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O-Tigers' Brackman to start opener

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Mark Brackman will look to get the Oneonta Tigers off to a strong start tonight at Vermont.

First-year manager Ryan Newman tagged Brackman as the starting pitcher for tonight's 7:05 p.m. New York-Penn League season-opener against the Lake Monsters.

Oneonta will play a three-game set at Vermont before heading to Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game Friday. The reigning Stedler Division champion O-Tigers will hold their home opener at 7 p.m. Friday against the ValleyCats and head to T-C to finish the three-game series Sunday.

Brackman, a 6-foot-7 righty, is in his second tour with Oneonta. Drafted in the 16th round of last year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft out of William Jewell College (Mo.), Brackman went 4-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 14 games for Oneonta.

He allowed 42 runs (33 earned) on 75 hits in 73 1/3 innings.

"I was here last year, so it's an honor to get the first start," Brackman said before doing a short workout at Damaschke Field on Monday. "It's the same drill _ throw a lot of strikes, get ahead and let my defense work. All these guys are here for a reason and it's because they are great baseball players. So let them get some of the action."

Brackman opened the year with Single-A Lakeland, going 0-3 with a 10.50 ERA in six games. He allowed 15 runs _ all earned _ on 23 hits in 12 innings. He said being back in Oneonta wasn't a bad thing.

"It's better than being home," Brackman said. "A lot of the guys I played with (last year) are in West Michigan right now. That's where I thought I'd be, but now I'm just seizing the opportunity to get to play. It's not really about where you're at right now, we're all about trying to get to the big leagues. I'm just using my opportunity. I'm still playing and still getting the opportunity to start and work on some things and try to make it to the big leagues."

Newman said Brackman will be on a pitch count, but considering he's been playing this year with the organization, he won't be on as strict a count as some of the younger and newly-drafted players.

"He's stretched out a bit more," Newman said. "We'd like to have the lead and see him get through five innings and get him a W. But with the break, we're watching the numbers."

Newman said picking Brackman was obvious.

"It was very easy," he said. "He's been here and he has the experience. ... We know what we're getting."

Brackman will oppose Vermont's Brad Peacock, a 6-1 right-hander who began the year at Single-A Hagerstown, going 0-5 with a 9.09 ERA.

Luke Putkonen, a 6-6 righty who went 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three games with the Gulf Coast League Tigers last season, will start the second game against Vermont. The Lake Monsters will counter with 6-0 righty Randy Matias, who went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two games with Hagerstown.

Darwin DeLeon, a 6-0 lefty who finished 9-0 with a 0.76 ERA for the Dominican Summer League Tigers last season, will start the third game for the O-Tigers and will face 6-4 lefty Patrick McCoy, who played in the Gulf Coast League last season.

Oneonta had a full workout scheduled for Monday night at Damaschke, but bad weather wiped that out. Players did have a chance to throw in the outfield and take some swings in the batting cages.

Newman set a tentative lineup for Oneonta's opener.

Chris White _ who hit .197 in 17 games for the Tigers last year, will bat leadoff and play center. Joaquin Guzman will play short and hit second and Hayden Parrott will play left and hit third. Carlos Ramirez will hit fourth and play first, followed by designated hitter Luis Arlet.

Joe Bowen, who went 1-for-25 (.040) in nine games for Oneonta last season, will hit sixth and catch. He also played 22 games at Single-A West Michigan this season, hitting .176 (13-for-74).

Bryan Pounds will hit seventh and play third, followed by Keith Stein in right field and Mike Gosse at second base.

"I'm ready and excited," Newman said. "I can't wait to see the scoreboard light up, the lights to come on, hear the national anthem and play some ball."


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O-Tigers fall in opener

Staff Report

Vermont scored five times off Oneonta Tigers starter Mark Brackman in the fourth inning and held on for a 6-4 New York-Penn League victory in the season-opener for both teams Tuesday at Centennial Field.

Brackman (0-1) gave up six runs on four hits in four innings. He struck out four and walked three.

The Tigers and Lake Monsters continue their three-game series at 7:05 tonight. They finish the set at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, before heading to Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

The O-Tigers' home-opener is 7 p.m. Saturday against Tri-City.

The Lake Monsters trailed, 2-1, heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Brackman struck out Steven Souza looking to start the inning, but Jesus Valdez and Derek Norris each walked and Michael Guerrero was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Stephen Englund followed with a two-run single to left that sent Guerrero to second. Guerrero scored when Tyler Moore singled to right to make it 4-2. Englund went to third and Moore advanced to second on a fielding error by Oneonta right fielder Keith Stein.

Englund scored when Nick Arata grounded out to second and Jose Lozada finished the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to right.

Joe Bowen had an RBI groundout in the sixth and Ben Guez homered to right in the seventh to close the scoring for Oneonta, which finished with six hits.

Vermont took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double from Souza.

The O-Tigers, 7-3 in season-openers since becoming an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers in 1999, took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. With one out, Luis Arlet walked. After Bowen flied to left, Bryan Pounds singled to left, putting runners on first and second.

Stein then walked to load the bases before Mike Gosse singled to right, scoring Arlet and Pounds.

Brad Peacock earned the victory for Vermont, allowing two runs on two hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out two.


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O-Tigers earn first win of '08

Staff Report

Luke Putkonen pitched five innings of shutout baseball Wednesday, helping the Oneonta Tigers to an 8-1 New York-Penn League victory at Vermont.

Putkonen (1-0) struck out five, walked one and allowed three hits for Oneonta, which started its 2008 season Tuesday with a 6-4 loss to the Lake Monsters.

The Tigers (1-1) close their three-game series at Vermont (1-1) at 7:05 tonight. Oneonta visits Tri-City at 7 p.m. Friday before opening its home schedule at 7 p.m. Saturday against the ValleyCats.

Darwin DeLeon is scheduled to start tonight for Oneonta and will oppose fellow left-hander Patrick McCoy.

The O-Tigers scored three times in the top of the first inning Wednesday.

Ben Guez walked and went to third when Mike Gosse singled to right. Hayden Parrott followed with a triple to center for a 2-0 lead.

Carlos Ramirez grounded out and Tyler Weber struck out swinging against losing pitcher Randy Matias before Joaquin Guzman beat out an infield single. Guzman, who drove in Parrott on the play, took second on a throwing error by Vermont shortstop Jose Lozada.

The Tigers made it 5-0 in the third as Parrott walked before Ramirez homered to left field.

Weber gave Oneonta a 6-0 lead in the fifth with an RBI single. Stein homered in the sixth and hit an RBI single in the seventh to cap the Tigers' scoring.

Vermont ended Oneonta's shutout bid in the eighth, when James Keithley grounded into a double play that plated Stephen Englund.

Stein, Gosse, Parrott and Brent Wyatt each had two hits for the O-Tigers.

Reliever Luis Gil followed Putkonen with two innings of hitless ball. He walked one.

Sean Finefrock allowed one run on one hit, striking out one in one inning of relief. Tyler Stohr closed Oneonta's victory by striking out two in a scoreless ninth.

The O-Tigers turned four double plays, including two with the combination of shortstop Wyatt, second baseman Gosse and first baseman Ramirez.



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Tigers win big on road

Staff Report

Six Oneonta batters finished with at least two hits in the Tigers' 13-8 New York-Penn League victory at Vermont on Thursday.

The O-Tigers bunched 13 of their 15 hits into the first five innings, when they scored 12 times en route to their second consecutive victory.

Hayden Parrott's three-run homer to left in the fifth inning made it 12-4. Parrott also hit an RBI double and scored on Carlos Ramirez's double during the Tigers' five-run fourth, which ended with Oneonta ahead, 9-4.

Oneonta (2-1) travels to Tri-City for a 7 p.m. game today, then plays its home opener against the ValleyCats at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Parrott finished with four RBIs. Teammates Ramirez and Keith Stein drove in three runs apiece.

The O-Tigers scored three times in the first, when Ramirez hit a two-run triple to center.

The Lake Monsters (1-2) answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning off Darwin DeLeon, who allowed four runs on six hits over four innings.

Stein's RBI single to left scored Parrott from second to tie the score at 4 in the third. Stein also hit a two-run single in the fourth that scored two runs.

