Casey Ryder and Nicholas Winograd, Staff Writer and Contributing Writer |
This past Saturday, Apr. 16, the Oneonta Red Dragons were defeated by the Oswego Lakers 8-6 in an extra-inning thriller.
Starting on the mound for the Red Dragons was freshman Kyle Roper while Anthony Van Fossen took the rubber for Oswego. In the early stages, the game was a pitcher’s duel between the two. Roper only gave up one hit in the first three innings, while Van Fossen retired all six batters he faced in the first two innings.
However, in the bottom of the third inning, Oneonta scored first. Anthony Foglia got the Red Dragons started off with a single to right field. After advancing to second off a sacrifice bunt, Foglia was brought home by a Nate Frasca double to left field to put Oneonta up 1-0. Following a Jake Barrett strikeout, Oneonta doubled their lead when Michael Sabatine hit a single to shortstop. Following an error by the shortstop, Frasca made it home while Sabatine advanced to second. On the next at-bat, Sabatine advanced to third on a wild pitch and Liam Kaseta walked to put runners on the corners. Following that, designated hitter Anthony Gonzalez stepped up to the plate and hit a single to left field to bring home Sabatine and put Oneonta up by three.
The Oswego Lakers started to mount a comeback in the next inning. After a pair of flyouts at the start, Ryan Weiss homered to left field to cut the lead to two. After Weiss’s contribution, Oswego rallied with two outs and managed to load the bases. With the bases loaded and Greg Carullo up at bat, Roper threw a wild pitch and Tishawn Featherstone made it home from third to cut Oneonta’s lead to one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Oneonta picked up a couple of insurance runs. After Jake Barrett got on base off a fielder’s choice which saw Nate Frasca thrown out at second, Liam Kaseta homered to left field and put Oneonta up 5-2.
Red Dragon starting pitcher Kyle Roper struck out the side in the sixth and kept up his stellar start, quieting the Laker bats for a few innings. After nothing came of a Nate Guillen single to start the bottom of the seventh, the Lakers’ big first baseman sent another ball flying out to left in the ensuing inning, and it was quickly 5-3. Roper got the first two Oswego hitters out to start the ninth, but his mistake was losing pinch hitter Jacob Levine to a walk, bringing up the top of the Laker lineup, which meant Paul Tammaro. After a wild pitch allowed pinch-runner Brett Myers to advance into scoring position, the Lakers shortstop lined a ball into right-center field, bringing Myers around to score and cutting the lead to one run.
The two-out rally didn’t end there either, as Tammaro scored to tie the game on an error made in the field by the Red Dragons. Kyle Roper’s day was done, finishing with all nine innings pitched, giving up six hits, four earned runs, walking three, and striking out six. The freshman threw 138 total pitches on the day and got a no-decision, leaving the game tied 5-5. The Red Dragons were unable to score the potential winning run in the bottom of the inning. Oswego left fielder Lukas Olsson singled, followed up by Weiss’s third hit of the game, bringing up the DH Featherstone with two runners on base and no outs for what would be the turning point of the game. As the runners on first and third took their leads, Featherstone wasn’t looking to play small ball, as he drilled a pitch over the fence in left-center field for a three-run homer and the Lakers’ third home run of the game.
As Oswego took an 8-5 lead, the Red Dragons still had an inning to rally. Michael Sabatine got it off to a positive start, singling up the middle and advancing to third before Anthony Gonzalez grounded out to second, scoring the sixth Red Dragon run of the game. The late-game heroics were not to be for Oneonta however, as senior Connor Vandreason was able to strike out Sean Liquori, ending Oneonta’s comeback and winning the game 8-6.