Ryan Sullivan slapped a one-out triple scoring Marcus Nidiffer (Kentucky) and Josh Johnson (Toledo) in the third, and Gino Offerman (Binghamton) pitched seven strong to lead the Webster Yankees over the Hornell Dodgers 4-3.
Sullivan hit the first pitch he saw from Tom Bradley (Southern Polytechnic) into the gap between Phillip Brewington Jr. (North Carolina A & T) and Josh Ehringer (Union). He scored one batter later when Dan Bertolini (Mercyhurst) hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. The utility-man beat Cory Bunner’s (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) errant throw home, and Bertolini moved to second on the play. Sullivan finished the day two for two with a sacrifice bunt in the fourth. Playing catcher today, Sullivan threw out Nick Mayo (North Carolina A & T) trying to steal in the top of the first.
On the heels of Bobby DiNuzzo’s NYCBL Player-of-the-Day performance Offerman limited the Dodgers to one extra-base hit.
“He hung a couple of pitches, but after Gino settled in, he was throwing all of his pitches for strikes,” said Sullivan.
Gino’s only hiccup of the day came in the fifth. He retired Mayo and Brian Majors (Emporia State) before Dale Curry (Alvernia College) and Jamie Walczak (Mercyhurst) punched back-to-back singles. Jeremiah Lokken (Gardner-Webb) plated both with a double. That was Lokken’s second hit of the day.
Offerman faced the minimum batters in the sixth and seventh.
The infield turned an around-the-horn double play to end the seventh. Nelson Santos (North Carolina A&T) fielded Curry’s one-hopper down the line at third, fired to Rob Lawler (Pitt) who turned it to Joe McIntyre (North Carolina A&T) to end the inning.
“We’re getting our best defense on the field,” commented Assistant Coach Dave Brust. “We’re starting to do the little things.”
And little things led to the winning run.
With the scored knotted at three Lawler beat out a bunt to lead off the sixth. After stealing second he moved to third on Johnson’s fly to center and eventually scored on a pass ball.
That was all Offerman and the pitching staff would need.
Jacob Bernath (Toledo) faced the minimum in the eighth.
Bryan Gardner (Ithaca) notched his second save of the week. The southpaw has given up three hits and struck out eight-including a nine pitch 3 k ninth against Elmira- in five innings of work this week.
“What can you say about Bryan – he throws heat,” said Sullivan. “They had to resort to a bunt to get someone on against him.”
With the win Webster improves to eight and twelve on the season.
“We’re figuring it out,” said Coach Mike Kelly. “We have a lot of season left. The last thing we need to worry about is a couple of wins. Tomorrow is the most important thing.”
McIntyre went two for four to improve his average to .420.
Webster travels to Scio to take on the first-place Allegany County Nitros. Game time is 7pm. Kevin Carmody will get the start.