretville or Edmeston in a semifinal Tuesday.

The 14th-seeded Blue Devils and sixth-seeded Panthers were rained out Thursday. They’ll play today at Edmeston.

Jefferson finishes its season at 10-7.