6/9 Game Recap

by Mikael DeSanto

Senior Sam Vilk (Seton Hill University) went 3-for-3 with six RBI, three runs scored and three walks in the Olean Oilers 24-2 win over the Rochester Ridgemen in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field Friday night. Vilk earned Player of the Night honors for his performance in the game, which was called after seven innings.

“Honestly, since the school season, I keep the same approach every time I go up to the plate,” Vilk said. “I just have the same two thoughts, it’s have fun and make solid contact. Honestly with that, I just try to go up there, see a pitch as best I can, just take my hands to the ball and have fun with it.”

Vilk drove in runs with bases-loaded walks in the second, fourth and fifth, as well as a two-run double in the first and an RBI single in the sixth.

Senior Chris Wastchak (California University of Pennsylvania) also delivered a six RBI game for the Oilers, going 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Wastchak’s biggest blow came when he drove 1-1 pitch over the right-centerfield wall with the bases loaded for a grand slam.

“The first pitch I saw, I just wanted to get my timing down,” Wastchak said. “H ejust came into the game, so I watched the first one and it was right there. So I figured that he was just trying to get outs. He threw the ball in the same spot I timed it up to, I just connected up to it and drove it.

Wastchak also homered on Sunday at Basket Road Field.

Oilers head coach Jay Weitzel said the team responded well to a tough loss 11-7 to the Sherrill Silversmiths on Wednesday.

“The games are tough. This is going to be a pretty good team,” Weitzel said. “[It] might comeback to bite me, but if they keep listening, working hard and doing the right stuff, the improvement from day one to now is big with me. A lot of these kids haven’t had a lot of at bats this year and haven’t played for four weeks, maybe they hit their stride a little bit.”

The Oilers started junior Colin Benner (Shepherd College) on the mound. Benner threw six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out five.

“I want to say my defense, first of all. They get a base hit [and], next thing you know, double play ball,” Benner said. “I did fall behind in a few of the counts, but I battled back, but big shout out to the defense, they really put on a good show today.”

The Ridgemen countered with sophomore Jaden Stromire (California Lutheran University), who left with a line of nine runs (eight earned), five hits and three walks given up with two strikeouts in one-plus inning pitched.

The Oilers were able to score a run in each inning, getting an RBI from seven of the nine starters in the lineup. The only two starters to not drive in a run were sophomore Allen Murphy (St. John Fisher College) and senior Ryan O’Connor (St. Bonaventure University).

The Ridgemen were able to muster a pair of runs late, thanks to junior Connor Dunn (University of Puget Sound) and senior Christian Bitar (Regis University).

Ridgemen head coach Justin Dillard said the game was difficult on the pitching staff, a majority of whom Dillard chose to rest in favor of fielders.

“It was hard, where we have a big stretch coming up. We have one off-day between now and the end of the month basically,” Dillard said. “So we just don’t have pitching to give. Then we’re running position players out basically from the fourth inning just trying to get outs.”

The loss drops the Ridgemen to 0-5 so far on the season, while the Oilers improve to 2-4. Both of the Oilers wins have come against the Ridgemen.

Sophomore Jake Miknis (St. Bonaventure University) scored four times and put up two hit, two RBI and three walks for the Oilers.

The Ridgemen will hit the road for the next eight days, starting with a 7 p.m. game against the Hornell Dodgers on Saturday.

The Oilers will seek revenge against the Silversmiths, hosting them on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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