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2007 Oneonta Daily Star Articles

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O-Tigers beat themselves

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Russell Dixon jump-started the struggling Tri-City ValleyCats at Damaschke Field on Sunday night.

Dixon went 2-for-3, including a triple and three RBIs, to lead Tri-City to a 6-3 victory over the Oneonta Tigers in front of 1,003 fans. It was the first victory this season for the ValleyCats (1-5), who dropped Oneonta to 3-3.6-25-20070624_otigers1.tif0.jpg

Star photo by P.J. Harmer Oneonta Tigers relief pitcher Collin Mahoney follows through with a pitch during the sixth inning of Sunday’s New York-Penn League game against Tri-City. Mahoney pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, but the O-Tigers fell to the ValleyCats, 6-3.

"We just did things OK tonight and that’s not good enough," first-year Oneonta manager Andy Barkett said. "We’re going to keep working. I don’t like losing. You can lose and you can get beat. Tonight we lost. I don’t mind getting beat, that happens. ... We should have won that game tonight."

Tri-City also committed four errors _ one each in the first, second, third and fifth innings. The Tigers only scored in the second inning.

"We didn’t take advantage tonight," Barkett said. "They made four errors and we let them off the hook. ... And pitching-wise, we gave them too many chances."

The Tigers start a four-game road trip at 7:05 tonight. Paul Nardozzi (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start for the O-Tigers, who start a three-game set at Vermont tonight before visiting Tri-City on Thursday. Oneonta returns home for a 7 p.m. game against Tri-City on Friday.

Dixon seemed to take advantage every time he stepped to the plate Sunday.

His two-out, two-run triple in the first got things rolling for Tri-City. He also contributed a sacrifice fly to deep left in the second and had a sharp single and scored in the sixth. Even his lone out was a solid hit _ one that required Oneonta right-fielder Orlando Rodriguez to make a diving grab in the seventh.

"I really was trying to drive runs in," said Dixon, Houston’s seventh-round draft pick out of Auburn. "By keeping it on a team-oriented goal, I allowed myself to drive the ball. ... I got comfortable tonight. They seemed to be trying to establish the fastball early and I told myself if I got a fastball early, I wanted to drive it."

The Tigers never tied the score as the ValleyCats sustained its early momentum.

Matt Cusick led off the game with a walk against Oneonta starter Alfredo Figaro. After Cat Everett flew out to left, Figaro gave up a single to Collin DeLome. Figaro looked to have gotten out of the inning when he got Charlie Gamble to bounce a grounder to second baseman Kody Kaiser, who flipped to shortstop Jorge Patino to get DeLome. However, DeLome’s slide broke up the double play as Patino held onto the ball, allowing Gamble to reach first.

Dixon followed with a triple to the left-center gap, scoring DeLome and Gamble for a 2-0 lead. Travis Sweet then singled on a bunt up the third-base line, scoring Dixon to make it 3-0. Figaro got out of the inning when he struck out Kevin Carkeek looking.

"We’ve been playing from behind a lot, so to jump out early helped our confidence," Dixon said. "We’ve outhit a lot of teams, but haven’t put it together. It finally came together for us."

The opposite held true for Oneonta throughout.

Chris Carlson doubled and Casper Wells singled to lead off the second inning, putting runners on first and third. Orlando Rodriguez then bounced one to shortstop for a fielder’s choice that scored Carlson but forced out Wells at second. Rodriguez then stole second and scored when Jorge Patino singled off third baseman Gamble into the outfield. Gamble’s throw to the plate was late, but catcher Carkeek threw out Patino at second for the final out.

Dixon’s sacrifice fly gave the ValleyCats a 4-2 lead in the third, but Oneonta again cut it to one in the fourth.

Ronnie Bourquin (2-for-4) led off with a single to left and moved to second when Carlson grounded out to third. Wells then grounded a ball down the third-base line, and Tri-City pitcher Colt Adams scooped the ball and threw to first for the out. Bourquin moved to third on the play and scored when Rodriguez singled up the middle.

Tri-City got the final runs in the sixth. Dixon led off with a single up the middle and stole second. After Sweet popped out to second, Carkeek hit a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer and a 6-3 lead.

"We got some big hits tonight and the two-run homer took some pressure off," Tri-City manager Pete Rancont said. "Hopefully we can play more relaxed. It feels good to get the first one."

Wells and Bourquin had two hits apiece to lead the O-Tigers.

"I’ve been searching for my approach early on," Wells said. "I tried to stay with it more. I’ve felt anxious. I tried to trust myself and felt good. ... When our hitting comes, that’s when it will come together. It hasn’t clicked yet. We’ll be a team to beat. We’re pretty solid."

Figaro (0-2) took the loss for Oneonta, allowing six runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one. Collin Mahoney, Rudy Darrow and Adriano Santos combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless baseball to close the game. Everett’s single off Mahoney in the seventh was the only Tri-City hit against the trio of relievers.

"We have to play better baseball," Barkett said. "If you want to be a .500 team, you play like this. If you want to be a championship team, you play better."

NOTES: Oneonta got a left-handed addition to the pitching staff when Detroit sent Paul Hammond to the team. Hammond, who was drafted in the 35th round last year, spent time with the GCL Tigers, Lakeland and West Michigan. He was 2-1 with a 5.12 era in 23 games with Lakeland this season. He pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball against Tri-City on Saturday. ... The ValleyCats’ bus was 35 minutes late Sunday to bring the team to Oneonta, forcing Tri-City to miss taking batting practice for the first time this year. Rancont said that might have helped. "It’s funny how this game works," he said. "It may have helped them relax a little because we swung the bats better tonight than we have all year."


P.J. Harmer can be reached at pharmer@thedailystar.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 229.

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O-Tigers fall at Vermont

Staff Report

Kody Kaiser and Ronnie Bourquin had three hits apiece Monday, but the Oneonta Tigers lost, 5-3, at Vermont in a New York-Penn League game.

Oneonta (3-4) has lost two straight and is in third in the Stedler Division behind division-leading Vermont and Lowell, who are 5-2.

The Tigers and Lake Monsters play the second of a three-game set at 7:05 tonight. Sendy Vasquez (0-1, 18.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for Oneonta.

Vermont snapped a 2-all tie in the fifth inning when Jake Rogers homered to left to lead off against losing pitcher Jose Fragoso (1-1). Paul Nardozzi worked the first four innings for the O-Tigers, allowing two runs on four hits over four innings. Nardozzi struck out three.

Fragoso went three innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts. Rudy Darrow pitched the eighth, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out one.

Winning pitcher Hassan Pena pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and Alberto Tavarez pitched the ninth, allowing one run on two hits, to earn his second save.

Craig Stinson’s two-run single with one out in the eighth inning gave Vermont a 5-2 lead.

Oneonta loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but scored once.

Orlando Rodriguez walked against Tavarez and Chris White singled to right, moving Rodriguez to third. After Kaiser struck out, Mike Sullivan walked to load the bases. Following a Devin Thomas strikeout, Bourquin reached on an infield hit to shortstop, scoring Rodriguez, and leaving the bases loaded. But Tavarez got Chris Carlson to pop out to second to end it. Click to visit their website

The O-Tigers opened the scoring in the first. Kaiser singled and moved to second on Sullivan’s sacrifice bunt. Thomas then singled to right, scoring Kaiser for a 1-0 lead.

Vermont took the lead in the second on Rogers two-run single with two outs for a 2-1 lead.