Joaquin Guzman, Wade Lamont and Ramirez each finished with three for the O-Tigers, who received two hits apiece from Ben Guez, Parrott and Stein.

This victory did not come without some pain for the O-Tigers, who had four batters hit by pitches. Lake Monsters starter Patrick McCoy hit Parrott and Brent Wyatt en route to allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Ryan DeLaughter relieved McCoy in the fourth inning and hit Eric Harryman. DeLaughter allowed six runs in a third of an inning, leaving his ERA at 162.00 after his first appearance this season.

Austin Garrett, who came in for DeLaughter in the fifth, hit Joseph Bowen.

Vermont also threw three wild pitches _ two by DeLaughter and one by Garrett _ and walked eight.

Left-hander Aaron Fuhrman got the win after relieving DeLeon in the fourth. Fuhrman allowed three runs on three hits over four innings. He struck out six and walked five.

Tyler Conn allowed one run in the ninth inning for the O-Tigers. He struck out one and walked two.

Konstanty homers

Oneonta High graduate Mike Konstanty hit a two-run homer in his professional debut Wednesday for the Billings Mustangs, the Cincinnati Reds' short-season Single-A team.

Konstanty, a first baseman, homered in the sixth inning during the Mustangs' 10-3 Pioneer League victory at Missoula.

The Reds drafted Konstanty in the 39th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft after he hit a school-record 13 home runs for the University of Albany this past spring


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Tigers keep rolling

Staff Report

David Stokes scattered three hits over six innings in his professional debut Friday as the Oneonta Tigers won their third straight with a 9-1 New York-Penn League victory at Tri-City.

Winning pitcher Stokes, selected in the 28th round of this year's First-Year Player Draft, allowed one earned run, struck out two and walked two.

Anthony Shawler kept the ValleyCats hitless in three innings of relief for the save. Shawler, a ninth-round draft pick who also made his pro debut Friday, struck out five and walked one.

The Tigers (3-1) open their 2008 home schedule at 7 p.m. Saturday against Tri-City. Oneonta goes back to T-C at 5 p.m. Sunday to finish a three-game set. The Tigers then host three games against the Lowell Spinners, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday.

Oneonta opened Friday's scoring in the top of the second inning.

Wade Lamont led off with a single to center against losing pitcher Jarred Holloway. Keith Stein followed with a double to center before Bryan Pounds hit a two-run single to right.

The ValleyCats (1-3) got out of the inning when Joe Bowen grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Mike Gosse flied out to left.

The O-Tigers made it 3-0 in the third on an RBI single from Hayden Parrott. Tri-City scored in the fourth on Ebert Rosario's sacrifice fly, but Oneonta started to pull away in the fifth.

Gosse reached on a fielding miscue by shortstop Jeff Hulett, one of five Tri-City errors and one of nine in the game. After Ben Guez struck out swinging, Joaquin Guzman singled to right to put runners on first and second. Each runner advanced on a wild pitch from reliever Philip Rummel.

Gosse scored and Guzman took third when Hayden Parrott grounded out to short. Carlos Ramirez followed with a single to left to score Guzman for a 6-1 lead.

In the sixth, Keith Stein drew a leadoff walk by reliever Michael Hacker, who got Pounds to fly out to right. Bowen singled to give Oneonta runners at the corners, then stole second. Stein scored when catcher Reinaldo Pestana's throw to second ended up in the outfield.

After Gosse struck out swinging, Guez reached on a fielding error by Rosario that allowed Bowen to score for a 7-1 advantage.

The O-Tigers capped the scoring in the eighth on back-to-back doubles.

With one out, Stein reached on a fielding error by first baseman Phil Disher. Stein moved to second on a wild pitch from Kyle Godfrey and scored when Pounds doubled to center. Bowen followed with an RBI double for the final margin.

Guzman, Parrott, Stein, Pounds and Bowen had two hits apiece for Oneonta, which finished with a 12-3 advantage in hits.


Because of incorrect information that originally appeared on the website minorleaguebaseball.com, Aaron Fuhrman's pitching line was wrong in Friday's editions of The Daily Star.

Fuhrman, who earned the victory, allowed two runs on two hits in three innings of relief Thursday in a 13-8 win over Vermont. He struck out six and walked two.


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Newman takes over tradition of success

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ He blends in quite well with this year's Oneonta Tigers squad.

Though just 29, first-year O-Tigers manager Ryan Newman doesn't look a day over 23 and probably could fool people into thinking he's here to play.

He's not. Instead, Newman's in Oneonta to help shape this year's Tigers team, molding a roster of youngsters into potential big-league players.

And while he's at it, maybe Newman can steer the O-Tigers toward another Stedler Division title in the New York-Penn League.

"It's funny because I get a lot of that Âyou look more like a player than you do a manager or a coach,'" Newman said. "I'm excited. I coached for the last three years in the Pirates organization and I always wanted to manage. I think it's in my blood. My dad played baseball for a long time and coached in the big leagues and managed a little bit. So I grew up around the game and honestly don't know anything different.

"If they kicked me out of the game I wouldn't know what to do," he continued. "I've always wanted to manage and I'm excited for the opportunity."

Newman, the son of longtime Major League player and coach Jeff Newman, has spent the past season as a coach in the Pittsburgh organization, including last year at Single-A Hickory.

He played professional ball for three seasons, but never ascended above Single-A and hit .189 (77-for-407) in 144 minor-league games. Newman finished with three doubles, a home run and 33 RBIs. He also struck out 107 times and walked 26 walks.

With his baseball pedigree, don't let his age fool you _ Newman knows the game. His age could prove to be beneficial with no major generation gaps.

"As soon as you see me come in here and see the way I work and go about my business, if there's any question about me being young, it's out the door," Newman said. "It could possibly give me a little bit better connection with these guys coming in there because I am a little closer to their age. Maybe I listen to some of the same music they do or I've seen some of the TV shows they've seen. There might be a little bit of a connection, but these kids we've had in the extended program we're bringing up here have done an outstanding job of respecting me along with (hitting coach Luis Quinones) and (pitching coach Alan Mills). I am young, especially for a manager, but I think as soon as these kids see me work and people around here see me work, that will be thrown right out the door."

Pitcher Sean Finefrock said Newman has already made a positive impact.

"I like him a lot," said Finefrock, who played in Oneonta last season. "He enforces when he needs and he sits back and watches when he needs. I haven't got to talk to him a lot, but what he's told me has helped a lot."

The 26th manager in Oneonta baseball history _ and the seventh since the team switched affiliations from the New York Yankees to Detroit in 1999, Newman replaces Andy Barkett, who moved up in the Tigers' chain to Single-A Lakeland this season.

Barkett guided Oneonta to its fourth Stedler Division title in six years last season. Oneonta fell in the first round of the playoffs, losing the best-of-3 series to eventual league champion Auburn, two games to one.

Newman also has a grasp on the NY-Penn, playing for Williamsport in 2002 and also coached there in 2006. Newman said the NY-Penn is a great place for players to adjust to the professional level.

"This makes you think of the movie Bull Durham," Newman said. "It's the epitome of minor league baseball. ... It's rookie ball. It's going to be minor league baseball. There's some nice facilities around this league, but this is where you can come here to play baseball.

"There's no distractions," he continued. "You're able to get the job done. These kids come here and want to work. They get to learn and it's exciting for them. This is their first taste of professional baseball, so they are happy to be here. It's exciting for all of us."

Newman said he'll have to adapt to his squad as the season progresses. He said he'll also have to take the large dimensions of Damaschke Field into consideration when making decisions.

"I think everybody has a philosophy, but a lot of it is the cards you're dealt," he said. "So I'm going to have to see what we get here with this team. This is a big ballpark, so we're not going to wait around for that three-run homer. We're going to have to manufacture runs. Situational hitting will be key.

"I think I'm a little old-school, growing up around the game," he continued. "I do believe pitching and defense win ballgames. We have some guys who can swing it, so it's going to be exciting. I'm going to have to adjust to them and see what we have. So after the first week or two, we'll see what kind of team we have and go from there."


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Depth, versatility key for Tigers

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ Versatility seems to be key word surrounding the Oneonta Tigers this season. First-year manager Ryan Newman has several infielders and outfielders who can play more than one position, something that could prove to be beneficial for Oneonta.

