In the game of baseball, sometimes one inning can be the difference. The Oneonta Redskins found out the hard way last Friday night against the Deshler Tigers.
Actually, the Tigers used two big innings – a nine-run third in the first game and a six-run first in the second game – to finally end the season for an Oneonta team that had rolled through the schedule up until last week’s quarterfinal series. Deshler 11, Oneonta 3
Redskin starter Matt Hellums made it through the Deshler batting order the first time around but the second time proved to be a different story.
Hellums pitched around a leadoff double and a walk in the first inning by getting a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball from the heart of the Deshler lineup.
Oneonta got on the board in the second inning. Travis Sims drilled a one-out double to the gap in rightcenter and Jake Thomas followed with a bouncing ball for a fielder’s choice that turned into a throwing error at third to allow Sims to trot home for the first run of the game.
Hellums quickly retired the first two batters in the third inning but then the Tigers went to work. Deshler got a two-out walk followed by an error and a hit batter to load the bases. Freshman shortstop Justin Cantrell delivered a two-run single and he was followed by another walk and hit batter and a two-run single by sophomore Chapman Porter – the No. 9 hitter in the lineup.
Porter’s hit ended the day for Hellums but reliever Austin Dickie was touched for a pair of singles and a double before finally getting the last out.
In the inning, Deshler sent 14 men to the plate and scored nine runs – all with two out.
Oneonta got a run back in the fourth inning when Hellums reached on a leadoff single and scored on a flyball to center by Sims but Deshler answered with a run in the fifth and another in the seventh.
The Redskins got another run in the seventh but Deshler starter Adam Polk finished off the Redskins for the 11-3 win.
Polk gave the Tigers just what the needed with his complete game. He wasn’t dominant – surrendering eight hits – but repeatedly kept the home team out of the big inning with eight strikeouts.
Oneonta was led offensively, by Cory Glasscock (2 for 4, two doubles) and Hellums (2 for 4, run). Sims was 1 for 2 with a double, an RBI, and a run.
Hellums (8-1) took the loss by allowing seven runs on four hits with four walks and two hit batters. He struck out three in 2.2 innings. Deshler 9, Oneonta 0
Oneonta’s Cory Glasscock started off the second game with a double but never got past third base as the heart of the Redskins lineup went strikeout, lineout, bounceout.
Walk, hit batter, double, home run, single, single. That’s how the Tigers started the second game against Oneonta’s Travis Sims. Sims gave up two more hits in the inning before recording two strikeouts to finally escape further damage but the Tigers were staked to a 6-0 lead.
Oneonta continued to have chances against Deshler’s Collin Willis but couldn’t capitalize. The Redskins left five runners on through the first three innings and the third inning summed up the night for the Redskins.
Cory Glasscock led off the inning with a double and one out later back-to-back walks loaded the bases. However, the next batter bounced into an inning-ending double play and Oneonta never recovered.
Deshler added a single run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. Only a strikeout of Deshler cleanup hitter Evan Fergerson by Redskin reliever Wes Gillespie with two on in the fifth prevented the Tigers from winning via the 10-run mercy rule.
Trailing 9-0, Willis continued to pitch around trouble over the final two innings and Oneonta stranded runners on second and third in the sixth and seventh.
Willis did the job for the Tigers. The junior right-hander gave up five hits, walked three, and hit a batter but struck out seven. Five of his seven strikeouts came when Oneonta had runners in scoring position.
Sims took the loss for Oneonta but pitched well after the first inning. Like Hellums, Sims fell to 8-1 on the year.
Glasscock was almost a one-man show on offense for Oneonta and finished 3 for 4 with three doubles. Jake Thomas added a double and Sims chipped in a single.
Oneonta ended the season with a record of 22-5 while Deshler improved to 32-7 and will visit Alexandria in this week’s semifinals.