Another beautiful day of Olean Oilers baseball was upon the residents of Olean, New York and they were ready for baseball. They saw a crazy rally by Olean native Dylan Vincent in a recent matchup against Genesee. They would later find that rally to not be enough as their fate was decided by the eighth inning. The following game was also a 9-7 win by the Hornell Dodgers. Just two nights later the two teams were face to face again. Although it was a small crowd, they were ready for a treat.
It was a short order for Olean through one frame. Then, Olean pitcher Jack Collins struck out seven straight before giving up a hit. Olean Oiler, Brandon Myers, took a ride for a single. His teammate Dylan Vincent would then follow suit with a single and this time Myers advanced two bases allowing Myers to score. Through five innings it was no longer a perfect game for Collins, but he had an impressive nine strikeouts and showed no signs of letting up.
The first batter of the sixth inning fell victim to a ground ball. The masterpiece was over as Collins loaded the bases and was replaced by Brandon Concevitch. The shutout was gone as Hornell scored. There was a force out at home. One more run would be scored before catastrophe struck. Nicholas Rivers would bring in three insurance runs in the sixth and it was 5-1 Dodgers.
Hornell registered a balk and Ryan Simmons was stranded on first base. With two on and one out, Brandon Dudley stepped into the dish to attempt to fuel up a rally. He stayed alive for a long while by getting small pieces but there was not enough fuel to start the fire for Olean.
The ninth inning could have been the turning point for the oil gang. Remember the man who stayed alive for several pitches? If you were thinking Brandon Dudley you thought right. Dudley launched a two-run bomb to make it 5-3 Hornell. The two additional runs needed to tie the game just could not be found in the gas can.
Although Olean has not found a win since they took Mansfield’s job from them, this means nothing. They destroyed Mansfield and found nothing in the last few games. This scenario is very similar to what they had last year. When all was said and done, they ended up being crowned Western Conference champions.
A majority of those key pieces are back for Brian O’Connell and company this year. Furthermore, the addition of the young pieces adds to the complexity of this team. Olean may be sitting in the backseat, but they will not be there long if last season set a precedent for them.
On the matchup of Hornell and Olean, intense competition will continue to be a theme. We saw this in a two-game series in a few short days and these are two of many matchups between the division counterparts. Both games were two-run decisions and Olean has the fuel to reverse the verdict on the scoreboard. The next bout will be June 15th in Hornell. What will the scoreboard say throughout the summer?
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