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Tigers rained out on road

Staff Report

Rain postponed Thursday’s New York-Penn League game between the Oneonta Tigers and the host Brooklyn Cyclones.

As a result, the leaders of the Stedler and McNamara divisions, respectively, will play a doubleheader at 6 p.m. today to close their three-game series in Brooklyn.

The O-Tigers (35-24) entered Thursday’s games with the fourth-best record in the 14-team NY-Penn, behind Pinckney Division leader Auburn, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Auburn improved to 36-24 with a 4-2 win over visiting Williamsport on Thursday. Brooklyn is the overall NY-Penn leader, at 38-18, and stands four games ahead of second-place Staten Island (35-23) in the McNamara Division.

Thursday’s rainout helped Oneonta extend its Stedler Division lead over second-place Lowell (34-27) to 1 1/2 games as the Spinners fell, 6-5, to visiting Aberdeen.

Oneonta starts a five-game homestand at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Hudson Valley Renegades (26-33), the last-place team in the McNamara. The Tigers will play three games against Hudson Valley before hosting Lowell on Tuesday and Wednesday. Oneonta closes the month with two games at Vermont (32-27), which is third in the Stedler.

Thursday’s game between Staten Island and host Vermont was not completed by press time.


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O-Tigers roll past Brooklyn, 9-2, in opener

Staff Report

Casper Wells went 3-for-4, including a home run and three RBIs, to lead the visiting Oneonta Tigers to a 9-2 victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones in the opening game of a doubleheader Friday night.

Both games were slated for seven innings, but the second game wasn’t completed by press time.

Cory Middleton contributed a seventh-inning grand slam for the O-Tigers (36-25), who lead the Lowell Spinners by 1 1/2 games in the New York-Penn League’s Stedler Division. Vermont is three games back.

Lowell beat Aberdeen, 11-10, Friday. Vermont earned a 10-0 win over Staten Island. Brooklyn (38-19), which has the best record in the league, leads Staten Island by 3 1/2 games in the McNamara Division.

Oneonta begins a five-game homestand at 7 p.m. Saturday against Hudson Valley. After three games with the Renegades, the Tigers host Lowell for two games.

Wells’ home run gave the O-Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first inning Friday. With one out, Justin Henry walked and Wells followed with a shot to left-center. It was Wells’ seventh home run of the year.

The Tigers increased their lead to 4-0 in the third. Jorge Patino doubled to left to lead off. Kyle Peter followed with a sacrifice bunt, but Brooklyn third baseman J.R. Voyles threw the ball away. Patino scored on the play and Peter moved to second.

After Henry struck out swinging, Wells singled to right, scoring Peter. Wells was thrown out trying to steal second by Paul Lo Duca, who is on a rehab assignment from the New York Mets. Lo Duca finished 0-for-2, including a walk and a strikeout.

The Cyclones got a run back in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Jacobs and Rayle Reyes walked to lead off the inning. Will Vogl then grounded into a 6-3 double play that sent Jacobs to third. Matthew Bouchard followed with an infield single, scoring Jacobs.

Patino led off the fifth with a single to left and moved to second when Peter reached on an infield single. Henry bunted the runners over with a sacrifice, and after Wells popped out to short, Chris Carlson drew an intentional walk.

Patino then scored when Kody Kaiser reached on a fielder’s choice. The bases remained loaded, but Middleton grounded out to short to end the inning.

Brooklyn made it 5-2 in the sixth, when Raul Reyes homered to right off reliever Erik Crichton. The O-Tigers put the game away with four runs in the seventh.

With two out, Wells tripled to center. Carlson was intentionally walked and Kaiser was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brooklyn then brought in Edgar Ramirez to replace Grady Hinchman to face Middleton, who then hit a grand slam to left field.

Sendy Vasquez (5-5) earned the victory for the O-Tigers. He allowed one run on three hits over five innings. Vasquez struck out two and walked six.

Detroit’s top pick coming to Oneonta

Detroit’s first-round draft pick, right-hander Rick Porcello, made his first visit to Comerica Park after signing a four-year contract worth $7.28 million.

"I’m going to Oneonta, New York, on Sunday and I’m going to start a stretching and throwing program and hopefully get in shape for the fall," Porcello told the Associated Press.


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O-Tigers open two-game lead

Staff Report

Casper Wells hit a walkoff single to score Kyle Peter in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Oneonta Tigers rallied for a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Hudson Valley Renegades in front of 477 fans at Damaschke Field.

Peter opened the inning with a bunt single and moved to second when Justin Henry grounded out to second. Wells then singled to center, scoring Peter.

