Niagara Gazette — staff reports
The Niagara Power lost a pair of 2-1 decisions to the Olean Oilers in a road doubleheader Monday.
In the seven-inning opener, Niagara’s Micah Mabe (0-2) tossed a six-inning three-hitter, striking out four and walking none. Unfortunately for him, each of the three hits came in the third inning, when the Oilers put two runs on the board, which was enough for starter Nick Donofry (3-0).
Donofry gave up three hits in five innings, but threw two consecutive balls to Niagara’s Bobby Twitty to start the second. He was pulled with a 2-0 count, and reliever Kyle McClain walked Twitty three pitches later. Foley George hit a one-out single, sending Twitty to second, and Alex Lagos followed with an RBI single, with Twitty’s run charged to Donofry.
With runners on first and second with one out, Johnny Craig and Cody Pentecost both popped out, ending the threat. Perry Rigby and Twitty each singled in the seventh, but McClain was able to escape with the save.
In the second game, the teams matched each other until the 13th inning.
Pentecost hit a one-out single in the third, and advance to second when Cameron Wilkie’s grounder was misplayed by Olean first baseman Joe Chittester. Twitting singled to load the bases, and Buddy McCoy hit a fly ball to the outfield to score Pentecost on the sacrifice.
The Oilers matched the run in the bottom of the inning, when Niagara starter Luke Heller hit Olean’s Lee Grosscup with one out and the bases loaded, scoring Austin Johnson. Heller recovered, though, striking out the next two batters to get out of the jam.
Heller tossed nine innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight. Sam Whim (0-1) relieved him in the 10th and gave up just one hit to the first 13 batters he faced.
With two outs in the bottom of the 13th, Grosscup doubled, and Olean catcher Mike Fahrman followed with a walk-off single for the win.
Olean starter Bill Brancatella (West Seneca/Erie CC) gave up only three hits, but lasted just four innings. He was replaced by Derek Vail (4-1), who tossed nine innings of three-hit ball for the win.
With the losses, the Power fell to 9-11, seventh in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Olean improves to 14-6, good for the league lead.
The two teams meet again at 5 p.m. today in Olean.