Oneonta tied it in the fifth. With two outs, Kaiser doubled and scored when Sullivan reached on an error by second baseman Rogers


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O-Tigers ride HRs in 4-2 win

Staff Report

Devon Thomas’ two-run homer with none out in the seventh inning Tuesday gave the Oneonta Tigers the lead for good in a 4-2 New York-Penn League victory over the host Vermont Lake Monsters in front of 2,212 fans.

Third baseman Cory Middleton opened the O-Tigers’ at-bats in the seventh with an infield single to shortstop off reliever Buzz Vargas (0-1), who replaced Vermont starter Glenn Gibson at the beginning of the inning. Vargas blew his save opportunity when designated hitter Thomas homered to right-center field for a 3-2 lead.

Thomas was one of two O-Tigers to earn his first NY-Penn homer Tuesday as Chris Carlson did the same in the sixth. Gibson got the first two outs of the sixth before yielding Carlson’s homer to left-center, which tied the score at 1.

Vermont took a 1-0 lead in the fifth, when Mark Gildea lined a two-out single to center off Oneonta starter Sendy Vasquez (1-1) that scored Anthony Benner from second. The Lake Monsters (5-3) responded to Carlson’s sixth-inning homer with a run in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Bass doubled to right off Vasquez to score Bill Rhinehart from second for a 2-1 Vermont lead.

Following Thomas’ go-ahead homer, the Tigers (4-4) capped the scoring in the eighth. With runners at first and second and two out, Middleton singled to right to score Justin Henry for the final margin.

Vasquez struck out eight, walked two and allowed six hits and one earned run in six innings for the Tigers, who received five strikeouts in two innings of hitless relief from Erik Crichton. Noah Krol followed with a hitless ninth, striking out two to earn his third save this season.

Carlson and Middleton had two hits apiece to pace Oneonta, which pulled within one game of Stedler Division leaders Lowell and Vermont. The Spinners also dropped to 5-3 Tuesday, with a 10-5 setback at the Tri-City ValleyCats (2-6).

Oneonta completes its three-game series at Vermont at 7:05 tonight, then visits Tri-City on Thursday. The O-Tigers host the ValleyCats at 7 p.m. Friday before traveling to Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game Saturday


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Rodriguez homers in O-Tigers’ 6-2 win

Staff Report

Orlando Rodriguez hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning Wednesday as the Oneonta Tigers earned a 6-2 victory over the host Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York-Penn League.

Rodriguez’s homer snapped a 1-all tie. With one out, Cory Middleton was hit by a pitch and took second on a wild pitch by Garrett Bass. Casper Wells then walked to put runners on first and second.

Rodriguez pinch-hit for Kyle Peter (0-for-2) and drove a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall for a 4-1 Oneonta lead.

The O-Tigers (5-4) pulled into a tie for second place with Vermont in the Stedler Division. Lowell leads the division by a half-game following a rainout at Tri-City.

Oneonta, which took two of three from Vermont, visits Tri-City at 7 tonight. Guillermo Moscoso (0-0, 3.86 ERA) is slated to pitch for the Tigers. Tri-City then travels to Oneonta at 7 p.m. Friday before the two teams finish a home-and-home series at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tri-City.

Collin Mahoney (1-0) blew the save but earned the victory. Mahoney walked three, struck out one and allowed a run on one hit over 1 1/3 innings. Jose Fragoso yielded one hit over the final 1 1/3 innings for the save. He struck out one and walked one.

Starter Mark Brackman allowed five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out three. Adriano Santos followed with 1 2/3 innings, giving up one run on one hit. He struck out two and walked one.

Oneonta snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth. Devin Thomas walked to lead off and stole second. After Cory Middleton (3-for-4) struck out, Casper Wells singled to center to put runners at the corners. Kyle Peters then grounded to third, scoring Thomas for a 1-0 lead. Wells was out at second on the play, but Peters beat the ensuing throw to first.

Vermont tied it in the bottom of the seventh on a one-out RBI single from Jake Rogers. After the Tigers scored three in the eighth, the Lake Monsters made it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning. Mahoney walked the bases loaded before Fragoso came in and threw a wild pitch, allowing Garrett Bass to score. Click to visit their website

The O-Tigers scored the final runs in the ninth.

Kody Kaiser walked to lead off and Mike Sullivan flew out to center for the first out. Justin Henry then doubled to center, putting runners on second and third. After Chris Carlson was intentionally walked to load the bases, Thomas flew out to left, scoring Kaiser and moving Henry to third. Middleton then followed with a single to center, scoring Henry for a 6-2 lead.

Henry finished with two hits for Oneonta.


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Wells blasts off for Tigers

Staff Report

Maybe all Schenectady graduate Casper Wells needed was some home cooking.

Wells, who came into Thursday’s New York-Penn League game batting .174 with one double and one RBI, hit two two-run homers and finished with five RBIs in the Oneonta Tigers’ 10-6 victory at Tri-City.

The Tigers’ third straight victory came at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, about a 10-minute drive from Schenectady.

Wells, who was off to a 4-for-23 start this season, went 3-for-4 Thursday. He hit a two-run homer to right-center field off losing pitcher Luis Pardo during the O-Tigers’ three-run second inning, then followed with a two-run drive to right off Carlos Ladeuth in the fifth. Wells also had a sacrifice fly in the third and a double to left in the ninth.

Oneonta (6-4) hosts the ValleyCats at 7 tonight, then visits Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game Saturday.

Chris Carlson also had a big night for the Tigers, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. His performance also included a two-run homer, which capped the scoring in the ninth inning.

Oneonta, which had four home runs through its first nine games, finished with 15 hits. Kody Kaiser accounted for three of those to raise his batting average to .349.

After falling behind, 2-0, in the first inning, Oneonta rallied in the second. Devin Thomas led off with a triple and scored on Carlson’s single. Wells followed with his homer to make it 3-2.

The ValleyCats (2-7) scored once in the bottom of the second before the O-Tigers took the lead for keeps. Thomas walked with one out and reached third on a throwing error by third baseman Craig Corrado after a grounder by Carlson. Thomas scored on Wells’ sacrifice fly to right to make it 4-3. Click to visit their website

Carlson singled with one out in the fifth and scored on Wells’ homer as the Tigers took a 6-3 lead.

After Tri-City scored once in the fifth, Kaiser singled, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Peter and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Ladeuth. Kaiser scored on Justin Henry’s groundout to second, giving Oneonta a 7-4 lead.

Guillermo Moscoso (1-0) earned the pitching victory, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings. He struck out three and walked one. Rudy Darrow pitched a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts; Paul Hammond allowed two runs _ one earned _ in two-thirds of an inning; and Erik Crichton and Noah Krol combined for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to end it.

Crichton and Krol have yet to allow a run this season. Crichton has pitched seven scoreless innings, and Krol has thrown 5 1/3 of shutout ball.

Thomas and Jorge Patino each had two hits for the O-Tigers


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O-Tigers top heavy in 8-3 win

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Kody Kaiser and Mike Sullivan provided the 1-2 punch for the Oneonta Tigers on Friday night.

Kaiser and Sullivan, the first two hitters in the O-Tigers lineup, combined to go 5-for-7 and scored six runs in an 8-3 New York-Penn League victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats in front of 708 fans at Damaschke Field.

"As the leadoff, I feel it’s my job to get on base," said Kaiser, who finished 2-for-3, walked twice and scored four runs. "We’re a good 1-2 combination. Playing every day, if you get on a hot streak, you get rolling. I’m seeing it well and I think Mike is too."

Kaiser upped his average to .370 and Sullivan to .324.

"It’s a big advantage with the top two (in the lineup) on base," said Sullivan, who drove in a run with a single in the second inning and a triple in the sixth. "I went through a stretch where I was tense and you can’t play like that. I tried to relax and play loose.