Wells finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Henry led Oneonta with three hits and two runs. Peter and Chris Carlson each contributed two hits for the Tigers.

The O-Tigers (38-26) lead the New York-Penn League’s Stedler Division by two games over Lowell. The Spinners (36-28) fell to Staten Island, 9-6, Sunday.

The Tigers finish their three-game series with the Renegades at 7 tonight. Sean Finefrock (3-4, 5.44 ERA) is scheduled to start for Oneonta, which then hosts Lowell in a two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hudson Valley took a 2-0 lead after three innings before Oneonta made it 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Wells. The Renegades scored twice in the top of the fifth for a 4-1 lead, but the O-Tigers chipped away.

Mike Sullivan tripled to lead off the fifth and scored when Adrian Casanova grounded out to make it 4-2. Henry scored on a passed ball by Hudson Valley catcher Ian Paxton in the sixth to make it a one-run game and tied it with a two-out RBI single in the seventh.

Rudy Darrow (3-3) pitched the final three innings to earn the victory. He allowed one hit and struck out two.

Saturday’s game

Hudson Valley 4, O-Tigers 3

Emeel Salem scored on a wild pitch by Erik Crichton with one out in the top of the eighth inning as Hudson Valley snapped a 3-all tie en route to a victory at Damashke Field.

The game was called in the ninth because of rain.

Trailing, 1-0, Oneonta tied the score in the bottom of the first on Chris Carlson’s sacrifice fly.

The Renegades took a 3-1 lead on a two-run double from Salem in the top of the second.

The O-Tigers got one back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Jorge Patino and tied it in the seventh when Justin Henry hit a two-out RBI single.

Friday’s second game

O-Tigers 9, Brooklyn 7

Justin Henry and Casper Wells each finished 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs as the O-Tigers rallied to win the second game of a doubleheader Friday night.

The Tigers earned a 9-2 victory in the first game.

Trailing, 3-0, in the second game, the Tigers scored two in the top of the third. Henry had a one-out, two-run double to cap the inning. Oneonta took the lead in the top of the fourth with six runs.

Cory Middleton reached on a throwing error by Brooklyn shortstop Matthew Bouchard and moved to second when Mike Sullivan walked. Adrian Casanova then was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Jorge Patino followed with a groundout to shortstop, scoring Middleton to tie the score at 3. Sullivan moved to third and Casanova advanced second on the play. Kyle Peter singled to right, scoring Sullivan and moving Casanova to third.

New pitcher William Morgan then made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, scoring Casanova. Henry followed with a single that moved Peter to third. Wells’ single to right, scored Peter and moved Henry to second. After Chris Carlson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Kody Kaiser singled to right, scoring Henry and Wells to make it 8-3.

Noah Krol allowed one run in the seventh to earn his 15th save and Mark Brackman (3-3) pitched six innings to get the victory.


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6-run inning sinks Tigers

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Oneonta Tigers manager Andy Barkett and pitching coach Mark Johnson wore a path to the mound during the fifth inning Monday night at Damaschke Field.

Johnson made two visits and Barkett one in the fifth inning, when Hudson Valley scored six runs en route to a 9-6 New York-Penn League victory in front of 1,883 fans.

Johnson made an initial visit to chat with starter Sean Finefrock and Barkett later came out to pull Finefrock in favor of Brandon Johnson. Mark Johnson appeared again later in the inning to talk with Oneonta’s second pitcher of the inning.

"They swung the bats well," Barkett said. "We left the ball up and they took advantage of it."

Oneonta (38-27) maintained a two-game lead over Lowell in the Stedler Division with 11 games left. The Spinners (36-29) fell to Staten Island, 2-1, Monday night.

Lowell visits the O-Tigers for a two-game set beginning at 7 tonight. Left-hander Jonathan Kibler, who went 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in seven games with the GCL Tigers, will make his Oneonta debut. Lefty Felix Doubront (0-2, 6.75) is slated to pitch for the Spinners.

"I have a lot of confidence in these guys," said Barkett, whose team is 4-4 against the Spinners this year, including 1-2 at home. "We do have a two-game lead, so we’re in the driver’s seat. If we come ready to play and execute, this is our division to lose."

Hudson Valley entered the fifth with a 3-2 lead and sent 11 batters to the plate, taking advantage of an error, four walks and some timely hitting.

With one out, losing pitcher Finefrock (3-5) walked Emeel Salem and allowed a double to Cody Cipriano to put runners on second and third. After Finefrock (3-5) intentionally walked Stephen Vogt, Gregory Sexton singled to center, scoring Salem and keeping the bases loaded.

