June 4th Game Recap

Written by Mikael Desanto

Senior Chris Wastchak (California University of Pennsylvania) went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored as the Olean Oilers beat the Rochester Ridgemen 9-3 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field.

“You get out there and go at it,” Oilers head coach Jay Weitzel said. “It’s a good win. [We] played good [and] got good pitching.”

Sophomore Cameron Weinberger (University of Florida) also contributed to the Oilers cause, throwing eight innings and allowing three runs (all unearned) on six hits with 10 strikeouts.

“I was just really trying to pound the zone,” Weinberger said. “I thought my fastball was moving and I just tried to get ahead.”

The Ridgemen sent senior Tanner Pruett (Crown College) to the hill to start, getting six-and-two-thirds innings and five runs, five hits and four walks surrendered from the left hander.

“[I] had a good catcher back there behind the plate,” Pruett said. “Towards the end I got a little tired. Like I said, [the] defense did well and the catcher back there, gives me confidence.”

The scoring began in the second inning as the Ridgemen took control early.

After two quick outs to open the inning, senior TJ Lanning II (ASA College) and junior Connor Dunn (University of Puget Sound) keep the inning going with singles. Freshman Trevor Cho (St. Cloud State) wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity, slapping a single to score Lanning and get the Ridgemen on the board.

“I just wanted to be aggressive,” Cho said. “First pitch was a ball and it was a fastball. I was sitting fastball on the next pitch, it was a little outside but it was still a strike, so I swung, put a nice swing on it and we scored.”

Freshman Jonathan Sabino (Coppin State University) and junior Joshua Parks (University of Chicago) would follow with an RBI double and RBI single, respectively, to put the Ridgemen up 3-0 after two.

However, in the fourth inning, the Oilers chipped into the Ridgemen lead and sparked the offense with one swing. Wastchak, who had a long fly out to right field in his first at bat, stepped to the plate with one out in the fourth. He then proceeded to square up a hanging curveball from Pruett and dispensed it over the right-centerfield wall for a solo home run.

“I saw him the first at bat and I know he was throwing all that slide stuff,” Wastchak said. “I saw on (sophomore Jacob) Burlingame (Canisius College), he struck him out with that slider in, so I was looking for something like that on me. On that first pitch out, I could hear him (the catcher) move out, then I could hear him move in on me. I was looking for something in, I saw it and drove it.”

But the Oilers were not done, as sophomore Isaac Porter (St. Bonaventure University) singled home a run in the sixth to put the Oilers down one.

However, it would be the seventh inning which proved the difference. Pruett picked up two quick outs and it appeared it would be smooth sailing through the seventh. The Oilers had other ideas, getting two runners on and setting up sophomore Alex Amos (University of Pittsburgh) for a game-tying single.

But the run scoring was not over, as the next batter worked a walk to load the bases. Two more walks brought in two more runs and the Oilers left the top of the seventh leading 5-3.

The Oilers would add four insurance runs in the eighth inning on a single from sophomore Jacob Miknis (St. Bonaventure University), a bases-loaded hit by a pitch for Burlingame, sacrifice groundout from Wastchak and, finally, a wild pitch.

The Ridgemen were set down 1-2-3 in both the eighth and ninth, ending the game.

“I thought Tanner threw the ball really well. He gave us a chance to win,” Ridgemen coach Mitchell Holland said. “Overall it was encouraging.”

The Ridgemen fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Oilers get their first win of the season at 1-2.

The Ridgemen’s next game will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the road against the Cortland Crush.

The Oilers will next play on Monday at home at 10:30 a.m. against the Genesee Rapids.

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