"I’m a strong believer that hitting is contagious," he continued. "When you see others getting on in front of you, you want to hit and that’s how rallies get started."

The O-Tigers, winners of four straight, finished with a 14-7 advantage in hits. Devin Thomas contributed three hits for Oneonta, which left 11 runners on base.

"When your one and two hitters get on base eight out of 10 times, that really sets the tone for the offense and the rest of the game," Oneonta manager Andy Barkett said. "They were getting hits, walking and playing team baseball. It takes the pressure off a young pitcher and those guys were great tonight." Click to visit their website

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Alfredo Figaro (1-2) earned the victory for Oneonta, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out two. Jose Fragoso pitched three hitless innings, striking out three and walking one. Adriano Santos pitched the ninth, walking one.

Oneonta heads to Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game Saturday before returning home to start a six-game homestand that starts with a three-game set against Vermont at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first. Kaiser and Sullivan walked and Justin Henry followed with a single to right to load the bases off losing pitcher Brian Espersen. Cory Middleton then walked to score Kaiser and Thomas singled to center to score Sullivan.

Oneonta went back at it in the second when Jorge Patino doubled and Kaiser singled to put runners on the corners. Sullivan’s single to center scored Patino and moved Kaiser to second. After Henry flew out to right for the first out, Middleton walked to load the bases.

Thomas followed with a single to left off reliever Bryan Hallberg, scoring Kaiser. Hallberg then got Chris Carlson to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

"We had chances to put this game out of reach and didn’t take advantage of them," Barkett said. "We had chances for a bigger job offensively. But, they are swinging the bats well now."

Tri-City got a run in the third inning on Russell Dixon’s RBI single and another in the fourth on an RBI groundout from Cat Everett to make it 4-2.

In the fourth inning, Middleton singled home Kaiser to give Oneonta a 5-2 lead, but Tri-City answered in the fifth, when Charlie Gamble scored on a wild pitch by Figaro. It made the score 5-3.

Oneonta scored its final runs in the sixth. Kaiser singled to right and scored when Sullivan tripled to center. Justin Henry followed with a walk. Hallberg was relieved by Robert Leonhardt, and Sullivan scored and Henry moved to second on a passed ball by Tri-City catcher Kevin Carkeek.

Middleton then hit a hard shot at shortstop Craig Corrado, who threw to first, but Gamble dropped the ball, allowing Henry to score to make it 8-3.

The O-Tigers (7-4) took over the top spot in the Stedler Division, a half-game ahead of Lowell and Vermont.


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One bad inning hurts O-Tigers

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Oneonta’s Sendy Vasquez pitched well enough Sunday, but one bad inning and the performance of opposing pitcher Glenn Gibson squashed any hopes of a victory.

Vermont scored three times off Vasquez in the second inning en route to a 4-1 New York-Penn League victory in front of 1,652 fans at Damaschke Field.

"I don’t know what happened (in the second inning)," Vasquez said. "My pitches weren’t working. I made adjustments and kept the breaking ball down after that."

Vasquez (1-2) went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out nine and walked one.

"Sendy had one tough inning and settled down and went after it," said Oneonta manager Andy Barkett, whose team fell to 7-6. "He gave us a chance to win the game."

He was one-upped by Gibson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006 and the son of former major leaguer Paul Gibson. Glenn Gibson went five inning, allowing one run on two hits. He struck out four. Gibson took a perfect game into the fifth inning, before Cory Middleton broke it up with a one-out double to left-center. Chris Carlson followed with an RBI double that hit midway up the wall in left field, missing a home run by about eight feet.

"I was just thinking I wanted to keep the ball down and locate my three pitches," said Gibson, who relies on a fastball, curveball and change-up. "The fastball and change-up were especially working well and the curve I could throw for strikes. I was just trying to put zeroes on the board."

Adrian Alaniz followed with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, but was lifted in the ninth with two outs and nobody on. Vermont pitching coach Rusty Meacham said Alaniz was on a four-inning or 65-pitch limit and was at 63 pitches when he Click to visit their website

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was pulled. Ryan Harrison came in and needed two pitches to get Carlson to fly out to center to end it.

"That’s a tough one, but those are games that will happen," Barkett said. "When you can throw your breaking ball for strikes and can establish your fastball, that’s the name of the game. ... Sometimes you tip your hat, take it on the chin and come back the next day."

After working around a throwing error by shortstop Kody Kaiser in the first inning, Vasquez ran into trouble in the second.

Singles by Sean Rooney and Mark Gildea to start the inning put runners on first and second. After Jake Rogers struck out, Vasquez threw a wild pitch, allowing Rooney and Gildea to move up a base. Jean Alvarez then singled up the middle, scoring Rooney and Gildea. Alvarez went to second without a throw as nobody covered the base.

Anthony Benner’s single to center scored Alvarez to make it 3-0.

After that, Vasquez retired 13 of the next 15 batters taking the Tigers through the sixth inning.

"It was a good game and both pitchers did well," said Vermont manager Darnell Coles, whose team is 7-6. "We got some key hits in key situations. Oneonta has a good team and it’s a battle. ... Tonight happened to be our night."

Collin Mahoney relieved Vasquez in the seventh and pitched two perfect innings, striking out two. Noah Krol pitched the ninth and allowed a leadoff homer to Garrett Bass, the son of former major leaguer Kevin Bass.

The O-Tigers continue their three-game series with Vermont at 7 tonight. Mark Brackman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will pitch for Oneonta. Colton Willems (1-0, 1.86), a first-round draft pick for Washington in 2006, is scheduled to go for Vermont.

Cody traded

Former Oneonta Tigers pitcher Chris Cody, whose parents graduated from Davenport, was traded by Detroit to Milwaukee on Sunday.

Detroit gets right-handed pitcher Jose Capellan to bolster its bullpen. Capellan has appeared in seven games for the Brewers this season, going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Cody was 5-5 with a 1.77 ERA in 14 starts with Single-A West Michigan and was recently promoted to Lakeland. He started in one game for the Flying Tigers and was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

Cody, a left-handed pitcher, went 4-1 with a 2.38 in 11 starts for the O-Tigers last season.


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If I didn't feel old already (not that I will ever admit to that!), but reading that the SONS of Paul Gibson and Kevin Bass played in this game didn't help it.

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Late rally lifts O-Tigers to 7-6 win

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Oneonta Tigers manager Andy Barkett wasn’t around for arguably his team’s most exciting victory this season.

Hidden away somewhere at Damaschke Field, Barkett said he watched from afar as Kyle Peter scored on Kody Kaiser’s ground-rule double with two out in bottom of the ninth, giving the O-Tigers a 7-6 New York-Penn League victory over Vermont in front of 409 fans Monday night.

Barkett had been ejected at the end of the eighth inning, after arguing that Devin Thomas’ groundout to first was a foul ball.

"It was a great ending," said Barkett, who wouldn’t disclose where he watched the remainder of the game from, although he did say he wasn’t too close to the action. "I really wish I was out there, but it was fun watching from my hiding place and I could pump my fist."

The O-Tigers (8-6) scored two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth for the win. Trailing, 6-3, entering the eighth, Kaiser and Mike Sullivan had back-to-back singles with one out to put runners on first and second. Justin Henry flew out to center for the second out, but Kaiser moved up to third. With Cory Middleton at bat, Sullivan moved to second on a passed ball by catcher Sean Rooney.

Middleton then hit a line-drive single on a 1-1 fastball to left, scoring Kaiser and Sullivan to make it 6-5.

"I was looking for a pitch to drive and get the runs in," Middleton said. "It was a fastball I was looking for and I got a good swing on it."