Brandon Johnson relieved Finefrock and after going 1-1 to Mike McCormick, he allowed a line-drive single to center. The ball took an odd bounce and a charging Kyle Peter tripped on the turf as the ball skipped by him for an error. Cipriano, Vogt and Sexton all scored and McCormick reached third on the play.

Peter left the game after the play. Barkett said he injured a hip flexor on his left side and could be out for a week or so.

"He came in and got jammed up," Barkett said of Peter, who’s hitting .274. "That outfield is bumpy and it happens. He was being aggressive. You can’t make plays unless you are aggressive and trying to make it."

After a brief delay, Henry Wrigley singled to center to score McCormick and make it 8-2. Johnson then walked Angel Fermin and James Mayer to load the bases before Omar Luna grounded out to second, scoring Wrigley for a 9-2 lead.

"The turning point was that ball going by Peter," said Hudson Valley manager Matt Quatraro, whose team improved to 30-34. "The ball took a bad hop and it turned the tide for us. Every game with them has been hard fought and tonight we were fortunate to come out on top."

The O-Tigers got four in the eighth to close the gap. Ryan Seawell doubled and Justin Henry walked to put runners on first and second. After Casper Wells popped out to third, Chris Carlson singled to left, scoring Seawell and moving Henry to second. Ron Bourquin then followed with a double that scored Henry and moved Carlson to third for a 9-4 score.

Kody Kaiser’s groundout to second scored Carlson and moved Bourquin to third. Bourquin finished off the inning when he scored on a wild pitch.

"We didn’t have great at-bats early," Barkett said. "We let it get away."

Hudson Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first but an RBI single from Jorge Patino (2-for-4) tied it in the second. The Renegades scored once in the third and another in the fourth for a 3-1 lead. Patino had another RBI single in the fourth to make it 3-2.

"Our guys have been playing well the past few weeks," Quatraro said. "I’ve seen so many even matchups in this league. It depends on the night. I’m happy for our guys that they can play well down the stretch and keep things interesting


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O-Tigers blow it in 9th

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ If first impressions are meant to last, then Oneonta likely won’t forget about Jonathan Kibler any time soon.

Kibler, however, might want to forget about the final impression of his Oneonta Tigers debut.

Lefty Kibler pitched seven innings of two-hit ball Tuesday night, but Oneonta’s bullpen couldn’t hold a three-run lead in the ninth as the Lowell Spinners rallied for a key 5-3 New York-Penn League victory over the O-Tigers in front of a season-high 4,527 fans at Damaschke Field.

"He was outstanding," O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett said of Kibler, who finished with three strikeouts and two walks. "He threw a great ball game. I was really impressed and he wasn’t fazed by the pennant race or the big crowd.

"But his outing gets spoiled," Barkett continued. "You hate that for him and for the team. But especially for him the way he pitched."

Oneonta (38-28) saw its lead over Lowell (37-29) cut to one game in the Stedler Division. The teams meet at 7 tonight to finish a two-game set. It will also be the final time they meet during the regular season.

See O-TIGERS on Page 15

Sendy Vasquez (5-5, 5.05 ERA) is slated to pitch for Oneonta, opposing Jose Capellan (4-2, 3.34).

"We’re all going to see what this club is made of tomorrow," Barkett said. "I’m interested to see how much fight this club comes out with tomorrow. This is a pivotal game. I’m not downplaying this one. That was a tough loss."

Heading into the ninth inning Tuesday, the O-Tigers looked ready to extend their division lead to three games. Oneonta held a 3-0 lead and had the league’s top closer in Noah Krol on the mound.

But Krol didn’t make it past three hitters. He walked Deshaun Brooks, who gave way to pinch runner Luis Segovia. Yamaico Navarro then doubled to score Segovia. A passed ball by Joe Bowen moved Navarro to third and Pedro Vasquez followed with a 10-pitch at-bat that resulted in a run-scoring double to make it 3-2.

Krol was lifted for Jose Fragoso (2-4), who gave up a single to Che-Hsuan Lin on the first pitch. The hit moved Vasquez to third. After Fragoso struck out Tyler Weeden, Lin stole second and Rafael Cabreja flew out to left to score Vasquez with the tying run.

Lowell’s offense didn’t stop there as Ryan Dent singled to score Lin. Dent went to second on right fielder Kody Kasier’s throw home. After an intentional walk to Carlos Fernandez-Olivia, Oscar Tejada singled to right, scoring Dent to make it 5-3.

