Oneonta Post 259 battled back from an early 5-1 defect to force extra innings, but an eighth-inning grand slam from Vestal Post 89 lifted it to a 10-5 win over the Green Wave on Tuesday.
Vestal started the rally in the eighth with a double by catcher Adam Mieczkowski and a single from Connor Harding to put runners on first and second. A walk from Oneonta pitcher Jordan Goble loaded the bases, and a Ryan Kerley bloop single down the left-field line made it 6-5.
Vestal again loaded the bases in the inning, and Adam Carr stepped to the plate and smacked a grand slam off Goble to give his team the lead for good.
Goble earned the loss after coming in for starter Ryan Packard after 5 1/3 innings of work. He retired five straight batters before the five-run fifth.
“Jordan did well. He’s a young kid and gave us a chance,” Oneonta head coach Mike Jester said. “I just ask for my younger relief pitchers like Jordan and Tanner (Russin) to give me 2-3 innings and he did that. I’m happy with the way he is throwing the ball.”
Packard, who made his first start of the season on Tuesday, gave up seven hits and five runs while walking four and striking out four.
“He battled,” Jester said of his starter. “He had a high pitch count early in the game and settled late, but in the first two innings he threw 52 pitches. It wasn’t his best outing of the year, but I have confidence in him. He battled today.”
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Oneonta’s John Mikolaicyk led off the inning with a home run. A Caden Clow RBI groundout later in the inning made it 5-3.
Cameron Neer forced a two-out walk in the sixth before another Mikolaicyk home run tied the game at five.
The Green Wave loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get a run across.
Mikolaicyk finished as Oneonta’s only multiple hitter, going 2-for-5 at the plate with three RBI.
The Green Wave (4-4, 1-1) came into the season with one of the strongest starting rotations in the area, consisting of Mikolaicyk, Packard, College of Saint Rose pitcher Tanner Beang and Wake Forrest commit Teddy McGraw.
Jester said on Tuesday that he doesn’t expect McGraw, who is dealing with some soreness in his pitching arm, to throw this summer, and Beang hasn’t started since he injured his thumb on the first day of the Legion season.
Oneonta hosts Binghamton Post 1645 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Oneonta High School.
Vestal 10, Oneonta 5
Vestal..... 021 020 05– 10 10 2
Oneonta.....000 122 00 – 5 7 0
Justin Stump, Shawn Chermak (5), Kyle Taborne (6), Ryan Kerley (W, 7) and Adam Mieczkowski. Ryan Packard, Jordan Goble (L,6) and Chris Champlin.
2B: Ryan Kerley (V), Adam Mieczkowski (V) 2, Andrew Shapiro (O).
3B: Ryan Kerley (V).
HR: John Mikolaicyk (O) 2, Adam Carr (V).