OLEAN, NY - Opening weekend for the Olean Oilers has not gone exactly how fans of the ball club would have planned.
After falling 7-4 to an offense-heavy Hornell team on Friday, Olean dropped its second in as many days on Saturday night, losing to the Wellsville Nitros, 8-6, after a long 3 hours and 22 minutes of play.
Although the season is in early stages, it is a sharp contrast with last summer when the Oilers won 24 of their first 25 games on their way to a second consecutive New York Collegiate Baseball League title.
With a new coaching staff and a bunch of new faces, it may take a while for this team to find its groove; comparing them to a team which had a potential six or seven future MLB draft picks is not a fair comparison.
Outfielder and second year player Jimmy Webb made it clear that the team is "very careful" not to mention last year’s season at all around new manager Jay Weitzel, who has joked about fining his players a dollar every time they bring up last year’s team.
“It’s never going to be like last year; that’s a freak team," Weitzel told Shawn Campbell of the Olean Times Herald.
As for the slow start, Webb said the mood hasn't changed from three days ago when the team’s record was 0-0.
"The team is still very upbeat. We know we are good, and we all have confidence in each other so it's just a matter of time before it clicks," the Lock Haven University junior said.
Although the Oilers have yet to win their first game of the 2017 season, Weitzel has urged his players to just "trust the process and keep their heads up."
In its first two games, the Oilers lineup has combined for just 10 total hits while striking out 25 times. With Oilers’ pitchers giving up 18 hits and 15 runs, it has not been much of a formula for success.
The Oilers will travel to Rochester Sunday for a chance to pick their first win of the season in a 5 p.m. contest against the Ridgemen.