"We were stymied by their pitching," Lowell manager Gary DiSarcina said. "We didn’t have a lot of energy and we weren’t in sync, offensively. (Kibler) threw strikes and made us look bad.

"These games don’t happen a lot," he continued. "Especially on the road against a good team like Oneonta. ... But you have to get 27 outs. You see situations like this happen. The mind-set is to play it out and don’t give at-bats away."

Oneonta took the lead in the third on an RBI singles from Justin Henry and Jorge Patino. The Tigers made it 3-0 in the fifth when Patino singled with two outs and scored when Wells tripled to center.

The O-Tigers also backed Kibler with some strong defense. Second baseman Henry made a diving grab in the fourth inning with runners on first and second with two outs. He dived to his right and was up quick enough to make the throw for the out at first. In the eighth inning, Dent singled with one out to left. The ball went down the line, but Wells hustled to the line and scooped it up. Dent made the turn for second and Wells made a perfect throw to Henry, who tagged out a sliding Dent.

Henry and Patino each finished with two hits for the O-Tigers, who went down in order in the ninth against winning pitcher Willy Mota (5-3).

"We didn’t execute," Barkett said about the end of the game. "We walked too many guys and left too many pitches up in the zone. They were better tonight. They executed and got the job done. That’s why they won and we didn’t."


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Vasquez lifts O-Tigers to key win

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Sendy Vasquez had all the answers for the Oneonta Tigers on Wednesday night.

Vasquez pitched eight strong innings, striking out five and walking three to lead Oneonta to a key, 8-2 New York-Penn League victory over the Lowell Spinners in front of 396 fans at Damaschke Field.

Oneonta (39-28) extended its lead in the Stedler Division to two games over the Spinners (37-30). Each team has nine games remaining, but the two won’t meet again during the regular season. The O-Tigers also extended its lead over Vermont (33-33) to 5 1/2 games as the Lake Monsters fell, 8-2, to last-place Tri-City.

The Tigers visit Vermont for a two-game series starting tonight.

"We talked briefly before the game and they were feeling the pressure last night," Tigers manager Andy Barkett said of his team’s 5-3 home loss to Lowell on Tuesday, when Oneonta blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth. "We talked about this not being a winner-take-all series. We didn’t have to be white-knuckled. Every game is important and we felt we had a better club and had to go out and do it."

Right-hander Vasquez (6-5) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. He seemed to get stronger as the night went on, sending the Spinners down in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

"I felt very comfortable out there," Vasquez said. "I had to pitch good and we had to win. ... I concentrated and kept the ball down. I felt my fastball was strong tonight and had good movement."

Vasquez finished with 106 pitches _ 69 for strikes. He started a bit shaky in the first inning, giving up a run on one hit. He threw 21 pitches that inning _ 13 for strikes. But as the innings went on, Vasquez found his control and kept Lowell’s batters off-balance.

"He had more confidence out there," said catcher Adrian Casanova, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. "Our defense helped him out, so he was confident with his fastball. He wasn’t scared to let batters put it in play. As the innings went on, he got more comfortable."

Rudy Darrow pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close the victory, which also was fueled by 12 hits from Oneonta’s offense.

The O-Tigers erased a 1-0 deficit in the first on an RBI single from Chris Carlson, then took the lead for good in the second.

With one out, Chris White singled on a high-chopper to third and advanced to third on a single by Ryan Seawell. Casanova singled to center, scoring White for a 2-1 lead and moving Seawell to second.

Justin Henry then followed with a hard grounder to first, which went off Lowell first baseman Deshaun Brooks. Seawell scored on the play and Casanova moved to third. Henry was going to second on the play and right fielder Rafael Cabreja’s throw was low and in the dirt and got past shortstop Oscar Tejada, allowing Casanova to score and make it 4-1.

"I was concentrating a little more and having fun," Casanova said of his performance. "It’s important to have fun. We felt no pressure. No matter what _ win, lose or draw _ we have nine games left. ... It’s another day at the ballpark. We have to do it again (tonight). Hopefully, this will carry over."

Lowell made it 4-2 in the fourth, but Oneonta pulled away with three more runs in the sixth.

With one out, Kody Kaiser doubled to center. White followed with an RBI double to left for a 5-2 lead. After Seawell flew out to center, Casanova singled to center to score White. Henry then walked to put runners on first and second, and Jorge Patino singled to right, scoring Casanova to make it 7-2.

Oneonta scored its final run in the seventh on an RBI single by Seawell.

