Flames Win Game 1 – Lead Playoff Series 1-0

Olean, NY July 28, 2018: The Onondaga Flames (31-14) bested the Olean Oilers (28-18) 7-3 last night at Bradner Stadium to grab a 1-0 lead in the best of three playoff series for the NYCBL League Championship. The second game will be played today at Onondaga CC Baseball Complex at 3:00 PM and the third game, if necessary, at 7:00 PM.

The Flames got another stellar pitching performance from Gunnar Groen (Pepperdine University) who scattered 6 hits over 7 2/3 innings holding the Oilers to three runs on his way to his fifth win of the season. The 6’5″ freshman right-hander needed only 106 pitches, 2/3 of them strikes, to keep Olean in check. 

The Flames jumped out to an early lead when Mike Steffan (Canisius College) smashed a solo home run over the left-center field fence. They added two more runs in the top of the third when McClain O’Connor (UC Santa Barbara) singled and scored on a single by A.J. DiFillipo (Columbia University) and a throwing error by the right-fielder. Steffan then singled DiFillipo home to make the score 3-0.

Olean answered with a solo run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Kevin Higgins (St Bonaventure University), scoring Cam Lane (University of Miami) who reached base with a single and advanced to second when Cale Hollins (Canisius College) walked.

The Flames broke the game open in the fifth inning when Collin Mathews (Kent State University) singled to open the inning and was followed by a single by Staffan (his third hit of the night). The Flames loaded the bases with no outs when Trace Peterson (Lake Erie College) was hit by a pitch. Mike Netzel (Occidental College) blasted a two-run double to score Mathews and Steffan, advancing DiFillipo to third. DiFillipo came home on a fielder’s choice by Jake Zurat (Canisius College) as Netzel moved to third and then scored on an error by the shortstop. The inning ended with the score 7-1 Flames.

The Oilers scored again in the bottom of the eighth with a two out rally. Back-to-back singles by Higgins and Dominic Cecere (Mercyhurst College), set the table for a bases clearing double by pinch hitter Niall Doherty (George Washington University) off of reliever Chris Burnette (Cal Poly Pomona) to cut the lead to 7-3.

In the ninth inning, Burnette, after giving up a double to Lane, retired the side to earn the save in a 7-3 Flames victory.

Box Score

Game Date: 07/27/2018
Onondaga Flames  7 AT Olean Oilers  3
Onondaga 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 - 7 13 1 
Olean    0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 3  8 2
                                 YTD                                   YTD
Onondaga           AB  R  H BI   AVG  Olean              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Chernow, J CF       5  0  1  0  .286  Tagoe, B LF         5  0  0  0  .071
OConnor, M SS       5  1  1  0  .308  Webb, J 1B          5  1  0  0  .294
 Ruggerio, M SS     0  0  0  0  .000  Hollins, C RF       3  0  1  0  .412
DiFillipo, A 3B     5  1  1  0  .200  Higgins, K SS       3  1  2  1  .375
Mathews, C LF       4  1  2  0  .462  Cecere, D 2B        4  1  1  0  .231
 Paxton, C 1B,PH    0  0  0  0  .000  Flicker, B 3B       3  0  0  0  .200
Steffan, M 1B,LF    5  2  3  2  .333   Doherty, N 3B,PH   1  0  1  2  .500
 Gordon, A LF       0  0  0  0  .333  Simmons, R DH       3  0  1  0  .143
Peterson, T C       2  1  0  0  .200   Phillips, T DH,PR  0  0  0  0  .000
Netzel, M RF        5  1  2  2  .250   Mooney, K DH       1  0  0  0  .500
Zurat, J DH         5  0  1  1  .200  Beimel, M C         4  0  0  0  .333
Hart, B 2B          5  0  2  0  .286  Lane, K CF          3  0  2  0  .385
                   41  7 13  5                           35  3  8  3

2B--Mathews, C LF (4), Netzel, M RF (1), Hart, B 2B (2), Doherty, N 3B,PH
(1), Lane, K CF (1). HR--Steffan, M 1B,LF (1). RBI--Steffan, M 1B,LF  2
(3), Netzel, M RF  2 (2), Zurat, J DH (1), TOTALS  5 (0), Higgins, K SS
(7), Doherty, N 3B,PH  2 (2), TOTALS  3 (0). HP--Peterson, T C (1).
SB--Hart, B 2B (1). E--Steffan, M 1B,LF (1), Hollins, C RF (1), Higgins, K
SS (1). 
LOB--Onondaga 11, Olean 8. 
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 Onondaga
Groen, G (W,1-0)                7.2   6   3   3   3   2   0    3.52
Burnette, C                     1.1   2   0   0   0   0   0    0.00
                                9     8   3   3   3   2   0
 Olean
Warner, K (L,0-1)               2.2   5   3   2   2   1   1    6.75
Holt, N                         6.1   8   4   4   1   3   0    4.32
                                9    13   7   6   3   4   1
PB--Peterson, T. HB--Holt, N (1). SO--Chernow, J, Peterson, T, Zurat, J,
Hart, B, Tagoe, B, Webb, J. BB--Paxton, C, Peterson, T 2, Hollins, C,
Higgins, K, Lane, K. BF--Groen, G 32 (32), Burnette, C 6 (6), Warner, K 15
(15), Holt, N 30 (38). P-S--Groen, G 106-70, Burnette, C 23-15, Warner, K
73-43, Holt, N 104-71. 
T--3:00.  A--782

Weather: 79 degrees/partly sunny