HOUGHTON, NY - In a doubleheader that went through the night, the Olean Oilers split two games with the Rome Generals at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex Friday. Game 1 started at 10 p.m. and Game 2 ended at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. (I, your humble narrator, am studying abroad with St. Bonaventure University’s Francis E. Kelley Oxford Program. The Oilers started playing before I went to sleep, and they were still playing when I woke up.)
Game 1 of the two-game set was a low-scoring contest, consisting of one run and three hits. The Oilers won that game 1-0 and were outhit 2-1. Their lone run came on a sacrifice fly from first baseman Noah Weiner that scored the DH and normal everyday right fielder Jacob Victor.
Rising St. Bonaventure senior Murphy O’Brien enjoyed an outstanding outing in which he pitched a complete game (seven innings), allowing no earned runs, two hits and two walks while striking out a staggering 14 Generals batters. He did not allow a hit until the seventh and final inning, in what was almost a perfect outing for the right-hander. O’Brien is now tied for first in the league in total strikeouts (45) and wins on the mound (five) as the league approaches the end of the regular season.
The Oilers were less fortunate in Game 2 of the late-night doubleheader. They lost 7-6 and once again let the game slip away in the last inning(s) of the game, something they have made a habit of doing in their last several contests.
The Oilers put plenty of pressure on Rome by putting players on base and in scoring position consistently. Three of their runs came on RBIs from third baseman Mason Nadolney (two) and catcher Michael Beimel (one). The rest came as a result of defensive errors and wild pitches from the Rome Generals.
The Generals, however, were able to regroup in the top of the seventh and final inning, as they were able to push across four runs to come from behind and win the game. The Oilers had a chance to come back and walk off in the bottom half of the inning, but they did not. Andrew Elock and Ryan Lutinski were the Generals responsible for driving in the late runs in a losing effort from the Oilers.
The Oilers face the Mansfield Destroyers at home Saturday at 6 p.m. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Destroyers or with losses from both the Hornell Dodgers and the Genesee Rapids.
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