"All the way up and down the lineup, we had good at-bats," Barkett said. "That’s what championship teams are all about. It’s 25 guys coming together and doing a job when called upon. We’ve tried to teach these guys how to be Detroit Tigers and how to be winners. To win, you have to be a team player."

Every starter in Oneonta’s lineup had at least one hit. White, Seawell and Casanova led the way with two apiece.


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O-Tigers two-hit as lead shrinks

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They struck out 15 times, had two hits and saw their lead in the Stedler Division shrink to a single game.

The Oneonta Tigers also committed two errors Thursday in a 6-0 New York-Penn League loss to the host Vermont Lake Monsters.

Vermont starter Jordan Zimmermann limited Oneonta to one hit over five innings. He struck out nine and walked one, and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last three starts _ a streak that covers 16 innings. Caleb Staudt and Luke Pisker combined four innings of one-hit ball and struck out six as the Lake Monsters kept their faint playoff hopes alive in the Stedler Division.

Vermont (34-33) moved within 4 1/2 games of division- leading Oneonta (39- 29), which saw second-place Lowell (38-30) pull within a game after a 13-0 victory over Tri-City on Thursday.

All three teams have eight games left, including Oneonta's series-ending game at Vermont at 7 tonight.

Tigers starter Mark Brackman (3-4) gave up five runs _ three earned _ over 2 1/3 innings.

Vermont scored three times in the first inning.

Brandon Whiting led off with an infield single to short and stole second. Mark Gildea then reached on a bunt single that sent Whiting to third.

Adam Seuss' single to left scored Whiting and moved Gildea to second. Sean Rooney then grounded to second baseman Justin Henry, who got the forceout at second, but shortstop Miguel Linares' throw went wide of first, allowing Gildea to score. Michael Burgess then hit an RBI single to center to make it 3-0.

Two walks by Brackman and an error in left field by Mike Sullivan helped the Lake Monsters to two runs in the third inning and a 5-0 lead.

Zimmermann (5-1, 1.63 ERA) retired the first eight O-Tigers before Angel Flores singled to center with two outs in the third inning.


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Tigers extend lead in Stedler

Staff Report

Casper Wells finished 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Oneonta Tigers to a 5-4 New York-Penn League victory over host Vermont on Friday.

Wells’ RBI single in the top of the fifth inning proved to be the difference for the O-Tigers (40-29), who hold a two-game lead over Lowell (38-31) in the Stedler Division. The Spinners fell, 10-0, to last-place Tri-City on Friday. Vermont (34-34) is 5 1/2 games back with seven to play in the regular season.

Oneonta returns home to Damaschke Field for a 7 p.m. game Saturday against the ValleyCats. The Tigers then visit T-C for a 6 p.m. game Sunday, followed by Oneonta’s regular-season home finale at 7 p.m. Monday against the same team.

The Tigers erased a 1-0 deficit in the second inning Friday. With two out, Kody Kaiser walked and scored when Ryan Seawell doubled to center.

Oneonta scored three more runs in the third. Jorge Patino singled to left, but forced out at second when Chris White grounded to second. White reached first safely, then stole second. Justin Henry walked to set up Wells, who followed with hit his eighth homer of the season for a 4-1 lead.

Vermont scored once in the bottom of the third, but Wells put Oneonta back up by three in the fifth. Henry singled with two out, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball by Vermont catcher Craig Stinson. Wells then singled to center, scoring Henry for a 5-2 advantage.

The Lake Monsters plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth to cap the scoring.

Rudy Darrow (4-3) earned the victory, pitching 2 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings in relief of starter Emmanuel Miguelez. Darrow struck out five and walked none.

Miguelez allowed four runs on three hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked five.

Erik Crichton followed Darrow with 1 1/3 innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out one. Noah Krol got the last two outs to earn his league-best 16th save, despite walking two.


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O-Tigers’ pen gets smacked

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Oneonta’s bullpen couldn’t hold down the lead for starter Sendy Vasquez.

Tri-City scored six runs in the top of the 10th inning, highlighted by a three-run triple from Matthew Cusick, to earn a 7-2, come-from-behind New York-Penn League victory Sunday over the Stedler Division-leading O-Tigers in front of 438 fans at Damaschke Field.

Photo by Cheryl Clough Oneonta Tigers starter Sendy Vasquez pitches against Tri-City during the second inning of Monday?s New York-Penn League game at Damaschke Field. Vasquez struck out six in a no-decision.

Oneonta (42-30) maintained its two-game lead in the division over Lowell (40-32). The Spinners fell, 9-5, to Vermont on Monday night. The O-Tigers visit Tri-City (26-44) before heading to Aberdeen for the final three games of the regular season with the IronBirds.

