Olean Oilers look back at championship


The countdown to baseball spring training has begun, but the Olean Oilers still have fond memories of the 2015 season when the team won its first New York College Baseball League (NYCBL) championship in franchise history.

“That was one amazing thing I will never forget,” Oilers’ shortstop Cole Peterson said.  “I had great teammates that will now serve as long-time friends.”

Despite streaking through the playoffs and sweeping the Oneonta Outlaws in the NYCBL Championship Series, the Oilers were far from favorites to even make the playoffs.

Sign Up for E-News

Olean had to win eight of their final 10 to finish the year 26-20 and squeeze into the playoffs with the third seed.

”I told the guys that once we made the playoffs anything can happen,” Oilers coach Bobby Bell, who has been with the team since its inception in 2012, said. “I said that if we played the game right everything would come together.”

Of their 46-game schedule, a league-record 20 of them were one-run games.  Although they only went 10-10 in those matchups, the Oilers felt those games helped the team.

“It made us a tougher team going into crunch time,” Peterson said.  “My biggest impact from this season is to never quit on any play.”

Paul Gotham, the NYCBL director of communications and media, saw the frequent close-games as evidence of the league’s competitive balance.

“Nine of 13 NYCBL teams finished the season with a winning record,” Gotham said.  “That is a testament to the work of everyone in the league.”

Another key contributor to the Oilers’ success was attendance.

According to the NYCBL’s website, over 7,000 people walked into Bradner Stadium to see the Oilers play during the regular season.  Averaging just over 350 fans per game, Olean finished second in the league in attendance.  In their four postseason home games, 5,225 fans flocked to the ballpark, including 2,525 in the final championship game.

“Oilers fans are connected with their team. They are rabid,” Gotham said.  “Owners Brian and Renee O’Connell along with Bobby Bell and Sean O’Connell have done the heavy lifting to create a connection with the people of the city.

“The excitement inside Bradner Stadium is palpable,” Gotham added.

Bell, an Olean native himself, commented, “It was great being able to win in front of the fans. They showed up to see us and we put on a show.”

At the beginning of the NYCBL offseason, when season awards were handed out, the upstart Oilers did not walk home empty handed.

Peterson was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Bell took home his first Coach of the Year award.

“You know what, it’s awesome,” Bell said after being notified that he won the award. “I love it that my name has the title.”

Bubba Hollins finished second in the Player of the Year voting, while Brandon Schlimm took fifth place on the Pitcher of the Year ballot.  Nate Grant also earned a first-place vote for Reliever of the Year.

“The defense was awesome all season,” Schlimm said during the championship season.  “I always threw strikes because I knew my defense was there to pick me up.”

“The main focus of the summer was to get the guys extra reps, but we will take a title,” Bell said.  “I still get chills just thinking about it.”

# # #

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 16, 11:30 AM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile


Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Ladies Social Hour

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

OleanPublic Library, Olean

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile


Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

July 15, 2018

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...