Nick Springer delivers a pitch and a big win for Oriskany!
By Ray Biggs/MHTS
Photos-Kevin Montano/MHTS-MHTS Photo Album
In their first meeting of the year on April 11, Oriskany’s Nick Springer cleared the bases with a two out, seventh inning double to give the Redskins a 5-3 win over the Marauders, giving Oriskany a divisional lead they have yet to surrender.
Springer would be a hero of a slightly different sort this time around, as his work on the mound helped Oriskany put a stranglehold on the CSC-IV over the second place Marauders by a 4-3 final.
Springer got right to work making life difficult for the Marauder order, retiring the first six hitters he faced in order and picking up four consecutive strikeouts to open play.
While Mills ace, Zach Vennaro, was able to match Springer’s opening frame with a goose egg and two strikeouts of his own, the second inning would not be as simple for the Marauder defense.
With Springer keeping the Marauders in check from the mound, he wasted no time in helping Oriskany take full advantage of the silent visiting bats.
Springer’s leadoff double in the second inning set the table for an inning where the Redskins would plate two runs on two hits, with Shawn Cassevah and Sam Martel driving in the runs for the home side.
As the two squads moved to the third inning, it was New York Mills who would wake up their bats and get on the board.
After seeing their first baserunner of the afternoon, Dalton Henry, get picked off at first base, the Marauders used good eyes at the plate to get themselves in position to score.
Luke Sunderland and Jake Vennaro worked back-to-back walks, and Mills catcher, Terry Nichols, brought home Sunderland with a two-out double into deep right field, for the first Marauder hit of the ballgame, which cut the Redskin lead to 2-1.
With some help from the Oriskany defense, Mills tied it up in the top of the fourth. Brandon Ross led off the half inning by reaching on a throwing error, and moved to second as a result of the throw.
Two batters later, Ross crossed the dish on a passed ball to tie things up at two all (2-2).
For Oriskany, Springer didn’t seem bothered by the defensive lapses and neither did his teammates.
The Redskins continued to be quite a force at the plate, this time with a bit of small ball.
Craig Whittaker and Shamis Lasher led off the frame with back to back singles, before Cassevah sacrificed both runners over to third with a bunt.
With two men in scoring position, it was up to Martel to yet again deliver the mail, and deliver he did. After a marathon at-bat against Vennaro, Martel ripped a payoff pitch single up the middle for his second and third RBI of the day, to give Oriskany a 4-2 lead.
With a total of six runs on the board, both starting pitchers settled in nicely through innings five and six.
Vennaro pitched back to back scoreless innings and struck out four Oriskany hitters over that span, while Springer responded with five more strikeouts of his own to close out his afternoon with a terrific fourteen strikeouts. He also surrendered just two runs on just three hits on the afternoon.
With the seventh inning at hand and a 4-2 deficit on the board, New York Mills had their work cut out for them.
Kyle Liddy took the mound to close out the game for Oriskany, and started off well by fanning Sunderland to get the first out.
The Marauders would not fail to make the final two outs an exciting roller coaster ride.
Jake Vennaro worked a walk to start the half, only to be sent back to the bench on a 1-6 fielder’s choice that got Mike Copperwheat onto first base.
With a runner on and the tying run at the plate, Copperwheat advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nichols then was able to cash in for the second time on the afternoon, as he singled to left to pick up the RBI and cut the Oriskany lead to just one.
That is where the rally would end for Mills, as Liddy made a tenacious play, you’d have to see it to believe it, to finish off the Marauders.
With two outs, Vennaro smashed an absolute howitzer back to Liddy, hitting him square on his exposed throwing hand.
At the plate, Oriskany was led by Martel, who would have been a close second for Player of the Game with two hits and three RBI. Whittaker added a hit and two runs scored for the Redskins.
Meanwhile, Nichols led all New York Mills performers with two RBI on two hits. Vennaro pitched a complete game for Mills in a losing effort, surrendering four runs on six hits and striking out nine.
Oriskany improves to 11-3 overall and strengthens their grip on the CSC IV by moving to 6-1. New York Mills drops to 7-5, and a 3-2 mark in league play. Both Marauder league losses have come by way of Oriskany.
Oriskany 5 New York Mills 3
Mills 001 100 1 3R 4H 1E
Oriskany 020 200 X 4R 8H 2E