Oneonta’s magic number to clinch the division is three, so any combination of O-Tigers wins and Lowell losses that add up to three will give the Tigers the division.

The playoffs are scheduled to begin Sunday, according to the NY-Penn website. Should the standings hold, Oneonta would play host to Pinckney Division champion Auburn (46-26) in the first game of a best-of-three series. After the opener, the series would shift to Auburn for the second game and, if necessary, a third. Brooklyn (46-24), which leads current wild-card Staten Island (44-27) by 2 1/2 games in the McNamara Division, would visit the Yankees for the opener before hosting the second and third games.

Cusick put the final touches on keeping the Tigers from getting one game closer to clinching the division Monday night.

With one out in the 10th, Russell Dixon doubled off Oneonta pitcher Luis Gil. Steve Brown followed with a double to left, scoring Dixon to snap a 1-all tie and make it 2-1. After Kevin Carkeek walked, Reinaldo Pestana singled to center, scoring Brown to make it 3-1. Center fielder Chris White had a strong one-bounce throw to the plate to attempt to get Brown, but catcher Adrian Casanova couldn’t handle the ball.

After Jose Fragoso replaced Gil, Catlin Everett walked to load the bases and Cusick followed with a triple to the base of the wall in center, making is 6-1.

"I was trying to get the ball in the air," said Cusick, who then scored on a sacrifice fly from Craig Corrado to make it 7-1. "As soon as I hit it, I knew even if it was caught I got the job done and got a run home. The triple was icing on the cake."

The O-Tigers scored one in the bottom of the 10th on an RBI single from Justin Henry for the final margin.

"Sometimes in baseball you get your butts beat," O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett said. "And tonight we got our butts beat. ... We have to come out and win tomorrow. This was big and we let it get away."

The ValleyCats, stifled for much of the game by Oneonta pitching, scored one in the top of the ninth to tie the score.

Brown singled off Rudy Darrow, who was then lifted for closer Noah Krol, the league-leader in saves with 17. But Krol had problems with his control. He threw a wild pitch, allowing Brown to move to second before striking out Carkeek. Pestana then singled to left, scoring Brown to tie the score at 1. It was Krol’s second blown save of the season.

"Darrow was doing a good job but we decided to go with Krol because Darrow doesn’t hold runners on very well," Barkett said. "Krol is quick to the plate. But we didn’t get it done and we didn’t give any offensive support as well."

Krol then walked Everett and Cusick on eight straight pitches to load the bases before getting lifted for Gil, who struck out Corrado and DeLome to end the inning.

"That was a real interesting game," Tri-City manager Pete Rancont said. "All those zeroes and then you get into extras and the ball is flying all over the yard. ... I’m proud of my kids. They played hard and we want them to finish strong. I’m happy with the way it turned out, obviously."

The O-Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. White doubled to lead off and moved to third when Henry grounded out to first. White then scored on a sacrifice fly from Casper Wells.

Vasquez pitched 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up four hits, struck out six and walked three. Darrow gave up one run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three.

Gil (1-1) suffered the loss, giving up four runs on three hits in an inning. He struck out two and walked one.

NOTES: Tri-City first baseman Alberto Cruz was ejected between the top and bottom of the fourth inning. Cruz struck out to end the top of the fourth when field umpire Greg Brown said he went around on a swing. He was talking when he went out to the field in the bottom of the inning and was tossed by Brown. ... The 438 fans in attendance Monday pushed the season mark to 49,018, an average of about 1,400 fans through Oneonta’s 35 openings. That’s the highest the team has drawn since attracting 56,602 in 2002. ... Jade Barkett, the five-year-old daughter of manager Andy Barkett, sang a powerful version of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.


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

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OT up two with four to play.

Good chance Tigers will have four minor league teams in the playoffs.

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O-Tigers clinch Stedler title

Staff Report

The Oneonta Tigers left no doubt Wednesday night.

Chris White, Ronnie Bourqin and Angel Flores each had three hits to lead the O-Tigers to a 14-8 New York-Penn League victory over the Aberdeen IronBirds, clinching their fourth Stedler Division title in six years.

Oneonta (44-30) had 19 hits and withstood a seven-run eighth inning by the IronBirds (32-42). The teams continue their series at 7:05 tonight and 7:05 p.m. Friday, which wraps up the regular season.

The Tigers actually clinched the division before their game was over as Lowell fell, 3-1, to McNamara Division leader Brooklyn. The Spinners (47-25) hold a 1 1/2 game lead over wild-card leading Staten Island (46-27) with two games to play. Brooklyn would need to lose out and Staten Island, which beat Tri-City, 13-2, would have to win out for the two to swap positions. Both are already in the playoffs. Pinckney Division champion Auburn (46-28) lost to Jamestown, 2-0.