The O-Tigers head into their home-opener against the Tri-City ValleyCats at 7 p.m. Saturday with 30 players, including 15 pitchers. They also have three catchers, seven infielders and five outfielders. The following is a position-by-position look at the O-Tigers.


Not only do the Tigers have depth at this position, they also have size.

"I think we're going to have some good arms to throw out there everyday," Newman said of a staff that includes four left-handers. "I haven't seen a whole lot of these guys that just showed up, but what I hear from our scouts is we have a lot of good arms. If you look at the roster here, we have some bodies, too. There's kid that are 6-foot-8, 6-7, 6-6, so they'll be a presence on the mound. The guys we're bringing with us from extended (spring training), they are all good arms. They impressed the hell out of us in Florida. I'm excited to see these college kids we just got and see what they are made of."

Returning from last year's team are right-handers Mark Brackman, Sean Finefrock and Luis Gil.

"I've gained a lot of consistency, mentally and physically," said Finefrock, who went 3-5 with a 5.98 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) with Oneonta last season. "I'm looking at it as a second chance to come back and do a better job. It's an opportunity."

Finefrock (6-foot-6, 200 pounds) gave up 44 runs (35 earned) on 44 hits in 52 2/3 innings last year at Oneonta. He struck out 30, walked 21 and also had seven wild pitches.

Gil (6-1, 170) split time between Oneonta and Single-A West Michigan last season, going 1-1 with a 6.33 ERA in 17 games with the O-Tigers and 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA in three games with West Michigan.

Brackman (6-7, 230) suffered the loss in the Tigers' opener, a 6-4 setback at Vermont on Tuesday. He went 4-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 73 1/3 innings last season for Oneonta. He began this year with Single-A Lakeland, going 0-3 with a 10.50 ERA in six games.

"It's great because a lot of these kids will come in here and it's going to be their first time, some of them, away from home because they might have gone to college in their hometown," Newman said. "Guys like Brackman and Finefrock, they can show them around. They get them used to professional baseball. Things are done a little bit different professionally than they are in college. It gives a buffer between us as staff members trying to make the players comfortable."

Two players picked in the top 10 rounds of this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft have also been sent to Oneonta.

Tyler Stohr (6-2, 210) is a righty drafted in the sixth round (193rd overall) out of the University of North Florida, where he served as the closer. Stohr went 3-2 in 22 appearances for the Ospreys (29-26), earning 10 saves. He struck out 46 and walked 24 in 32 2/3 innings.

Detroit selected right-hander Anthony Shawler (6-3, 185) in the ninth round. He went 5-3 with a 5.35 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) at Old Dominion (25-27) this past spring. He struck out 95 and walked 38 in 75 2/3 innings.

Several pitchers come to Oneonta with professional experience. Darwin DeLeon, a 6-0 left-hander, earned the Dominican Summer League's Pitcher of the Year after going 9-0 with a 0.76 ERA last year with the DSL Tigers. The 19-year-old struck out 110 and walked 23 in 70 2/3 innings. Lester Oliveros, a 6-0 right-hander, led the Venezuelan Summer League with 19 saves last year. He finished 2-0 with a 1.41 ERA in 27 games. Oliveros struck out 59 and walked 13 in 38 1/3 innings.

Luke Putkonen (6-6) pitched for the Gulf Coast League Tigers last year, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three games. Aaron Fuhrman, a 6-0 lefty, also pitched in the GCL last season, going 2-7 with a 5-25 ERA in 12 games. He struck out 56 and walked 22 in 60 innings.

New to professional baseball are 5-11 lefty Tyler Conn (Southern Mississippi University), 6-4 left-hander Daniel DeLucia (Ohio State), 6-1 righty Trevor Feeney (Northern Illinois University), 6-1 righty Steve Gilman (Yale), 6-3 righty Mark Sorensen (Michigan State) and 6-8 righty David Stokes (Liberty University).

"I think we have a great team," Fuhrman said. "We're very well-rounded, we're here to compete and win ballgames. ... I just know wherever you go in the organization, you do your job and compete to the best of your ability."


The Tigers started the season with two catchers _ Joe Bowen and newly drafted Tyler Weber. Angel Flores, who spent time with Oneonta last season, joined the team Friday in time to make the trip to Tri-City.

Bowen (6-1, 190) split time between Oneonta and the GCL last season, hitting .040 (1-for-25) in nine games with the O-Tigers. In 40 games with the GCL Tigers, he hit .238 (30-for-126). Flores (6-0, 200) spent last season with Oneonta last year, hitting .221 (19-for-86) with three doubles. He's played six games this year between Single-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie, hitting .231.

Weber, a 6-3, 220-pounder drafted in the 30th round (913th overall) out of Wichita State University, hit .277 (65-for-235) in 63 games for the Shockers (48-17). He had 11 doubles, eight homers and 55 RBIs.

"These catchers are going to be vital because these pitchers are going to need some help," Newman said. "We need them to control the game, take over and run it smoothly. They are as much connected to me on the field as anybody. They are involved with every pitch and everything runs through them, so it's going to be a lot of responsibility for them, but I like this crew we have."


When the team got into Oneonta on Sunday, Newman said he didn't know much about some of the newcomers because they had just joined the team after signing.

Newman did say many of them can play more than one position.

On the corners will be Wade Lamont (6-2, 230) and Carlos Ramirez (5-11, 190) at first, and Bryan Pounds (6-0, 185) at third. Mike Gosse (5-7, 160) is a second baseman, Eric Harryman (5-10, 170) can play virtually anywhere in the infield as well as some outfield. Brent Wyatt (5-10, 185) is a shortstop and Joaquin Guzman (6-0, 170) can play second, short or third.

Ramirez, who has also played third base, hit .270 (40-148) in 46 games for the GCL Tigers last year. He also played four games for Single-A Lakeland, hitting .083 (1-for-12). Lamont, the son of Detroit third-base coach Gene Lamont, hit .189 (20-for-106) in 32 games in the GCL last season.

Harryman seems like the ultimate utility player and will play wherever Newman needs him. He hit .130 (9-for-69) in 22 GCL games.

"That's vital when you have a guy who can play second, short, third and if we have to, we can stick him in the outfield," Newman said of Harryman. "That's huge, especially for me as a manager, to have a guy like that."

Guzman hit .205 (31-for-151) in 44 GCL games last season.

Gosse was selected in the 23rd round (703rd overall) in this year's draft out of Oklahoma. Detroit picked Wyatt in the 26th round (793rd overall) out of Lewis-Clark State College, and selected Pounds in the 34th round (1,033rd overall) out of the University of Houston.


Speedy switch-hitter Chris White (6-0, 180) could be a big key for the Oneonta outfield this year _ defensively and offensively. The Tigers' 2007 Gulf Coast League Player of the Year, White hit .279 (51-for-183) in 50 games. He scored 25 runs and drove in 22 while hitting nine doubles, two triples and three home runs. He was also had 15 steals in 19 attempts. White played 17 games in Oneonta last year, hitting .197 (12-for-61) and was 6-for-7 in stolen bases.

"Whitey _ this kid is a competitor," Newman said. "He goes out there and every at-bat, he's going to grind. All of a sudden you look up and he's been on base three times and that's huge for us.

"He can go get it in the outfield," he continued. "He can track some balls down for us and that's going to be key. A switch-hitter like him who can run, that's going to be real nice for our lineup. He's going to be a big part of our offense."

Luis Arlet (5-11, 174) and Hayden Parrott (6-1, 195) each played in the GCL last year. Parrott hit .291 (57-for-196) with six doubles, two homers and 21 RBIs. He also played two games with Single-A West Michigan this year and hit .571 (4-for-7) with three RBIs. Arlet, 23, in his fifth professional season, hit .312 (34-for-109) in 30 games for the GCL Tigers last year with two doubles, two triples and five home runs. He also had 16 RBIs.

Ben Guez (6-0, 180) and Keith Stein (5-10, 185) were drafted this year, Guez in the 19th round (583rd overall) out of the College of William and Mary, and Stein in the 29th round (883rd overall) out of Sam Houston University.


