By ANTHONY SCOTT
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Olean Oilers sent 10 to the plate in a six-run sixth and held on to defeat the Syracuse Jr. Chiefs, 8-6 in game one of the 2016 New York Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series at Onondaga Community College, Saturday night.
Cole Peterson (St. Bonaventure) served as the catalyst for Olean. He went four-for-five from the plate with two runs scored and two RBI.
“I got ahead in the count a few times, so I got my pitch to drive,” Peterson said. “It was good to have everyone all around on the offense and defensive part.”
Austin Bizzle (Alabama St) started and pitched 6.2 innings for the win. He was untouchable early, only facing one over the minimum heading into his seventh inning of work. The Panama City, Florida native allowed six runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one. Bizzle, a third-year player with Olean, is now 3-0 all time in the post-season.
“Early I was just throwing strikes and attacking them with the fastball,” Bizzle said. “There were a few long innings and I started leaving the ball up and they started hitting it.”
Both starters pitched terrific, but they each had their one bad inning that led to their demise. For the Jr. Chiefs it was Alex Meyers (Concordia) who was on the hill. Meyers had only allowed two runs heading into the sixth and kept his team right in the thick of things only down one run going into the sixth.
A Matt Scheneider (Mercyhurst) RBI double eventually chased Meyers from the game. Schneider later came around to score, and Meyers’ line finished with five and a third innings pitched. He allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out four.
Olean continued to push runners across in the sixth inning. After a two-out error it was Mark Koloszvary’s (Florida) turn at the plate. The junior catcher sent a high fly ball into right field that was lost in the lights. When the play ended, Koloszvary stood on third with two RBI. Olean led 8-1.
Had it not been for that play Brian Markowsi’s (Scranton) stat line would have looked better. The 6′ 3” junior allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits. He struck out three over two and a third innings of work.
“I think we played really well, we had one bad inning the ball got in the lights, but I think we showed we can definitely play with this team,” Markowski said. “I felt in command with all my pitches, and mixing in the changeup was the big difference for me after that first inning.”
The Jr.Chiefs sent ten batters to the dish in the bottom of the seventh. Two of the bigger hits in the inning came off Joe DeLuca (Col of St Rose) and Nick Roy’s (Nichols) bats. Each of them had an RBI triple in the inning. Roy’s triple was something special, as the ball was almost at his feet and he somehow kept his hands in enough and golfed it out to left field.
With five runs already home in the seventh, Syracuse fans quickly realized they had a chance of coming back when Webb Little (Ithaca) stepped into the batter’s box representing the winning run. Olean reliver Nathan Grant (St.Bonaventure) showed his best stuff when he needed it most and struck Little out on just four pitches to end the Jr. Chief threat. Olean led 8-6 heading into the eighth.
DeLuca ended up being the Jr. Chiefs most effective hitter finishing two-for-four with two doubles an RBI and two runs scored.
“Down 8-1 we were just trying to get something going,” the senior from Cicero, N.Y. said. “The fielder almost made a great catch in right field, but I was thankful he didn’t.”
Olean brought on closer Eddie Demurias (Florida) with two outs in the eighth. Demurias retired all four batters he faced including striking out the side in the ninth. s
“We are always locked in for nine innings, and it got a little close,” Olean coach Bobby Bell said. “But any time we have a lead we feel confident. This win is huge for us as we head back home for the series.”
Bizzle was the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the 2015 NYCBL Championship Series.
“It was very important to get runs back, I had total confidence in my team and I have had confidence all year long,” Antonio said, “If we had gotten to Bizzle earlier and gotten to the bullpen earlier it would have been better for us.”
Game two of the series is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start Sunday night from Bradner Stadium.