MANSFIELD, PA – In their tenth contest of the summer, the Olean Oilers game against the Mansfield Destroyers was postponed in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday due to darkness while tied 12-12.

The top of the Oilers lineup flew out of the gates when center fielder Dylan Vincent hit a leadoff double, followed by singles from Dominic Cecere and Jacob Victor, who drove Vincent in from third in the top half of the first.

The Oilers seemed to be very much in control of the game through the first six innings. To that point, they scored at least a run in every frame except for two and allowed only two runs building a 10-2 lead. They plated five of their runs in the fifth inning. Vincent, Victor and Frank Wayman each drove in one. The other runs came on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.

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Olean’s first four batters were a combined 9-16 at the plate and drove in six of Olean’s 12 runs. Victor had a perfect 4-4 day, and was the only player on his team to reach base four times other than catcher Michael Beimel, who was 3-5 with a walk and RBI. Beimel crossed the plate three times for the Oilers.

Oilers starter Jack Collins pitched five and a third innings and allowed two hits and two runs, of which only one was earned. His outing was good enough for the quality start.

It was the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Oilers had a 10-2 lead and Collins had been replaced along with five of the Oiler’s starters, including their entire outfield, that the Destroyers abruptly closed the gap and made their way back into the ball game. They scored seven runs on five hits, five RBIs and two Oilers errors. On the WGWE radio broadcast, Chris Russell provided a telling explanation for why such an improbable comeback would take place: “I’ve said it for three years now. In this league, no lead is safe.”

The Oilers extended their lead once again in the top of the eighth, this time scoring two runs on a Cecere single to left field, making their lead 12-9.

With a chance to put an end to the game, the Oilers gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth. With game tied 12-12, play was stopped due to a problem with lights at Mansfield’s Joseph B. Shaute Field while the Destroyers had two men in scoring position with only one out and the chance to walk it off.

“We have received official word from the NYCBL, the game has been halted due to darkness and will be resumed at a later date to be announced,” the Oilers tweeted at 9:45 p.m.

Olean has an off day Tuesday and will play their next game on Wednesday against the Cortland Crush at Gutchess Field.

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