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O-Tigers rediscover stroke

Staff Report

Heading into the third inning Sunday, Oneonta Tigers hitters were in the midst of a nightmarish skid.

But Joe Bowen's double to start the third inning ended a string of 12 2/3 hitless innings and the O-Tigers went on to get 10 more hits in their 8-7 victory at Tri-City.

Oneonta's futility at the plate started after Bowen hit a one-out, RBI double to cap the scoring in the Tigers' 9-1 victory over the ValleyCats on Friday.

Three Tri-City pitchers then combined to no-hit the Tigers in their home opener Saturday, a 10-0 loss to the ValleyCats.

When T-C starter Robert Bono retired Oneonta in order through the first two innings Sunday, the hitless skid reached 12 2/3 innings.

But Bowen doubled to right to open the third inning and scored on a two-out single to left by Ben Guez to tie the score at 1.

The second of Phil Disher's two homers _ a three-run shot to left in the bottom of the third _ gave the ValleyCats a 5-1 lead, but the Tigers answered with four runs in the top of the fourth.

Joaquin Guzman opened the inning with a double to right and scored on Keith Stein's one-out double to left. Bryan Pounds and Mike Gosse hit RBI singles later in the inning to tie the score at 4.

Oneonta then scored three more times in the fifth, an inning aided by three Tri-City throwing errors to start the inning.

Guez reached on a throwing error by third baseman Ebert Rosario. Guzman got on a throwing error by first baseman Disher that sent Guez to second.

Hayden Parrott's groundout to third moved the runners to second and third.

Carlos Ramirez then reached on a fielder's choice grounder to short as Guez scored to make it 6-5. Tri-City shortstop Jeff Hulett tried to get Guzman at third, but his throw was off line, leaving runners at first and third.

After Kirkland Rivers relieved losing pitcher Bono (0-2), Keith Stein's bunt single toward third scored Guzman and sent Ramirez to second.

Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Pounds' single to center plated Ramirez to make it 8-5.

Tri-City pulled to 8-6 in the sixth. Disher led off with a double and Rosario reached on a throwing error by Guzman. Andrew Simunic's groundout to second moved the runners to second and third, and Disher scored on Reinaldo Pestana's sacrifice fly to left.

In the eighth inning, Tri-City made it a one-run game when Jonathan Gaston reached on a fielding error by Joaquin Guzman, took second on a throwing error by Guzman, and scored on a Simunic's two-out single to right.

Tylor Stohr worked around a two-out walk to Hulett in the ninth to get the save. Stohr struck out two.

Trevor Feeney earned the victory, going three innings after relieving O-Tigers starter Mark Brackman to start the fourth inning.

Brackman allowed five runs on six innings over three innings.

Feeney (1-0) had four strikeouts, no walks and allowed one unearned run.

Luis Gil also allowed an unearned run over two innings. He struck out two and didn't walk anyone.

Guzman, Stein, Pounds and Gosse all had two hits for the O-Tigers (4-2), who begin a three-game series against the Lowell Spinners at 7 tonight at Damaschke Field.


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Tigers no-hit in home opener

Staff Report

Most of the 1,152 fans who showed up for the Oneonta Tigers' New York-Penn League home opener Saturday at Damaschke Field remained glued to their seats for all nine innings.

That's probably because they didn't really have a reason to stand up and cheer for the home team.

Tri-City pitchers Shane Wolf, David Miller and Ashton Mowdy combined to no-hit the O-Tigers, who gave up 14 hits in a 10-0 loss to the ValleyCats. Oneonta, which hadn't been no-hit since 1995, reached base seven times but stranded five runners. The other two were erased on baserunning blunders.

Starting pitcher Wolf faced the minimum in his three innings, retiring the first eight Oneonta batters in order before Mike Gosse reached first on a fielding error by shortstop Christopher Jackson.

With Keith Stein at the plate and his team in a 1-0 hole with two out, Gosse broke early on an attempted steal of second. Left-hander Wolf threw to first baseman Danny Meier, who completed the pickoff play with a throw to second as Jackson got the ball just in time for the tag out.

Wolf struck out three and walked none before 6-foot-10 right-hander Miller took over. Miller threw a 1-2-3 fourth before Tri-City scored three times in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead.

Oneonta's Carlos Ramirez opened the bottom of the fifth with a grounder to second baseman Michael Diaz, who threw wide to first. Ramirez advanced to second on the miscue and rounded the bag without hesitation as first-year O-Tigers' manager Ryan Newman waved his runner to third.

Meier, who had the ball in hand when Ramirez rounded second, threw from the fence along the first-base side to third baseman David Flores for an easy out.

Miller retired his next six batters in order before Joaquin Guzman and Hayden Parrott drew back-to-back walks with one out in the seventh. Ramirez moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout to Flores, but Wade Lamont flew out to right field to end the inning.

Right-hander Ashton Mowdy sent the Tigers down in order in the eighth before walking pinch-hitter Eric Harryman in the ninth. Harryman reached second when Stein grounded out to first. After Guzman flew out to center, Mowdy walked Parrott and Ramirez to load the bases. Lamont then grounded out to Meier at first to end it.

Winning pitcher Miller and Mowdy struck out two apiece, helping to mark the first no-hitter at Damaschke Field since last season. On July 15, 2007, Oneonta right-hander Guillermo Moscoso threw a perfect game in a 6-0 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs.

Saturday marked the third no-hitter involving the Oneonta Tigers, who became affiliated with Detroit in 1999. In addition to Moscoso's perfect game and Tri-City's win Saturday, former Oneonta pitchers Jordan Tata and Chris Homer combined to no-hit the ValleyCats to clinch the Stedler Division title. The O-Tigers won that Sept. 2, 2003 game, 3-0, on the road.

In all, Oneonta has been a part of 12 no-hitters _ eight for and four against _ since its first season as a NY-Penn affiliate in 1966. The last time an Oneonta team was no-hit was Aug. 24, 1995, when Elvin Hernandez led the Erie Seawolves to a 7-0 win at Damaschke Field. According to The Daily Star archives, Hernandez struck out nine and walked one in the victory, which featured two Oneonta hits that were changed to errors following the game.

Newark is responsible for the other no-hitters against Oneonta, which was shut down by Doug Cinnella on July 23, 1986 and by John Morris on July 8, 1975.

According to the O-Tigers' 2008 program, Oneonta's first no-hitter came on July 22, 1966, when John Silva completed a seven-inning no-no against Auburn. That year marked Oneonta's first in the NY-Penn and the franchise's only season as a Red Sox affiliate.

Oneonta also threw five no-hitters in 32 seasons as a farm team for the New York Yankees: Bert Raschke vs. Newark on Aug. 11, 1971 (seven innings); Greg Diehl's perfect game vs. Newark on July 7, 1974 (seven innings); Bill Fulton vs. Geneva on July 25, 1983; Dody Rather vs. Geneva on July 24, 1985; and Luis DeLossantos vs. Batavia on July 28, 1996.

On Saturday, Tri-City opened the scoring in the third as Jack Shuck drove in Jacob Priday with a two-out triple to left off Oneonta starter Mark Sorensen. Priday was hit by a pitch to open the inning.

The ValleyCats made it 4-0 in the fifth, which started with back-to-back singles by Julian Henson and Michael Diaz. Henson scored on a sacrifice bunt by Shuck as third baseman Bryan Pounds threw wild to first.

With runners at second and third, T-C scored another run when Jackson grounded out to shortstop Guzman. The play ended the outing for losing pitcher Sorensen, who struck out three, walked none and allowed five hits in 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Sean Finefrock gave up an RBI double to left by Thomas Steele, but got out of the inning as Flores popped out to catcher Tyler Weber and Jonathan Gaston struck out.

Meier tripled to lead off the sixth, sparking a six-run inning for the ValleyCats. Finefrock failed to record an out in the sixth as the first seven batters in the inning reached base safely, on six hits and a hit batsman. Shuck and Steele doubled in the sixth, the latter chasing Finefrock. His ERA ballooned to 37.80 as the ValleyCats scored six earned runs on seven hits in his 2/3 of an inning.

Flores capped the scoring with an RBI groundout against reliever Luis Gil, who allowed no hits in his only inning of relief.