The inning ended when Thomas hit a ball up the first-base line. Vermont first baseman Bill Rhinehart grabbed it and tagged first for the out. Thomas argued that the ball hit his foot, and Barkett soon joined the dispute with home plate umpire Joe Hannigan. Click to visit their website

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The two argued out by the mound, and Barkett eventually threw his hat to the ground, resulting in an ejection by Hannigan. Barkett continued to argue the call and added a kick of the cap as he walked to the locker room area.

"I was arguing it his off (Thomas’) foot and (Hannigan) said it hit off the plate," Barkett said. "I disagreed with the call. I don’t see how it hits off the plate and goes in that direction."

Kaiser said Barkett’s ejection sparked the O-Tigers.

"When your manager fights for you, it breathes life into the dugout and the stands," said Kaiser, who finished 3-for-5 to up his average to .339. "That gives us confidence and shows us how much he cares."

Winning pitcher Adriano Santos (1-0) worked the top of the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Dan Lyons but got out of an otherwise harmless inning to set up Oneonta’s rally.

Chris Carlson grounded out to shortstop on a 3-1 pitch from Luke Pisker to begin the inning. Casper Wells then pinch-hit for Jorge Patino, and on a 1-1 pitch, drove a single through the right side of the infield for a single.

"I had one of the best batting practices I had ever had and felt I had a great swing," Wells said. "I was glad to get that spark going."

Ryan Seawall, making his O-Tigers debut, pinch-hit for Kris Rochelle and drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Kyle Peter then bounced a 1-2 pitch to Rhinehart, who threw to shortstop Daniel Lyons at second to get Seawell. Wells moved to second and Seawell was safe at first as Lyons didn’t attempt a throw back.

Kaiser then came to the plate. On the third pitch, Pisker threw a wild, allowing Wells to score the tying run. Peter, who was trying to steal second on the pitch, continued to third on the play.

"He was throwing sliders all day," Wells said. "I was trying to get a big jump and then I was flying down the line."

Kaiser put the game away on a 2-2 pitch when he drove a pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball hit just shy of the warning track and bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double that scored Peter.

"Going up to the plate, I felt the pressure," Kaiser said. "I figured he had to come with a fastball at some point and I got some good wood on it."

"That’s what winning baseball is all about," Barkett said. "They fought and we got the hits when we needed to."

Oneonta took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kaiser led off with a double, moved to third on Sullivan’s groundout and scored when Henry grounded out to second.

An RBI single from Mark Gildea in the fourth tied the score for Vermont, but Oneonta answered in the bottom half of the inning when Sullivan scored on a passed ball for a 2-1 lead.

Vermont got to Oneonta starter Mark Brackman in the fifth. With one out, the Lake Monsters had three straight singles to load the bases before Rhinehart hit a two-run double to left-center to score two runs. After Garrett Bass popped out to short for the second out, Rooney hit a two-run double down the first-base line for a 5-2 lead.

Oneonta scored once in the fifth when Carlson scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers had seemed to have made it 5-4 when Patino scored on a sacrifice fly by Peter, but the Lake Monsters appealed the play and Patino was called out for leaving early.

"He left early and it was clear," Barkett said. "I was hoping their bench didn’t see it or that the umpire didn’t see it."

Vermont scored one more in the seventh on an RBI single by Rhinehart. The Lake Monsters had a chance for another in the eighth as Ryan DeLaughter drove a pitch from Santos to the base of the wall in center and was waved home by Vermont manager Darnell Coles. However, DeLaughter started his head-first slide about 10 feet too short and was tagged out by catcher Rochelle for the third out.


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Tigers, Lowell to play 2 today

Staff Report

The Oneonta Tigers were rained out for the first time this season Wednesday as the opener of their three-game series against the visiting Lowell Spinners was moved to today.

Oneonta (8-7) will host the Stedler Division-leading Spinners (10-4) at 6 p.m. today in the first game of a doubleheader at Damaschke Field. Rain also postponed Wednesday’s Fourth of July fireworks show at Neahwa Park until Labor Day Weekend. (See story on Page 1).

The Tigers, who are 2.5 games behind Lowell, fell into a second-place tie with Vermont (8-7) following an 8-7 loss to the Lake Monsters on Tuesday night at Damaschke. (See story on Page 15).

Vermont took two of three games against Oneonta, which went 1-2 at Lowell to open the season.

Should Oneonta’s rotation remain the same, Alfredo Figaro (1-2, 7.04 ERA) will start today’s opener and fellow right-handed pitcher Paul Nardozzi (0-0, 2.45) will begin the second game on the mound. Figaro earned his first victory this season during his last start, allowing three runs on seven hits in the first five innings of Oneonta’s 8-3 home victory over Tri-City on June 29. Nardozzi pitched four innings of a no-decision in his last start, giving up one earned run on four hits in a 3-1 loss at Tri-City on June 30.

Rain suspended the ValleyCats’ home game against Vermont on Wednesday with one out in the bottom of the third and the Lake Monsters ahead, 1-0. The ValleyCats (3-11) are last in the four-team Stedler Division.

The Tigers also host Lowell at 7 p.m. Friday, then play six straight road games. Oneonta will visit Hudson Valley from Saturday through Monday, then play at State College from July 11-13.

The Tigers follow with a six-game homestand, hosting Batavia from July 14-16 and Jamestown from July 17-19.


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Tigers take their lumps

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ The Oneonta Tigers were kind enough to throw batting practice for Lowell on Thursday night at Damaschke Field.

At least that’s how it seemed.

The Stedler Division-leading Spinners amassed 19 hits over seven innings to win, 10-6, in the first game of a New York-Penn League doubleheader, which was scheduled after rain washed out Wednesday’s opener of their three-game series at Oneonta. The second game, also slated to last seven innings, did not end by press time.

Lowell won its fifth straight to improve to 11-4 and extend its lead over the Tigers to 3.5 games. Oneonta (8-8), which fell for the fourth time in its last five games, left 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position.

"We had some chances early and couldn’t put them across," said Oneonta manager Andy Barkett, whose team entered Thursday’s games tied for second in the division with the Vermont Lake Monsters. "That’s a tough loss. Giving up 19 hits and still having a chance to win means we were doing something offensively. But you can’t give up 19 hits and have three errors and expect to win a game."

Seven of 10 batters finished with two or more hits for Lowell, which scored at least one run in every inning but the second in a game that lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes. That didn’t include the eight minutes Oneonta’s grounds crew needed to groom the field after rain fell during the sixth and seventh innings, contributing to a 10 p.m. start for the second game.

"You do what you need to do as a professional to get out there and play," Barkett said of getting mentally ready for a later-than-expected second game.

Lowell snapped a 6-all tie in the top of the sixth inning during the opener. Click to visit their website

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With one out, Carlos Fernandez bunted in front of the plate for a infield single against reliever Collin Mahoney. Barkett then called on reliever Paul Hammond, who yielded back-to-back singles to Michael Jones and Yamaico Navarro to load the bases.

Hammond appeared as if he would get out of the jam when Tyler Weeden grounded to shortstop Kody Kaiser, who threw to second baseman Justin Henry for a forceout of Navarro. But Henry bobbled then dropped the ball as he attempted to turn a double play, allowing Fernandez and Jones to score for an 8-6 Lowell lead.

Pedro Vasquez had an RBI single and Fernandez hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh to give the Spinners a 10-6 advantage.

Lowell took control down the stretch after the Tigers battled back from a 5-0 deficit.

Oneonta cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth, when Kyle Peter hit a two-out, two-run triple to right-center field. Lowell scored one in the fifth to make it 6-2 on Weeden’s RBI single before the Tigers tied it in the fifth.

