Poland – Poland and Oriskany entered Monday’s league contest with almost identical records and ended the first inning with identical scores. From there the visitors took control of the Center State Conference baseball match-up and posted a 16-2 victory.
Coach Tom Meiss’ team scored twice in the top of the first inning as Ryan Enos, Kyle Liddy, Tyler Murfit and Shawn Cassaveh had singles. Oriskany figured to be favored in the matchup being the defending sectional champ, but Coach Greg Cuthbertson’s Tornadoes struck back for two runs in the bottom of the inning and were poised to score more. Patrick Mahoney’s sharp drive to right was misplayed to lead off the inning and Jordan LaSalle followed with a walk. Cameron tabor was then hit by a pitch to set up Cameron Loomis’ RBI hit in the 5-6 hole. Shawn Case knotted the score with an RBI fielder’s choice and John Zuchowski stepped to the plate with two runners in scoring position.
Oriskany starting pitcher Dean Mealey then induced a 1-6-3 double play, with Enos making the turn at shortstop, to regain the momentum for the visitors.
Mealey then led off the top of the second with a drive to center field that was misplayed on the warm, sunny and breezy day. He scored later on a wild pitch.
Mealey shut down the hosts in the second then had an RBI groundout to help his cause in the top of the third. Two errors hurt Poland in the field as did Cassaveh’s single to right, and suddenly it was 6-2. Oriskany broke the game open in the top of the fourth with 10 runs. Shamis Lasher doubled to start the rally and added an RBI triple later. Murfit added a double and John lacy tripled for the biggest hits. Mealey had a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up his day’s work on the mound then Ethan Suarez relieved and held Poland in scoreless the rest of the way.
“I thought we responded really well, especially later on,” Meiss said of his team’s play after Poland tied the game. “It was the same as the West Canada game. We’ve got to get off to a better start.”
Lasher did not get off to a good start as he struck out against losing pitcher Jordan LaSalle in the game’s second at bat. But he rallied single, double, triple and drive in a run to pace the 17-hit attack. Cassaveh also had three hits and two RBIs and winning pitcher Mealey, Kyle Liddy and Murfit had two hits apiece.
“Shamis, Tyler, and Shawn have been solid all four games so far,” Meiss said. “We hope it continues.”
Things look good for the two-time defending Section III champs if they keep playing like they did in the April 18 battle at Poland.
Oriskany 213 (10)00 0 16-17-1
Poland 200 000 0 2-3-4
Mealey (W), Suarez (5); Jordan LaSalle (L), Joe Grimaldi (4), Tanner Allen (5).
2B: Lasher (O).
3B: Lasher (O), Lacy (O)
Records: Oriskany 3-1, Poland 3-2.