Daniel DeLucia held the ValleyCats without a run over the next two innings before Lester Oliveros closed with a scoreless ninth. Each allowed one hit and struck out one.

The O-Tigers went 12 2/3 innings without a hit over the weekend. On Friday, Joseph Bowen drove an RBI double with one out in the eighth for the Tigers' last hit in a 9-1 win at Tri-City. Bowen ended Oneonta's hitless skid with a leadoff double in the third inning of Sunday's game at Tri-City. The Tigers held on for an 8-7 win.

Oneonta opens a four-game homestand at 7 tonight. The Tigers host the Lowell Spinners for three games, then play Tri-City at Damaschke Field on Thursday.


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O-Tigers, Spinners no match for thunderstorm

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer


The Oneonta Tigers- Luis Arlet prepares to make contact during Monday night-s New York-Penn League game against the Lowell Spinners at Damaschke Field

ONEONTA _ Rain put an end to a New York-Penn League game that didn't seem like it would finish any other way.

A fast-moving thunderstorm hit Damaschke Field at 10:05 p.m. Monday, just before the Oneonta Tigers and Lowell Spinners started the 12th inning with the score tied at 3. Umpire Joe Born signaled for the players to leave the field _ with Oneonta pitcher Sean Finefrock being the last to walk off before heavy rain started to fall.

The grounds crew didn't even have a chance to roll the tarp on the field as the rain hit so quickly, it turned the infield into a muddy pond. The game was suspended at around 10:15 p.m. and will resume at 6 p.m. today, O-Tigers director of operations Bob Zeh said. Tonight's regularly-scheduled game will go nine innings and will follow the ending of the first game but won't start before 7 p.m., Zeh said.

Lowell and Oneonta are tied atop the Stedler Division with 4-2 records.

"That pitching staff of Lowell's is a good staff," first-year Oneonta manager Ryan Newman said. "This whole series will be a grind."

Lowell sent the game into extra innings with one run off Tyler Conn in the ninth inning.

Conn threw 34 pitches in the inning _ 16 for strikes. He

walked three but struck out Ryan Dent with the bases loaded to end the inning.

After Carlos Fernandez grounded out to start Lowell's ninth, pinch-hitter Deshaun Brooks doubled to the bottom of the left-field wall. Following a four-pitch walk to Luis Sumoza, a wild pitch by Conn allowed the runners to move up to second and third. Will Middlebrooks then walked to load the bases.

On a full count, Rafael Gil grounded to first and Oneonta's Carlos Ramirez scooped the ball and threw to shortstop Brent Wyatt at second, getting Middlebrooks. Gil just beat Wyatt's throw to Conn, who covered first, allowing pinch-runner Jonathan Hee to score the tying run.

"That's kind of the way the game goes sometimes," Newman said. "Sometimes it bounces your way, sometimes it doesn't. Now we have to do what we can to win this game tomorrow."

The O-Tigers scored twice in the eighth inning to take the lead against reliever Charlie Rosario.

With two outs, Mike Gosse hit a hard shot down the first-base line and the ball clipped the glove of Lowell first baseman Fernandez. The play was ruled a hit and Ben Guez followed with a single through the left side to put runners on first and second.

Facing a 2-2 count, Joaquin Guzman doubled to the base of the right-field wall, scoring Gosse and Guez for a 3-2 lead.

Guzman had two hits and all three RBIs for Oneonta.

Lowell opened the scoring in the first on an RBI groundout by Fernandez.

Guez tripled to lead off Oneonta's half of the first _ the first hit for the Tigers at Damaschke this season after being no-hit by three Tri-City pitchers Saturday _ and scored on Guzman's single to left.

Lowell made it 2-1 in the sixth on an RBI double from Ricardo Burgos.

The O-Tigers had a chance in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners on first and second and two out, Hayden Parrott grounded softly to shortstop on a 3-0 count.

"I didn't stop him," Newman said. "That's my three-hole hitter and with a guy in scoring position, I'll lean on him. The ball just didn't bounce our way that time."

Starter Luke Putkonen pitched 4 1/3 solid innings for the Tigers, allowing one run on two hits. He struck out five and walked three.

"He just ran out of pitches," Newman said. "He threw the ball well and he kept us in the game. That's nice to see."


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Gosse powers O-Tigers

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer


Star photo by Brit WorganLuis Sumoza of the Lowell Spinners is caught stealing by Oneonta Tigers second baseman Mike Gosse in the second inning of Tuesday-s New York-Penn League baseball game at Damaschke Field. O-Tigers catcher Joseph Bowen threw out Sumoza on the play, which marked the second out of the inning.

ONEONTA _ Mike Gosse made amends quickly.

Gosse hit a two-run double and a sacrifice fly to help the Oneonta Tigers to their first win at home this season, beating the Lowell Spinners, 4-1, in front of 404 fans at Damaschke Field in a New York-Penn League game Tuesday night.

Gosse's throwing error in the 14th inning helped Lowell earn a 4-3 victory in the continuation of Monday's suspended game, played earlier Tuesday.

"That was a tough loss," Gosse said. "I kind of boffed a ball that let in their winning run. Completely different game once you turn around. You have to put that past you and come out firing."

With the O-Tigers trailing, 1-0, in the third, Brent Wyatt reached on an infield single up the middle and Chris White walked to put runners on first and second. After Ben Guez struck out, Gosse came up against Lowell starter Yeiper Castillo.

Gosse gave the O-Tigers the lead for good when his towering double went over right fielder Mitch Dening. Wyatt and White scored to make it 2-1.

"I won't lie, it was right down the middle," Gosse said. "I just hit it out there and tried to get a couple runs so we could get ahead. It gave us the go-ahead runs. I got a pretty good piece. I'm just glad those two guys got around to score."

First-year Oneonta manager Ryan Newman said Gosse's hit was a big confidence booster.

"To have that happen in the first game can crush a kid," Newman said. "For him to come back and get that big hit is awesome. That's a great feeling for him. He's been swinging the bat well for us all year. He's got a nice stroke."

Oneonta and Lowell, tied atop the Stedler Division with 4-3 records, finish a three-game set at 7 tonight at Damaschke Field. The Tigers then host Tri-City at 7 p.m. Thursday, before visiting the ValleyCats at 7 p.m. Friday.

The O-Tigers are 1-2 at home.

"We had a couple tough losses, especially the one from last night that carried to today," Gosse said. "Obviously when (Tri-City) no-hit us (Saturday) it was kind of tough, but it's nice to get the first win on our home field."

Oneonta made it 3-1 in the fourth when Joe Bowen, Wyatt and White each walked with two outs before Castillo grazed Guez with a pitch to force Bowen in to score.

Lowell threatened in the sixth.

Reliever Aaron Fuhrman walked Dening and Ronald Bermudez to start the inning and Carlos Fernandez blooped a single to right to load the bases. Fuhrman settled down, getting Darren Blocker to fly out to shallow right, striking out Luis Sumoza looking and inducing Will Middlebrooks to pop to first.

"Our pitching staff did an outstanding job today," Newman said. "They did fantastic. It feels good to get that first win (at home) out of the way. Especially with the first result."

Darwin DeLeon (1-0) earned the victory, allowing one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out two and walked one. Tyler Stohr got his second save, allowing one hit in the ninth. He walked one and struck out one.

The O-Tigers scored their final run in the seventh. Guez hit a one-out double and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored when Gosse flied out to shallow left. Sumoza's throw was off line as Guez's slid in easily.

"Fortunately, Guez has some wheels on him," Gosse said. "I'm glad he was at third base because he can kick and fly."

Guez, Gosse and Wyatt had Oneonta's only hits.

Lowell took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ryan Dent singled to left and moved to second when Dening got hit by a pitch. A wild pitch from DeLeon allowed Dent to move to third and Dening to second. Bermudez then grounded out to short, scoring Dent. DeLeon struck out Fernandez and got Blocker to ground out to short to end the inning.

Lowell 4, Oneonta 3

Middlebrooks scored on a throwing error from Gosse in the top of the 14th inning and the Spinners held on for a victory in the continuation of Monday's game, which had been suspended because of rain after 11 innings with the score tied at 3.