Mike Sullivan led off with a bunt-single and took second on a wild pitch before Justin Henry walked. After Cory Middleton struck out, Devin Thomas hooked a three-run homer around the left-field foul pole to pull Oneonta within 6-5.

Chris Carlson grounded to third for the second out, but Casper Wells kept the O-Tigers’ at-bats alive with a double to left. Angel Flores then struck out swinging, but he reached first courtesy a wild pitch by Adam Blackley on the third strike. Wells to move to third on the miscue, then scored to tie it at 6 when Kyle Peter singled to left.

The Tigers scored all four runs of its fifth-inning runs off reliever Blackley (1-0), who eventually earned his first victory of the season.

Wells finished 3-for-3 and came up a home run shy of hitting for the cycle to lead Oneonta. Peter had two hits and three RBIs.

"Some guys were swinging the bats well," Barkett said. "We kept battling back and fighting."


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A Mahoney sighting, I thought he got cut. Who is this Kaiser guy, seems to dominate every story.

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A Mahoney sighting, I thought he got cut. Who is this Kaiser guy, seems to dominate every story.

Kody Kaiser was the Tigers 15th round pick this year. He went to college at Oklahoma City University after transferring from the University of Oklahoma. The Tigers drafted him as an outfielder but he has played mostly 2B and SS. He is having a tremendous season which is why his name appears in every story. He's hitting .324 and slugging .479

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O-Tigers strike back

By Courtney A. Erickson

Contributing Writer

ONEONTA _ Kody Kasier and Casper Wells got the Oneonta Tigers back into the swing of things Friday night at Damaschke Field.

Kaiser homered twice and Wells went deep once to help the O-Tigers end a three-game skid with an 11-3 victory over the Lowell Spinners in a finale of their three-game series. Friday’s game drew 1,852 fans.

Switch-hitter Kaiser, batting from the right side, teed off on the first pitch from Lowell starter Ryne Lawson for a double down the right-field line. He moved to third when Lowell second baseman Pedro Vasquez bobbled Justin Henry’s grounder, putting runners at the corners for Ron Bourquin.

Vasquez then fielded what appeared to be a sure double-play grounder by Bourquin, but shortstop Yamaico Navarro struggled to control the ball after getting the forceout at second. With no ensuing throw, Bourquin was safe at first and Kaiser scored easily for a 1-0 Oneonta lead on the play.

Wells then doubled off the wall in left-center, but Carlos Fernandez hit cutoff Navarro, who threw out Bourquin at the plate with the relay throw to catcher Tyler Weeden.

Cory Middleton kept the O-Tigers going, however, with an RBI single to left-center that staked Oneonta starter Paul Nardozzi to a 2-0 lead.

Nardozzi started strong for Oneonta (9-9), which never trailed. He held Stedler Division-leader Lowell (12-5) to one hit and struck out three over the first three of his five innings. Nardozzi exited after the fifth, allowing three hits and two earned runs. He struck out five and walked two for his first win this season as the Tigers pulled within 3.5 games of the Spinners.

Kaiser hit a two-run homer that scored Kyle Peter, who doubled, in the second inning. His shot down the left-field line marked his second home run off Lawson this season and gave Oneonta a 4-0 lead. Kaiser hit his first professional homer off Lawson in the Tigers’ June 19 season opener at Lowell. Click to visit their website

Kaiser also fueled Oneonta’s offensive outburst in the fifth, opening the scoring with his second home run of the night. Kaiser’s shot, off Eammon Portice, bounced high in the air after clearing the left-field wall. The hit initially was ruled a ground-rule double by home plate umpire Joseph Hannigan, who changed his call to a home run after conferring with base umpire Travis Hatch.

Tigers manager Andy Barkett argued the play at first with Hannigan from his third-base coaching box before the umpire overturned his call, which brought Lowell manager Gary DiSarcina out of his dugout to protest.

Wells contributed a two-run double off the left-field wall in the fifth for a 9-2 lead, then homered to left to open the bottom of the seventh for an 11-2 lead.

The Tigers finished with 16 hits in a game that was delayed by 18 minutes in the top of the fourth inning because of faulty light towers in right and right-center field. O-Tigers operations manager Bob Zeh said he was not sure why the outage occurred and added that NYSEG would be called to investigate the problem. Zeh said that the lights were fine when they were tested earlier in the day.

Lawson fell to 1-2 after giving up nine hits and five runs _ four earned _ in three innings.


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O-Tigers fall apart in ninth

Staff Report

A self-destructive ninth inning that featured two passed balls, two walks, a balk, an error and a wild pitch sent the Oneonta Tigers to their fifth loss in six games Sunday.

The Hudson Valley Renegades scored twice in the ninth inning without a hit to beat visiting O-Tigers, 8-7, in a New York-Penn League game.

To make matters worse, the O-Tigers also stranded 13 baserunners.

Maiko Loyola reached on a fielding error by first baseman Orlando Rodriguez to start Hudson Valley’s ninth inning against losing pitcher Jose Fragoso.

After Cody Cipriano struck out, Loyola reached second on a passed ball by Kristopher Rochelle. Stephen Vogt followed with a walk and both runners moved up on a balk.

Fragoso then intentionally walked Henry Wrigley to load the bases.

Mike McCormick struck out swinging, but a passed ball by Rochelle allowed Loyola to score the tying run. Pinch-runner Angel Fermin advanced to third and Wrigley went to second.

Fermin scored the winning run on a wild pitch by Fragoso. The O-Tigers (9-11) failed to hold leads of 4-0, 6-1 and 7-2.

Oneonta opened the scoring with four runs in the third inning off Diego Echeverria.[an error occurred while processing this directive][an error occurred while processing this directive]Kody Kaiser walked, stole second, went to third on a groundout by Michael Sullivan and scored on Justin Henry’s sacrifice fly to right.

Casper Wells drew a two-out walk and scored on Ron Bourquin’s single to right. Bourquin took second on the throw home and scored on Devin Thomas’ single to center.

Thomas went to second on Chris Carlson’s single to center and took third when Rochelle walked. Thomas scored on a wild pitch by Echeverria to make it 4-0.

Loyola homered in the bottom of the inning off Mark Brackman to make it 4-1.

Carlson hit an RBI double and Kyle Peter had a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning as Oneonta extended its lead to 6-1.

Hudson Valley got a run back in the bottom of the inning, when Greg Sexton homered to center.

Brackman went five innings for the O-Tigers, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked two.

Bourquin hit an RBI single in the sixth to give Oneonta a 7-2 lead, but the Renegades answered with a run in the sixth and three in the seventh off Collin Mahoney.

Two walks sandwiched around a single by Wrigley loaded the bases for Hudson Valley in the sixth. James Mayer’s sacrifice fly brought the Renegades within 7-3.

In the seventh, Mahoney walked Shawn O’Malley and Emeel Salem to start the inning. A passed ball by Rochelle moved the runners to second and third and O’Malley scored on a groundout by Loyola.

Cipriano’s double to left scored Salem. Vogt then singled to send Cipriano to third and Cipriano scored on a sacrifice fly by Wrigley to make it 7-6.

Carlson went 4-for-4, and Bourquin and Thomas each went 3-for-5 for the O-Tigers, who play the final game of a three-game set at Hudson Valley at 7:05 tonight.


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Tigers go deep for win

Staff Report

Cory Middleton and Chris Carlson each hit two-run homers Monday as the Oneonta Tigers earned a 6-2 New York-Penn League victory in front of 4,510 fans at Hudson Valley.

