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.

Tage Johnson earns Player of the Day

Tage Johnson (Houghton) did not have the greatest start to his 2015 NYCBL campaign. Time heals everything, and it has healed Johnson’s plate woes as he earned Player of the Day for his performance at the plate in Rochester’s 6-4 victory over the Genesee Rapids on Wednesday night.

After starting his season 7-for-37, Johnson has recorded a hit in eight of his last ten games, including a pair in the Ridgemen victory at the Kerr-Pegula Athletics Complex at Houghton College.

His batting average has climbed from .189 to .237 in the same span, while his slugging percentage has gone from .243 to .316. His on-base percentage has stayed steady, hovering around .320 while peaking at .333 three times.

Johnson had his best day at the plate Wednesday, going 2-for-4, while recording a double and scoring a run of his own while driving in the other two. This was only his fourth multi-hit game of the season, but his third in the past seven games, showing signs that the bat is coming to life at just the right time as Rochester looks to make their playoff push.

The Frewsburg, NY native will look to bring this road success home to Basket Road Field as the Ridgemen concluded their 10-game road trip in Hornell on Thursday. Rochester has a four-game homestand slated for the weekend, with five of their next six and 13 of the final 21 games of the regular season coming at their friendly confines in Webster, NY.

Cole Metcalfe’s hot bat earns him Player of the Week

Cole Metcalfe (Bellarmine) did not start the season too hot. His batting average slumped at .091 and his on base percentage also started at the same minuscule number.

My oh my what a couple of weeks can do to a season.

From June 5 until now, his batting average has jumped to a league-best .377 and his OBP skyrocketed up to .421, which is good for 12th in the league.

This past week, this bat only seemed to get hotter, and he was rewarded for his efforts, earning the NYCBL Player of the Week award for the week of June 15-21.

Over the last seven days, Metcalfe hit .500, batting 13-for-26. But not only that, he is putting the ball in play as he only struck out twice over the last six games. He has drove in four runs and scored five of his own.

Extra-base hits are now becoming a factor in Metcalfe’s arsenal, as he has tallied four doubles and two triples over the last week as well.

The Richmond, KY native has quickly evolved into the team’s biggest offensive threat, leading the Ridgemen in batting average, hits, doubles, triples and RBI.

As if things could not get any better, his 11-game hitting streak now sits eighth all-time, seven games away from Chris Bostick’s record of 18 games in a row back in 2011 for the Webster Yankees, who also played their home games at Basket Road Field.

Napleton’s strong finish leads Twins past Ridgemen

WEBSTER, N.Y. — Marty Napleton (St. Joseph’s) had a tough start to the game, cracking two line drives that were caught in right and center field. But he would rebound, recording a hit in his next three at-bats, including leading off the 10th inning with a single.

Geneva’s catcher would later score the game-winning run, giving the Twins a 5-4 win in extra innings over the Rochester Ridgemen in New York Collegiate Baseball League action on Sunday afternoon at Basket Road Field.

“We’re a good team. I just told the guys there’s no reason to press,” Geneva manager Andrew Weeks said after his team blew a three-run lead in the eighth inning.

(read the rest of the article here)

Ridgemen kick off their 2015 campaign

Baseball is back in Webster. The New York Collegiate Baseball League starts back up again, and the Rochester Ridgemen are calling Basket Road Field home for another summer.

The Ridgemen, under the direction of general manager Chris Rainwater,  is a collection of summer collegiate athletes from all around the country that play summer ball in hopes of improving their skills or getting noticed by scouts who will come to various games.

Players from this league include Hunter Pence and Rajai Davis, who currently play for the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively.

Head Coach Joe Shallenberger is in his first year as head man for the Ridgemen, who are looking to make it two playoff appearances in a row after making it to last year’s NYCBL Western Divisional Series before falling in the best-of-three to the Geneva Twins.

Assistant coach Trent Sullivan is also in his first year of coaching, transforming from his role as a player from a season ago.

Sullivan was able to compile a .208 batting average in the summer of 2014, with four doubles and a triple while driving in 10 runs on the season.

The Ridgemen feature two players from Western New York, as Cameron Carney is from Niagara Falls and Tage Johnson calls Jamestown home.

Rochester also features three players from the baseball-heavy state of Texas, while two hail from California and two from the Sunshine State of Florida.

The lone returner to the 2015 team from last season in player form is Shane Soria, who is from Auburn, California and takes his classes at Westmont College. Soria batted .318 last summer, with four doubles and two triples while driving in 17 runs over the course of the season.

Soria also featured 14 multi-hit games throughout the season.

Rochester was home on Monday night, taking on the Wellsville Nitros, but the game ended too late for publication.

The Ridgemen are home on June 3 and 4, taking on the Twins and then the Niagara Power. After a road game on the fifth, they are back to take on the Power and Twins again on June 6 and 7, respectively.

Admission to the games is free.

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