Middlebrooks opened the 14th reaching on a throwing error by shortstop Wyatt. First baseman Wade Lamont couldn't scoop Wyatt's throw in the dirt.

"Those physical mistakes are going to happen," Newman said. "It's the mental ones we try and limit. We had men on second base with one out for two innings and just couldn't get that big hit. This is a great staff were facing. I have to tip my cap to them. This second game we came back and our staff did their job and matched them.

Rafael Gil then hit a hard shot at Oneonta pitcher Anthony Shawler (0-1), who couldn't hang onto the ball. Shawler bobbled it slightly but recovered to get Gil at first. Middlebrooks moved to second on the play. After a walk to Zach Gentile put runners on first and second, Shawler got Dent to fly out to center.

Dening then grounded to second baseman Gosse, whose throw to the left side of first pulled Lamont off the base as the ball went to the fence, allowing Middlebrooks to score.

Michael Tomoleoni (1-0) put Oneonta down in order in the bottom of the inning.


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O-Tigers struggle in all phases

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ The Oneonta Tigers' offense hit a road bump Wednesday night at Damaschke Field. So did their defense.

Three Lowell pitchers combined on a six-hitter and the Spinners took advantage of two errors en route to a 7-1 New York-Penn League victory before 414 fans.

"With a staff like that they have over there, you can't give them any extra outs," Oneonta manager Ryan Newman said. "It's going to be hard to score runs off them. We just had too many mistakes this series and didn't take care of the baseball."

Spinners pitchers Stolmy Pimentel (1-0), Michael Lee and Robert McClain combined for six strikeouts and no walks.

The victory gives Lowell (6-3) sole possession of first place in the Stedler Division through nine games of the scheduled 76-game season. Oneonta (5-4) plays host to Tri-City at 7 tonight, before visiting the ValleyCats at 7 p.m. Friday. The teams finish the three-game series back at Damaschke at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"We're not so concerned with the wins right now," said Lowell manager Gary DiSarcina, whose team took two of three games from Oneonta. "We played at home for six games and played shoddy defense. We tightened that up a little bit. We've been getting strong pitching all year. We have a great bunch of good guys that can really pitch the ball well. Our defense has been shaky and our offense has been pretty pathetic up until tonight."

The Spinners took advantage of an error in the top of the fifth inning to snap a 1-1 tie.

Will Middlebrooks singled to left to lead off and after losing pitcher David Stokes (1-1) got Rafael Gil to pop out to first, Jonathan Hee hit a hard shot up the middle. Oneonta second baseman Mike Gosse dived to his right, but the ball deflected off his glove and into the outfield,

See STRUGGLE on Page 15

leaving runners at first and second.

Oneonta shortstop Joaquin Guzman grabbed Ryan Dent's chopper between short and third and threw to Gosse at second, forcing out Hee. Dent barely beat Gosse's throw to first, putting runners on first and third as Middlebrooks advanced on the play.

Mitch Dening followed with a swinging bunt that dropped about 15 feet in front of the plate. Stokes charged but bobbled the ball and his throw to first was late, allowing Dening to reach on an error. Middlebrooks scored, giving the Spinners a 2-1 lead.

"Stokes threw well," Newman said. "He had the one mistake on that swinging bunt where he couldn't come up with it. It comes down to pitching and defense. They pitched better and played better defense this series."

Carlos Fernandez then doubled down the left-field line, scoring Dent and Dening to make it 4-1. Fernandez finished 3-for-4 and scored a run.

"I was working in the afternoon on breaking pitches and curve balls, two days ago and yesterday," said Fernandez, in his second season with Lowell. "It worked today. It felt pretty good. ... Everybody was hitting."

DiSarcina said Fernandez should be hitting well.

"This is his second year through here and I think as far as knowing how to hit, knowing his own swing, he's a strong kid," DiSarcina said. "I expect him to hit."

Lowell put the game away with three runs in the ninth.

Relief pitcher Sean Finefrock walked Ricardo Burgos to open the inning and Kade Keowen followed with a chopper to short. The ball hit off Guzman's glove and dropped to the ground. Guzman grabbed the ball and threw to first, but Keowen beat the throw and was given a hit on the play. Burgos went to second.

Middlebrooks followed with a single to right, scoring Burgos. Right-fielder Keith Stein threw home on the play, but the ball skipped past catcher Joe Bowen to the backstop, allowing Keowen to score and Middlebrooks to reach third.

After Finefrock struck out Gil and Hee, Dent doubled to left, scoring Brooks for a 7-1 score.

Oneonta broke a scoreless tie in the second. Stein led off with a double and after Wade Lamont flied out to right, Bryan Pounds doubled to left, scoring Stein.

Lowell tied it in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Burgos.

"It just didn't go our way this series," Newman said. "We have to scrape as many runs across the board as we can and do it with situational hitting. When we get guys on, we need to move them over and get them in."


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Tigers lose slugfest, 9-7

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer


Star photo by Brit WorganJonathan Gaston of the Tri-City ValleyCats is safe at second with a stand-up double as Oneonta Tigers shortstop Joaquin Guzman jumps for the high throw from right fielder Keith Stein during the fourth inning of Thursday-s game at Damaschke Field

ONEONTA _ It's not often a baseball team will have 12 hits and be on the short-end of the scoreboard.

Of course, not too many teams have a chance to win after giving up 19 hits, either.

Tri-City scored three times in the top of the eighth inning off Lester Oliveros and held on for a 9-7 New York-Penn League victory Thursday in front of 341 fans at Damaschke Field.

"You have 19 hits, usually you don't have any trouble winning," Tri-City manager Pete Rancont said. "They have a good ballclub. They came back and a lot of our hits of those 19 were singles. We just kept moving up 90 feet, 90 feet. I'm proud of our guys the way they came back. It was a great effort. ... It was a good win for us."

Oneonta, which dropped to 5-5 in the Stedler Division, visits the ValleyCats (5-5) at 7 tonight. The teams return to Damaschke at 7 p.m. Saturday to conclude the three-game, home-and-home series. The O-Tigers then head to Lowell for a three-game set that begins Sunday.

"We know we have to go up to Tri-City and come back here and win the series, then go to Lowell and try to win that series," first-year Oneonta manager Ryan Newman said. "Every series we start, we try and win. If we do that, we're going to be very successful."

Tri-City erased a 7-6 deficit in the top of the eighth.

Oliveros walked Jeff Hulett on five pitches to open the eighth and, after Jonathan Gaston flied out for the first out, Philip Disher doubled to deep left to score Hulett and tie it at 7.

Disher finished 3-for-4 to up his batting average to .444 this season.

Daniel Meier followed with a bloop single to right field that drew a throw home from Keith Stein. Disher held at third as first baseman Wade Lamont cut off the throw in front of the pitcher's mound. Meier had started toward second, so Lamont threw to shortstop Joaquin Guzman. While keeping an eye on Disher at third, Guzman chased Meier back toward first.

Second baseman Mike Gosse, who was covering first, then caught a throw from Guzman and tagged a diving Meier. The ball came loose on the tag, though, as Meier slid in safely to give Tri-City runners at the corners.

David Flores followed with a bloop single down the right-field line, scoring Disher and moving Meier to second. Reinaldo Pestana then singled to right, scoring Meier for a 9-7 lead. Stein threw Flores out at third for the second out. Oliveros then got Marques Williams to pop out to catcher Tyler Weber to end the inning.

"I was happy when our kids came back and re-took the lead after they had taken it," Rancont said. "That late in the game, you're a little concerned you're running out of outs, so it's a good win for us."

Trailing, 6-3, the O-Tigers took the lead with a four-run sixth inning.

Lamont walked to open the inning. Weber then flied out to center and Chris White walked. A passed ball by Tri-City catcher Pestana allowed Lamont to go to third and White to second.

Eric Harryman then connected on a 1-1 pitch from Chase Lehr and sent the ball over the left-field fence for a three-run home run, the first homer of the year in four games at Damaschke Field.

"That really energized us," Newman said. "The first half of the game there was no energy in this dugout. Harryman came in and put a shot of life into us. ... The second half of that game, we played well."

Brent Wyatt then had a nine-pitch at-bat and hit a sharp single to shortstop. Tri-City's Hulett dived to his right and got a glove on the ball, which then trickled into left field. On the first pitch to Ben Guez, Wyatt stole second.