The O-Tigers (10-11) ended a two-game skid by winning the finale of their three-game series against the Renegades (9-11), who scored eight runs in each of the first two games. Hudson Valley opened the series Saturday with an 8-0 win _ Oneonta’s first shutout and worst loss this season _ then rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday for an 8-7 victory.

The Tigers have their first off day of the Single-A short season today before visiting the State College Spikes for a three-game set that starts Wednesday. Oneonta, third in the Stedler Division, returns home Saturday for a 7 p.m. game against the Batavia Muckdogs.

Middleton opened the scoring Monday with his first home run of the season, a two-out shot to left field that drove in Ronnie Bourquin from first base in the fourth inning. Justin Henry reached first on a fielding error by second baseman Cody Cipriano to start the fourth but was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Ian Paxton on a third-strike swing-and-miss by Carlson.

Hudson Valley starter Joshua Johnson (1-1) then walked Bourquin before giving up Middleton’s homer for a 2-0 Oneonta lead.

Carlson put the Tigers ahead, 4-0, in the sixth with his third homer this summer. Henry drew a one-out walk against HV reliever Jesse Darcy and scored on Carlson’s homer to left.

Oneonta starter Guillermo Moscoso shut down the Renegades through six innings, scattering three hits, walking two and striking out seven before Rudy Darrow took over in the seventh. Darrow went 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and picking off Mike McCormick at first before Erik Crichton came on with one out in the eighth.

Crichton pitched to four batters and got none out in the eighth, when HV rallied to cut its deficit to 4-2. Crichton walked Shawn O’Malley before Emeel Salem reached on a throwing error by Carlson, putting runners at first and second for Maiko Loyola. He tripled in both runners with a grounder into right field, and Crichton ended his outing after walking Cipriano.

Oneonta closer Noah Krol got Stephen Vogt to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning


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Tigers find their groove

Staff Report

What a difference a week made for Oneonta Tigers starting pitcher Sean Finefrock.

After getting hit hard at Damaschke Field in his O-Tigers debut _ a loss to the Lowell Spinners on July 5 _ Finefrock limited State College to one run on five hits over six innings Thursday. His outing helped visiting Oneonta to a 4-3 New York-Penn League victory.

Finefrock (1-1) allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings last Thursday in an 8-3 loss to Lowell. This time, he struck out three and walked two to earn his first victory for the O-Tigers (12-11), who have won three straight.

Oneonta and State College play the finale of their three-game series at 7:05 tonight. The Tigers follow with a six-game homestand that starts with three games against the Batavia Muckdogs, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. Oneonta then hosts the Jamestown Jammers for three games.

Oneonta’s Chris Carlson homered for the second straight game, increasing his team-leading total to five. His two-out drive to center in the fourth inning gave the O-Tigers a 3-0 lead.

Justin Henry and Mike Sullivan, the first two hitters in Oneonta’s lineup, each went 3-for-4 to lead an 11-hit attack. Sullivan hit a triple to left that scored Henry, who singled to center and stole second with two out in the third inning. Kody Kaiser followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Sullivan to give Oneonta a 2-0 lead.

Sullivan contributed another RBI hit in the seventh to put Oneonta ahead, 4-1. Angel Flores opened the inning with a single to left off losing pitcher Moises Roibles (1-4).

After Kyle Peter popped out on a bunt attempt to third, Henry lined a double to left that sent Flores to third. Flores scored on Sullivan’s single to left.

State College got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh off Paul Nardozzi, who made two throwing errors in the inning that allowed both runs to score.

With runners on first and third and one out, Nardozzi induced a comebacker off the bat of Austin McClune but threw wild to second as Erik Huber scored to make it 4-2.

Nardozzi followed with an errant pick-off throw, allowing Michael Ambrose to score from third for the final margin.

Nardozzi pitched a scoreless eighth before Rudy Darrow worked around a single and hit batsman in the ninth to earn his first save of the season. Darrow got Matt Cavagnaro to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end it.


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Rob Centorani

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ At 8:29 p.m. Sunday, history was made at Damaschke Field.

When Oneonta Tigers pitcher Guillermo Moscoso induced Ross Oeder into groundout to second baseman Justin Henry and he flipped to Chris Carlson, it marked the first nine-inning, perfect game at Oneonta’s home park.

As the 2,787 in attendance cheered loudly, Moscoso’s teammates mobbed the 23-year-old right-hander after he retired all 27 Batavia Muckdogs batters in the O-Tigers’ 6-0 victory.

"No. Never in my life. This is unbelievable," Moscoso said of throwing a perfect game, the third no-hitter in New York-Penn League history and the first since Oneonta Yankees pitcher Gregory Diehl threw a seven-inning perfect game against Newark on July 7, 1974. Erie pitcher John Hebert has the other NY-Penn perfect game, which came July 23, 1956 versus Hornell.

"This is the first one I’ve seen," first year O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett said of the perfect game. "That’s 13 years of professional baseball, four in college and high school, and so forth _ on either side of the ball. I’ve been a part of a couple no-hitters, which are special, but I’ve never seen a perfect game. Just to be involved in one _ even if you’re a batboy _ to me would be exciting."

Just how rare are perfect games?

Including Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series _ the only time it’s happened in the postseason _ there have been 17 in Major League Baseball history dating to 1880. The most recent came May 18, 2004, when Randy Johnson did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It’s baseball tradition for teammates and coaches to stay away from pitchers who are throwing no-hitters or perfect games, but Barkett said, "That dugout is not big enough for anyone to be lonely. I don’t think (Moscoso) changed at all. He sat where he always sits. If anything, we were more lonely than he was. I usually talk to (pitching coach) Mark (Johnson) the whole game and I didn’t say two words to him tonight. I think we were more nervous than (Moscoso) was."

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Moscoso, a native of Maracay, Venezuela, said he didn’t start thinking about it until the ninth inning.

"I didn’t pay attention to the perfect game," said Moscoso, who threw the second no-hitter in O-Tigers’ history, joining the combined no-hitter by Jordan Tata and Chris Homer on Sept. 2, 2003 against the Tri-City ValleyCats at Troy’s Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. "I was just doing my job and when it came to the top of the ninth, I was really, really nervous, but I said to myself, Let’s go. You’re the man. You’re the best, so let’s go do it.’"

He benefited from two good plays in the ninth and overcame one that wasn’t made.

Batavia’s Justin Roberson bounced an 0-1 pitch to the right of second baseman Henry. He ranged about five steps to his right, gloved the bouncer and threw out Roberson by a step.

Pinch-hitter David Carpenter then hit a hard shot at shortstop Kody Kaiser, who gloved the sinking liner at his shoe tops for the second out.

With the crowd on its feet, it seemed Moscoso’s perfect game was complete when he induced Oeder to hit a lazy pop in foul ground behind first. First baseman Chris Carlson settled under it but must have thought someone called him off because he got out of the way as the ball dropped.

"I was like getting a heart attack, but these things happen," Moscoso said. "I just said, Let’s go get it.’" I never lost concentration. I just said, It’s a foul ball, a normal pitch. Let’s go win the game.’"

On the next pitch, Moscoso’s 93rd of the game, he got Oeder to ground to second.

"I’m really, really excited right now," said Moscoso, whose record improved to 3-0 on the season as he extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3. "Something like this happens once every five years. I was concentrating on the game _ every pitch, every inning, every out. Let’s go do it."

Arguably the best defensive play of the night came in the seventh, when Batavia leadoff hitter Jose Garcia hit a Baltimore chop that appeared as if it would go over Oneonta third baseman Ron Bourquin. With Bourquin playing even with the bag to take away the bunt, he leaped and made a back-handed stab above his head near the bag. He followed with an accurate throw to get Garcia.