The pairings for the playoffs aren’t set yet as there is the possibility of jockeying for position. The opening round of the NY-Penn playoffs begin Sunday.

Guillermo Moscoso (8-2) worked 5 2/3 innings to earn the victory. He allowed one run on five hits, striking out four and walking one.

Casper Wells hit a three-run homer in the top of the first inning. Justin Henry followed with a two-run single in the second to make it 5-1.

The Tigers seemingly put the game away in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

White’s RBI groundout in the fourth made it 6-1. In the fifth, Bourquin singled and, with two out, Cory Middleton hit his sixth homer of the season to put Oneonta up, 8-1.

White led off the sixth with a single and Mike Sullivan walked with one out to put runners on first and second. Chris Carlson then hit a two-out, RBI single that moved Sullivan to third, and Kody Kaiser followed with an RBI single to center for a 10-1 lead.

Kaiser’s RBI groundout in the eighth made it 11-1 before the O-Tigers gave up seven runs in the bottom of the inning.

Oneonta capped the scoring in the ninth, when Linares had an RBI single, Ryan Seawell walked with bases loaded and Carlson hit a sacrifice fly.


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O-Tigers to play Auburn

Staff Report

In a game that mattered little to the Stedler Division champion Oneonta Tigers, Aberdeen’s Anthony Martinez had three extra-base hits to lead the host IronBirds to a 5-3 New York-Penn League victory Thursday.

Oneonta clinched the division title a night before after a 14-8 win over Aberdeen that saw the Tigers amass 19 hits.

They had seven hits Thursday.

The O-Tigers also learned their firstround playoff opponent Thursday, Oneonta (44-31), which has the worst record of the four playoff teams, will play Pinckney Division winner Auburn (47-28) in a best-of-three New York- Penn League playoff series that begins Sunday at Damaschke Field. Game 2 is at Auburn and if a third game is necessary, it would be played at Auburn.

The O-Tigers went 2-1 against Auburn this season. McMamara Division winner Brooklyn (48-25) and wildcard Staten Island (47- 27) begin their first-round series Sunday at Staten Island.

Should Oneonta beat Auburn, it would play the Brooklyn-Staten Island winner in a best-of-three series for the NY-Penn title, beginning Sept. 12 or Sept. 13 at Damaschke Field.

On Thursday, Martinez hit an RBI double during Aberdeen’s two-run first inning and then put the IronBirds ahead to stay with a home run in the third inning that made it 3-2, and hit an RBI double in the fourth to make it 4-2.

All of Martinez’s hits came off losing pitcher Brandon Johnson (0-1), who allowed four runs on five hits over five innings. Johnson struck out four and walked three.

The O-Tigers scored twice in the second inning to tie the score at 2.

Ron Bourquin opened with a single and Ryan Seawell followed with a groundrule double to left.

Bourquin scored on a groundout by Angel Flores and Seawell scored on a groundout by Christopher White.

Those would be the lone runs allowed by winning pitcher Aubrey Miller (3-5), who limited the O-Tigers to three hits over six innings.

Douglas Reinhardt’s sacrifice fly in the sixth gave Aberdeen a 5-2 lead.

Oneonta got a run back in the seventh on an RBI single by White.

Seawell had two hits to lead the Tigers, who’ll complete their regular season tonight at Aberdeen.


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Auburn shuts down O-Tigers to even series

Staff Report

It's one game or bust for the Oneonta Tigers.

Brad Emanus went 3-for-4, including a home run and two RBIs, to lead the Auburn Doubledays to a 6-0 victory over the O-Tigers in the Game 2 of the opening round of the New York-Penn League playoffs Monday night.

The deciding Game 3 is scheduled for 7 tonight at Auburn. The winner advances to play the winner of Brooklyn and Staten Island in the NY-Penn championship. Brooklyn leads the best-of-three series, 1-0, and Monday's game wasn't over as of press time as the game was delayed for nearly two hours because of fog.

Sendy Vasquez, who went 6-5 with a 4.23 ERA this season, is set to pitch for the Tigers (45-33). Luis Perez (3-3, 3.70) is slated to throw for Auburn (48-30).

"It's been a great year," O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett said via cell phone. "If we come out tomorrow and play well, we'll win. If we don't, we won't. I don't want them to come out and put pressure on themselves.