Guez then singled to right and Wyatt held at third when Gaston threw home. Guez, however, kept running toward second. The throw from Pestana went to second and Guez retreated and the ValleyCats had him in a rundown. However, Wyatt led off third and second baseman Michael Diaz threw to third. Wyatt dived safely back into third and Guez ended up on second.

Mike Gosse then his a sacrifice fly to deep right field, easily scoring Wyatt for a 7-6 lead. Guzman grounded back to Lehr for the final out.

Flores finished with four hits for the ValleyCats, who received three hits from Pestana and two hits apiece from Jack Shuck, Gaston, Meier and Diaz.

Wyatt had three hits to lead Oneonta. Guez, Weber and Harryman each contributed three.

"Seems like both teams showed up with the bats today," Newman said. "... It's just they scored nine and we scored seven. We just didn't have enough for them."

Stein had a two-run double to give the O-Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first.

The ValleyCats rallied in the second to take a 3-2 lead on a two-run single from Shuck and an RBI single from Hulett. The ValleyCats made it 5-2 in the third on an RBI double from Flores and an run-scoring single from Diaz.

Oneonta cut it to 5-3 in the fifth when Guez scored Harryman on a single. Harryman had led off the inning with a double. Tri-City made it a three-run game again in the sixth when Disher tripled to center and scored when Meier reached on a fielding error by Harryman.


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O-Tigers drop third straight

Staff Report

Chris White had his first three hits of the season Friday, but his Oneonta Tigers fell, 8-6, in a New York-Penn League baseball game at Tri-City.

Keith Stein contributed two hits for the O-Tigers (5-6), who dropped their third straight despite holding a 4-1 lead after their first three at-bats.

Oneonta and Tri-City finish their three-game series at 7 p.m. Saturday at Damaschke Field. The Tigers then visit the Lowell Spinners for a three-game set that starts at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Oneonta returns home Wednesday for a six-game homestand _ three against the defending NY-Penn champion Auburn Doubledays and three more against the State College Spikes.

The ValleyCats scored twice in the bottom of the seventh Friday to snap a 6-all tie.

With one out, David Flores singled off relief pitcher Anthony Shawler (0-2). After Andrew Simunic walked to put runners on first and second, Julian Henson hit a two-run double to center for the final margin.

Shawler allowed two runs on three hits in two innings. He walked two and struck out none.

O-Tigers starter Trevor Feeney gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked four.

Luis Gil followed with 3 2/3 innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out two and walked none.

Tri-City opened the scoring in the first inning, when Feeney walked Flores with the bases loaded.

Oneonta answered in the top of the second. With two out, Mike Gosse singled to right and Brent Wyatt walked. Ben Guez followed with a two-run double to center, and White drove an RBI single to center to give Oneonta a 3-1 lead.

Joe Bowen's RBI double in the top of the third put Oneonta ahead, 4-1, but Tri-City rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning.

Thomas Steele singled to left. After Feeney struck out Phil Disher looking, Jonathan Gaston singled to left to put runners on first and second. Flores followed with a single to center that loaded the bases.

Simunic singled to right, scoring Steele and keeping the bases loaded. Henson walked to bring in Gaston before Jacob Priday doubled in Flores and Simunic for a 5-4 lead.

Flores finished 2-for-4 and is 6-for-9 in the first two games of the series.

The ValleyCats made it 6-4 in the sixth on an RBI single by Steele. Oneonta tied it in the top of the seventh.

With one out, Joaquin Guzman walked against Ashton Mowdy. Keith Stein followed with a double to right, putting runners on second and third. Mowdy then threw two wild pitches during an at-bat by Luis Arlet, with Guzman scoring on the first and Stein on the second.

Shuck had three hits for Tri-City, which received two apiece from Steele and Henson. Mowdy (3-0), who blew a save opportunity, pitched three innings of relief for the victory


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Tigers down 'Cats

Staff Report

Wade Lamont hit a two-run double in the fourth inning Saturday and Tyler Stohr struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to close the Oneonta Tigers' 4-2 New York-Penn League baseball victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats at Damaschke Field.

Four Oneonta pitchers combined for nine strikeouts and two walks in a five-hitter that gave starter Luke Putkonen (2-0) the victory. He struck out four and walked one, allowing two earned runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Mark Brackman allowed one hit and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings. Lester Oliveros struck out two and walked one in a scoreless eighth before Stohr closed with a perfect ninth to earn his third save this season.

The O-Tigers snapped a three-game skid despite the ejection of manager Ryan Newman in the bottom of the fourth. Plate umpire Shea Gipson threw Newman out for arguing a call at home.

Rain suspended Sunday's three-game series opener between Oneonta and host Lowell with the Spinners coming to the plate in the bottom of the first. The scoreless game will resume at 6:05 p.m. today and will be followed by a regularly scheduled meeting.

All four Stedler Division teams _ Oneonta, Lowell, Tri-City and Vermont _ entered Sunday with 6-6 records. Vermont took control of first place Sunday with an 11-4 win at Tri-City.

On Saturday, Putkonen sent Tri-City down in order until Michael Diaz led off the fourth with a double to left field. Chris Jackson singled to put runners at the corners for Thomas Steele, who grounded into a run-scoring, 4-6-3 double play.

Oneonta responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, despite poor baserunning and Newman's ejection.

Losing pitcher David Duncan (0-2) held the O-Tigers to one hit through the first three innings _ a second-inning single by Joseph Bowen _ before Luis Arlet opened their at-bats in the fourth with a high chopper over the mound. Duncan jumped backward and got his glove on the ball but dropped it, allowing Arlet to reach base safely with an infield single.

Joaquin Guzman then hit his fourth double of the season _ this one to left field _ before Keith Stein walked to load the bases. Mike Gosse followed with a hard grounder through the right side to score Arlet, tying it at 1.

Guzman appeared to be at top speed as he rounded third on the play, which may have influenced Newman a bit. The rookie manager first put his arms up _ apparently trying to hold Guzman at third _ then waved his runner home. Right fielder Jonathan Gaston threw a chest-high liner to catcher Reinaldo Pestana that beat Guzman by several steps. Guzman then leaped toward the plate, his left leg out and his right one back, and landed awkwardly after Pestana tagged him for an easy out.

Guzman stayed down for a few minutes before two teammates carried him into the O-Tigers' dugout on the first-base side. He later rode a cart to the locker room, where Newman ended up shortly after Guzman injured himself.

Gaston's throw-out at the plate left Oneonta with runners at the corners _ Stein at third and Gosse at first _ and one out. After Guzman left the field, Joseph Bowen chopped another ball at Duncan. This time, though, Duncan fielded it cleanly and threw out Stein, who broke for home on contact.

Newman extensively argued the close call at the plate, eventually prompting Gipson to throw him out. Hitting coach Luis Quinones took over at third and, as Newman walked off the field en route to the Tigers' locker room, Lamont doubled to left to score Gosse and Bowen for a 3-1 lead.

Putkonen left after allowing a two-out single to Steele in the sixth. Steele followed his liner into right field with a steal of second base, setting up Phil Disher's RBI single to left field off Brackman.

The Tigers capped the scoring in the last of the sixth, which started with Tyler Weber's double to left. Weber advanced to third when Stein grounded out to shortstop, then scored when second baseman Michael Diaz flubbed a grounder by Gosse.

Arlet led all batters with two hits, helping Oneonta to finish with seven.


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Rojas: Damaschke changes are top-notch

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ This isn't the Damaschke Field that Mike Rojas remembers.

In town for the first time since he managed the Oneonta Tigers in 2004, Rojas seemed impressed by the recent upgrades to his former home.

"It's way different," Rojas said Tuesday night before the O-Tigers hosted the Lowell Spinners. Now in his first season as Detroit's minor league field coordinator, Rojas spent Monday through Thursday evaluating the O-Tigers.

"They did a tremendous job in renovating, putting in new locker rooms and batting cages," he continued. This past Monday "was my first night back in four years, and I got to see some fans in the stands and a good atmosphere. It's wonderful what they've done here."