"What a great play," Barkett said. "Ronnie made a great play."

Moscoso, who said he’d never thrown a perfect game at any level of baseball before Sunday and hadn’t thrown a no-hitter since he was 12, added: "(Bourquin) saved my life. I love him."

The only other ball even close to a hit came in the second inning, when Andrew Brown hit a soft fly into shallow right-center. Center fielder Kyle Peter got an excellent jump and covered a lot ground while making a running catch.

Other than that, Moscoso mowed down a Batavia lineup that came into the night with a NY-Penn-worst .231 team batting average.

He struck out seven and did not have a single three-ball count. In fact, he only went to two-ball counts on seven batters. Moscoso also threw first-pitch strikes to 21 batters.

"He just pounded the strike zone," Barkett said. "He mixed his pitches _ he was outstanding. What can you say? He was perfect. He got what he deserved. He was perfect."

Moscoso, who said he took a perfect game into the seventh inning as a member of the O-Tigers in 2005 before giving up a home run to the first batter in the seventh, combined a high leg kick with a relaxed throwing motion.

Perhaps the two at-bats that best explain Moscoso’s effectiveness on this night came on back-to-back strikeouts to end the sixth inning. First, he started Batavia’s Mateo Marquez with a fastball and, after a ball, he got a called strike on a fastball on the inside corner, followed by a called strike on a fastball on the outside corner.

Batavia’s No. 9 hitter Oeder fouled off several fastballs with the count at 2-2 before swinging over a curveball.

"We always do the same stuff," Moscoso said. "The first-pitch strike, curveball down, change-up, change speeds _ get ahead and get guys out."

The game was scoreless heading into the fifth inning, when Oneonta scored three times off losing pitcher Davis Bilardello, a left-hander who relieved Blake King after three innings.

Kaiser led off with a single that deflected off the glove of diving third baseman Daniel Descalso.

Justin Henry walked and both runners moved up on Mike Sullivan’s sacrifice bunt toward third. Chris Carlson then reached out for a breaking ball on the outside part of the plate and grounded a double down the third-base line to score both runners.

"Chris Carlson’s been swinging a pretty hot bat and delivered the big hit and got us on the board," said Barkett, whose team has won five of its last six games. "You know, I’ve never pitched before, but in a situation like that when it’s tight, the game is a bit different. All of sudden, you’re team has the lead and Guillermo’s a competitor by nature. You want to go out and win the game. He realized, as we all did, that something special could happen tonight."

Three straight walks to Cory Middleton, Orlando Rodriguez and Angel Flores forced in Oneonta’s third run of the inning.

In the seventh, Peter’s three-run double gave the O-Tigers a 6-0 cushion. Peter drove one the opposite way, splitting left fielder Roberson and Tommy Pham. The ball got past both outfielders before Roberson retrieved it and threw to cut-off man Oeder, whose one-hop throw to the plate to try to get Angel Flores skipped past catcher Paul Vasquez.

Peter tried to score from third on the play when the ball got away but was thrown out on a head-first slide.


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"With the crowd on its feet, it seemed Moscoso’s perfect game was complete when he induced Oeder to hit a lazy pop in foul ground behind first. First baseman Chris Carlson settled under it but must have thought someone called him off because he got out of the way as the ball dropped.

"I was like getting a heart attack, but these things happen," Moscoso said. "I just said, Let’s go get it.’" I never lost concentration. I just said, It’s a foul ball, a normal pitch. Let’s go win the game.’"

On the next pitch, Moscoso’s 93rd of the game, he got Oeder to ground to second."

Can you imagine the tension? Those are some fortunate folks to have seen that game.

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O-Tigers finish off sweep of Batavia

By Courtney A. Erickson

Contributing Writer

ONEONTA _ Casper Wells used his glove and bat to ensure the Oneonta Tigers would earn their first sweep of the season Monday night.

The left fielder tripled to tie the score in the first inning and helped preserve a one-run lead in the eighth inning with a leaping catch on the warning track as the O-Tigers beat Batavia, 4-3, before 565 fans at Damaschke Field.

Oneonta (15-12) won for the sixth time in seven games, including three in a row over the last-place Muckdogs (7-20).

Devin Thomas’ fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left with one out in the fourth inning gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead. It also scored Ron Bourquin, who opened the inning with a ground single to right off losing pitcher Jonathan Stambaugh.

Tiger starter Alfredo Figaro settled down after a shaky first inning.

Batavia leadoff man Jose Garcia singled to start the game and scored on Andrew Brown’s triple that one-hopped the fence in right-center.

"In the first inning, they made a little bit of a run and that made me angry," Figaro said through translator and teammate Angel Flores.

Garcia’s hit marked the first Batavia batter to reach base safely in 28 at-bats dating back to Saturday night’s 10-5 Oneonta victory. Guillermo Moscoso threw a perfect game Sunday night in the O-Tigers’ 6-0 victory, retiring all 27 Batavia batters.

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The O-Tigers answered in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Justin Henry singled past a diving Oliver Marmol at shortstop. Wells followed with an opposite-field drive to right-center that rolled to the fence, resulting in an RBI triple.

"I was just looking up the middle, looking for a ball and he just kept it up and I put a good bat on it," Wells said. "That was the first ball hit to right field in awhile and it felt pretty good to get that run in."

After Bourquin popped

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out to third, Chris Carlson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Wells to give Oneonta a 2-1 lead.

"After last night, you always wonder how a club is going to respond," Oneonta manager Andy Barkett said of Moscoso’s perfect game. "I had a feeling it was going to be a tough night for us. Getting going on offense kind of wakes everybody up right away.

After the first inning, 23-year-old righty Figaro held Batavia scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Muckdogs scored twice.

Figaro hit William Groff with a pitch to begin the inning. Marmol then singled to right, sending Groff to third. Figaro followed with a strikeout of Mateo Marquez as Marmol stole second.

Garcia’s infield single to deep short scored Groff to make it 4-2.

Justin Roberson then hit a come-backer to Figaro, who threw to second for the force out, but Garcia was running on the play and beat Figaro’s throw to second baseman Justin Henry. Henry then threw to first to get Roberson as Marmol scored from third to make it a one-run game.

Figaro (3-2) retired the last eight batters, including three strikeouts. He finished with six strikeouts and one walk over seven innings. He allowed six hits and three runs.

"I have to finish strong because that’s my game," Figaro said. "I’ve got to keep working hard and winning. As long as I win my game, that’s what matters."

Barkett added: "We were expecting a big start from Figaro. He’s one of our top prospects on this club and he’s a young man that’s just learning how to pitch. This is the highest level he’s ever been at. He figured some things out tonight. His slider was good, he established his fastball and competed well."

Relievers Erik Crichton and Noah Krol combined to allow one hit over two scoreless innings.

Krol pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.

Crichton received some help from Wells in the eighth inning.

Against leadoff hitter Garcia to start the inning, Wells backpedaled and leaped to make a catch over his right shoulder before hitting hard on the warning track in left field, taking away at least a double.

"At that point we were playing no doubles (defense)," said Wells, a Schenectady High graduate. "He hit the ball (and) I didn’t think it was going to carry as much as it did. I looked up, kept trying to see where the wall was _ look at the ball, look at the wall. I looked at the wall and I saw it was pretty close and at the last minute looked up and I just kind of blacked out. The next thing I know I was up and sliced up everywhere from the warning track. The warning track is quite unforgiving."

Wells’ back landed on the warning track, leading to cuts to his right wrist, left elbow, and left knee.