"Good teams in championship situations get beat," he continued. "Sometimes you have to battle back. I'm proud of them either way. I want them to come out and play hard 27 outs tomorrow."

Marc Rzepczynski allowed three hits over six innings to earn the victory for Auburn. He struck out eight and walked one. Alan Farina pitched the final three innings, scattering one hit to earn the save. He struck out seven.

The O-Tigers, who won Game 1, 1-0, in 11 innings Sunday at Damaschke Field, have struck out 26 times and produced one run over the first two games of the series.

"It wasn't a pretty game," said Barkett, who was tossed in the seventh inning for arguing a balk call. "We didn't play well all together. We got outpitched and we got outhit. They played really well and we' didn't _ that's as simple as it can be put."

Justin Henry had two of the O-Tigers' four hits. Mike Sullivan and Angel Flores had the Tigers' other hits.

Trailing, 5-0, in the seventh, Oneonta pitcher Rudy Darrow was called for a balk, scoring Ben Zeskind. Barkett argued and was ejected. Before leaving the field, Barkett threw third base and first base into the outfield.

"I didn't think it was a balk. I thought it was impossible for it to be called a balk," Barkett said, adding that it's nearly impossible for right-hander Darrow to balk because of his sidearm delivery. "I thought he was bullied into the call by (Auburn manager Dennis Holmberg). That was upsetting and I let them know how I felt."

Auburn took the lead in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs with two outs off losing pitcher Guillermo Moscoso, who went 8-2 during the regular season. Emanus and J.P. Arencibia each had RBI singles.

Manuel Rodriguez had an RBI double in the third to make it 3-0. Emanus homered and Victor Santana contributed an RBI single to make it 5-0 in the sixth inning.


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O-Tigers eliminated

Staff Report

In a three-game series that featured 38 strikeouts by Oneonta Tigers hitters, it was probably their final out came on a strikeout.

With the tying run on second and two outs, Auburn's Cody Crowell struck out Justin Henry swinging and the Doubledays won, 4-3, Tuesday.

Brad Emanus homered for the second straight night, leading host Auburn to a two games to one victory over the O-Tigers (45-34) in a New York-Penn League first-round playoff series. It's the second time in three years Auburn eliminated the O-Tigers from the playoffs.

The Doubledays (49-30) advance to meet Brooklyn (51-25), which swept Staten Island in the other series, including a 3-1 victory late Tuesday night. The championship series will open at Auburn on Thursday.

Oneonta batters struck out 12 times Tuesday, following a 15-strikeout outing in a 6-0 loss in Game 2 and 11 strikeouts in a 1-0 , 11-inning win in Game 1 at Damaschke Field on Sunday.

"We just came up a little short," first-year O-Tigers manager Andy Barkett said via cell phone. "Our bullpen came in and shut them down, but our bats were a little stale this series and that hurt. ... We're

See O-TIGERS on Page 15

very proud of these guys. We weren't given much of a chance coming out of spring training and we were one game away from reaching the championship series. We believed and worked. We got better and had fun. It's sad to see it end."

Oneonta's offense sputtered as a whole. The Tigers were outscored, 10-4, in the series after averaging 5.2 runs during the regular season.

"They ran some good arms at us," Barkett said. "They have a good ballclub. They can hit a fastball and they can pitch."

The O-Tigers trailed, 4-1, entering the ninth Tuesday. Kody Kaiser singled to left to lead off the inning and Jorge Patino followed with an infield single, moving Kaiser to second.

After Cory Middleton struck out swinging and pinch-hitter Mike Sullivan struck out looking, Chris White double to left, scoring Kaiser and Patino for a 4-3 score. Henry then worked a full count before striking out against Crowell, who earned the save. The ball bounced around, but catcher J.P. Arencibia threw to first baseman Manuel Rodriguez to end it.

All of Auburn's runs were charged to Oneonta starter Sendy Vasquez, who lasted 2 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits and walked two. Jose Fragoso gave up three hits and struck out three in 3 1/3 innings of relief. He was followed by Rudy Darrow (1 2/3 innings, two hits, one strikeout) and Noah Krol (1/3 of an inning, one strikeout).

Luis Perez earned the victory, pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits. He struck out six and walked two.

Auburn opened the scoring with an RBI double from Rodriguez in the first inning.

Oneonta tied it in the third. White singled to open the inning, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Henry then walked, took second on a balk and stole third. Henry scored on a sacrifice fly from Casper Wells.

The Doubledays took the lead for good in the bottom of the third. Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly and Emanus hit a two-run homer to cap the inning.

White led Oneonta with three hits. Patino contributed two


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