Niagara Gazette — NIAGARA FALLS — One thing you'll learn by attending Niagara Power games this season, no lead big or small is ever a safe one.
The Niagara Power surged for seven runs in the third inning and held an 8-2 lead early, but the Olean Oilers countered with three late inning bursts that wiped out the Power's lead and sent the visitors on to a 14-9 win over Niagara at Sal Maglie Stadium in New York Collegiate Baseball League action Thursday night.
The first inning featured more batters being hit than getting hits. Travis Laitar, getting his first start of the season for the Power after spending the bulk of the season working in relief roles, hit two of the first three batters he faced. Niagara got out of the situation by forcing second batter Austin Johnson to pop out, catching leadoff hitter Tim Ravel trying to steal second and striking out Joe Chittester.
In the bottom of the first, Power outfielder Scott Gillespie was also hit by a pitch by Olean's starting pitcher, Blair Lakso. It was the only way Niagara could get on base in the inning, as Johnny Blue Craig struck out, Perry Rigby popped out and Buddy McCoy was put out at first.
In all, seven batters were hit by pitches before the game was done.
Both teams got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Olean's first batter in the second, Mike Fahrman, singled to get on base and scored later on Casey Gibson's single. The Power tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second when Jimmy Landes got aboard and was late brought home off Alex Lagos' base hit.
In the top of the third inning, the Oilers' Austin Johnson hit a ball that landed in front of Niagara left fielder Cameron Wilkie and took an odd hop, getting past Wilkie and allowing Johnson to sprint all the way to third. Lee Grosscup's base hit then allowed Johnson to come home with the go-ahead run.