The O-Tigers open a three-game series against Jamestown at 7 tonight at Damaschke Field.


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Hey, Figaro is 23 too. I guess his starts don't count either. :wink:

Seriously, many players in the DSL & VSL get a late start stateside (yes, there are cases like Jurrjens as well) and as a result, they tend to be overage for a couple of years at the start. If there is genuine talent there, they will get moved up appropriately to catch up with their "age-proper" level.

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Tigers go down quietly, 4-0

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Two nights after winning a perfect game at Damaschke Field, the Oneonta Tigers toyed with a no-hitter.

Only this time, they were the victims at the plate.

Hector Correa threw 5 1/3 innings of hitless ball Tuesday to lead the visiting Jamestown Jammers to a 4-0 New York-Penn League victory in front of 544 fans. The opener of their three-game series came two nights after Guillermo Moscoso completed a nine-inning perfect game in Oneonta’s 6-0 defeat of the Batavia Muckdogs.

"We thought we were going to have a no-hitter against us after we did it," Oneonta manager Andy Barkett said. "We have to tip our hats sometimes. They threw well and we couldn’t figure them out. They threw three good arms at us and we didn’t make adjustments."

Kyle Peter ended Correa’s no-hit bid with one out in the sixth, lining a 3-2 pitch into left field for a single. Correa (1-1) exited after the sixth inning, and reliever Corey Madden followed with two hitless innings for the Jammers (12-16). Casper Wells doubled down the left-field line off ninth-inning reliever Mark Badgley with two out for Oneonta’s other hit.

"Hector threw well and he hit his spots," Jamestown manager Darin Everson said. "Him and Corey had the flow going."

The loss dropped the Tigers, which had won three straight, to 15-13. The two teams meet at 7 tonight at Damaschke for the second part of a three-game set. Sendy Vasquez (1.04, 6.08 ERA) is scheduled to start for the O-Tigers.

Jamestown opened the scoring in the first inning, when Ryan Curry hit the second pitch from Sean Finefrock over the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Ryan Anetsberger sent a shot over the wall in left-center.

"Two aggressive hitters went after fastballs," Everson said. "It’s always good to start early. We’ve been playing well and we have a young team that’s starting to put things together."

Jamestown scored again in the third, when Morgan Cummins tripled to right-center and came home on a wild pitch by Finefrock.

The Jammers made it 4-0 in the sixth. Torre Langley singled off reliever Paul Nardozzi, moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a Ben Lasater flyout to right. Thomas then scored on a passed ball by catcher Devin Thomas.

Oneonta’s bright spot came in the form of reliever Collin Mahoney, who pitched two innings of scoreless relief. He entered in the seventh with runners on first and second and none out. Mahoney struck out Justin Jacobs for the first out, and Thomas threw out Osvaldo Martinez attempting to steal third for a double play. He then struck out Anetsberger to end the inning.

Mahoney, who sat out last season after having Tommy John surgery, also struck out the side in the eighth.

"It was fun for a change," said Mahoney, who is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA this season. "I had a good time. ... It’s a battle and today I won one. It’s as good a place to start as any


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Starter grounds Jammers

By Rob Centorani

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ If Mark Brackman continues to pitch the way he did Thursday night, his teammates might want to consider nicknaming the 6-foot-5 right-hander, "Dash 3."

Half of the 20 batters Brackman retired in the Oneonta Tigers’ 5-3 New York-Penn League victory over the Jamestown Jammers came on groundouts as he filled the scorebook with 4-3s, 5-3s and 6-3s.

Brackman threw 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, and Cory Middleton and Devin Thomas homered as the O-Tigers (20-16) completed a 5-1 homestand before a season-low 344 fans at Damaschke Field.

"Mark is not a strikeout pitcher," said O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett, whose team has won eight of its last 10 games and remains a half-game behind Lowell in the Stedler Division. "He’s got to get the ball down. He doesn’t throw a 95 mph fastball. He’s a finesse-type pitcher. He has to mix his pitches and get groundball outs. Tonight, was the best game he’s thrown all year."

Thursday marked Brackman’s sixth start this season, but he came into the game with a 0-0 record, despite a 2.62 ERA.

"I’ve had some strong outings, but this one I didn’t let things get away from me as I have in the past," said Brackman, who struck out five, walked two, hit a batter and allowed two hits. "In the couple outings before, I’ve given up three, four or five runs in an inning, and this time I didn’t let things get away from me as I have in the past."

Brackman gave O-Tigers second baseman Justin Henry a workout in the first inning, getting the first three batters on groundouts to second. Henry ranged far to his right twice, making backhanded stops before throwing accurately to first for outs.

"I didn’t make perfect pitches in the first inning, but Henry was there and made three great plays," Brackman said. "He really picked me up."

After Jamestown starter Carlos Faria retired the first two Oneonta batters in the first inning, he hit Ron Bourquin with a pitch. Chris Carlson then lined a single to center that sent Bourquin to third.

Casper Wells then turned on a fastball from the side-arming Faria for a double that one-hopped the fence in left, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

"As a pitcher, you’re always looking to get a victory," Brackman said, "and any time you can pitch with the lead, you can definitely relax just a little bit and concentrate on making good pitches."

With one out in the fourth inning, Middleton pulled a fastball from Faria over the fence in the left, extending the O-Tigers’ lead to 2-0.

It stayed that way until Oneonta’s sixth, when Carlson led off against reliever Andrew Battisto with a single to center. Wells then lined one right at second baseman Ryan Curry, who had a chance to double off Carlson at first. But Curry dropped the ball during the exchange to his throwing hand.

Another potential double play went awry for the Jammers when Middleton grounded to third baseman Ryan Anetsberger, whose throw to second short-hopped Curry and went into shallow right for an error. Carlson advanced to third on the play.

Thomas made Jamestown pay for its defensive lapses by hitting a towering, three-run homer to right-center to make it 5-0.

"That was a fastball out over the plate," Thomas said of his fifth home run of the season. "I got some pitches to hit earlier in the game and just missed them, so I was pretty mad. I told myself the next pitch I get out over the plate, I’m going to hit hard. Luckily enough, I got a pitch out over the plate and put a good swing on it."

The two home runs Oneonta hit Thursday gave the club 20 over its first 36 games. Coming into Thursday, Oneonta ranked second in the New York-Penn League in home runs behind Jamestown, which has 25.

"I wasn’t a home-run hitter when I played for most of my career," said Barkett, who spent 13 seasons as a pro ballplayer, including 17 major-league games with the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I never realized why managers wanted me to hit them so bad, and now becoming a manager, I realize how important that three-run homer is. Your two best friends as a manager are the three-run homer and a good bullpen."

The latter part of the equation almost let down the O-Tigers.

Jamestown scored twice in the eighth inning off Luis Gil, getting an RBI groundout from Anetsberger and an RBI single from Justin Jacobs to make it 5-2.

Erik Crichton came in to get the final out of the eighth.

In a rainy ninth inning, Crichton struck out Tom Hickman to start the before Tyler Belcher singled to center. Crichton then struck out Lucas Waters as Belcher took second on defensive indifference because nobody covered the base.

Curry followed with an RBI double to left-center to score Belcher to make it 5-3.

With the tying run at the plate, Crichton struck out Bryan Petersen looking on a fastball on the outside corner to end it.

"(Brackman) did a heck of a job getting his first professional win and then at the same time, Crichton gets his first professional save in those difficult conditions," Barkett said. "The pitching was great, the offense was great and we got that big home run."

The O-Tigers travel to Mahoning Valley for a three-game series that starts tonight. They have an off day Monday before returning for another six-game homestand, which begins Tuesday against Staten Island


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