Damaschke underwent a facelift over the last two years, part of a multi-million dollar project involving NYSEG and the city that centered on the cleanup of toxic waste at the field.

The renovations resulted in a new set of bleachers on the third-base side; the construction of a building that houses a concession stand, bathrooms, the O-Tigers' office and locker rooms for the home and away teams complete with an area for weight training; the addition of a batting cage with artificial turf in the far-left corner; a re-design of the ballpark's entrance; and a new scoreboard, among other updates.


"It's big-league for these guys," Rojas said. "It's first class."

It's safe to say Rojas can tell the difference.

Before his season with the O-Tigers, Rojas managed farm teams for the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros. He then joined Detroit and was assigned to Oneonta in 2004, when the Tigers went 33-41 and finished 16.5 games behind New York-Penn League Stedler Division winner Tri-City.

Rojas went on to earn the Florida State League's Manager of the Year honor in 2005, going 85-48 in the first of his two seasons with the Single-A Lakeland Tigers. Lakeland reached the 2005 league championship series but fell, three games to two, to Palm Beach.

Last season, Detroit pegged Rojas to be its minor-league catching coordinator, but he took over the Triple-A Toledo Mudhens when Larry Parrish was sidelined by surgery on his left ankle.

"At first it was supposed to be for a month or two," said Rojas, a former catcher who played four professional seasons. "Then (Parrish) really had some problems with his ankle. We were playing really well as a ballclub. It was a great experience. We went on a tear."

The Mudhens won the International League's West Division with an 82-61 record, but they were swept in the best-of-five semifinals by the Durham Bulls.

During his managerial career, Rojas has had the opportunity to see several prospects come up through the ranks. Former O-Tigers such as Jeff Larish and Clete Thomas, who played for Rojas at Lakeland, have spent time in the majors this season. Detroit infielder Michael Hollimon was at Toledo under Rojas, who also managed Atlanta Braves starter Jair Jurrjens at Oneonta in 2004.

"Seeing it from this level then Lakeland then Triple-A, the job everybody has done in this organization from A-to-Z is tremendous," Rojas said. "From the hitting coaches to the managers to the strength guys to everyone involved, it's a tremendous job what the organization has done with all these players.

"To get to see them progress through the organization is pretty fun to watch," he continued. "When they get to the big leagues and get their cup of coffee or stay, it's fun to watch. That's our goal _ to get these guys to the big leagues as quickly or as long as it takes for each player."

Rojas, the son of former major leaguer Cookie Rojas, said managing is in his blood. But for now, Rojas said, he likes where he has landed in the organization, serving as one of the right-hand men to Detroit's director of player development, Glenn Ezell.

"I'm tickled to death that I'm with the Detroit Tigers at this point of my career," Rojas said. "I'd be more than happy to help out and I'm happy what I'm doing right now in being the field coordinator, helping out Glenn Ezell and developing players to the big leagues."

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O-Tigers trio no-hits Lowell

Staff Report

Three Oneonta pitchers combined on a seven-inning no-hitter in a 2-1 New-York Penn League victory over host Lowell on Monday night.

David Stokes pitched five innings, winning pitcher Anthony Shawler (1-2) worked the sixth and Tyler Stohr earned his fourth save by pitching the seventh inning.

"I'd have liked to seen Stokes finish it, but as a newly-drafted guy we have to watch the pitch count," O-Tigers manager Ryan Newman said via cell phone. "He went after the hitters. He threw outstanding. As did Shawler and Stohr. And (Joe) Bowen did an outstanding job behind the plate."

The no-hitter came after Oneonta had dropped a 14-2 decision in the first game, the continuation of a game that was suspended in the first inning Sunday because of rain. The teams finish their three-game set at 7 tonight. Oneonta returns home Wednesday to open a six-game homestand and play defending NY-Penn champion Auburn at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

"This is something special to see these kids go out there and perform like that," Newman said. "We gave them a copy of the box score, so they can hold onto it. It's not something you see every day."

It's the ninth no-hitter in franchise history and third since Oneonta became affiliated with Detroit in 1999.

Guillermo Moscoso pitched a perfect game for the O-Tigers in a 6-0 victory over Batavia on July 15 of last year. Before that, the last no-hitter for Oneonta came in the 2003, when Jordan Tata and Chris Homer combined for the feat on Sept. 2 in a 3-0 at Tri-City.

It's also the second no-hitter the O-Tigers have been involved in this season. Tri-City used three pitchers to keep Oneonta hitless in a 10-0 victory at Oneonta on June 21.

Despite giving up no hits, Oneonta trailed, 1-0, entering the top of the seventh, when the Tigers scored twice.

Mike Gosse walked off losing pitcher Daniel Buller to open the inning. Eric Harryman's sacrifice bunt moved Gosse to second. Harryman reached first on the play when Lowell attempted to get Gosse at second.

Chris White then bunted, but Gosse was forced out at third when Buller threw to shortstop Ryan Dent, who was covering third. Harryman went to second on the play and White to first.

Ben Guez followed with a double to left that scored Harryman and White for a 2-1 lead.

Stohr got Zach Gentile to ground out to short to start the bottom of the seventh inning and struck out Ricardo Burgos for the second out. Darren Blocker then flied out to right to end the game and clinch the no-hitter.

"For us to come back and score those runs on Guez's double makes it even better," Newman said.

Stokes struck out seven and walked three in his five innings, allowing one unearned run. Shawler pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.

Lowell took a 1-0 lead in the third. Jonathan Hee walked and after Mitch Dening struck out swinging, Hee took second on a wild pitch. Ryan Dent then walked. Rafael Cabreja then grounded to shortstop Brandon Douglas, who got Dent at second, but Gosse's wild throw to first allowed Hee to score.

Newman said as the game unfolded, he thought about Saturday's Major League game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim when the Dodgers won, 1-0, but didn't have a hit.

"In the fifth, that's what went through my head," Newman said. "I saw it on SportsCenter. We knew it was going on. We saw the zero on the scoreboard, but Guez came up big for us."

Guez finished with two hits.

"It was very exciting, especially after the result of the first game," Newman said. "After losing the first game and winning that second, we have a chance to win the series and that's big."

In the first game, four Oneonta pitchers combined to allow 15 hits.

Chris White had two hits, but Oneonta stranded 10 runners.

Aaron Fuhrman gave up seven runs in the second inning.

Fuhrman (1-1) walked Ricardo Burgos to start the bottom of the second. Darren Blocker then reached on an infield single to short to put runners on first and second.

Zach Gentile (3-for-4) doubled to center to score Burgos to make it 1-0. Blocker went to third on the play. After Matthew Cooney hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Blocker and move Gentile to third, Ronald Bermudez hit an RBI single to center to make it 3-0.

Mitch Dening (3-for-6) followed with his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that made it 5-0.

Fuhrman then walked Dent and gave up a single to Carlos Fernandez to put runners on first and second. After a double-steal moved the runners up, Bobby Kielty (2-for-4) hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Dent and move Fernandez to third.

Burgos then hit for the second time in the inning and doubled to center, scoring Fernandez to make it 7-0.

Lowell scored two more times in the sixth and three in the seventh.

Oneonta scored twice in the eighth. Mike Gosse singled to left and Wade Lamont was hit by a pitch by Michael Tomoleoni to put runners on first and second. Luis Arlet then singled to load the bases. After Tyler Weber popped out to first, Tomoleoni's wild pitch scored Gosse. Lamont moved to third and scored on Billy Nowlin's single.

Dening had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning for the final run


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O-Tigers shut out at Lowell

Staff Report

The light-hitting Oneonta Tigers mustered five hits and were shut out for the second time this season, losing, 3-0, Tuesday at Lowell in a New York-Penn League game.

Spinners pitchers held Oneonta to four runs during their three-game series, which included a 2-1 Tigers' victory Monday. Oneonta's David Stokes, Anthony Shawler and Tyler Stohr combined on a no-hitter in that win.

On Tuesday, the O-Tigers received singles from Keith Stein, Carlos Ramirez, Joseph Bowen and Eric Harryman, and a double from Mike Gosse. It marks the seventh time in 16 games this season that Oneonta has been held to three runs or fewer.

The O-Tigers begin a six-game homestand at 7 tonight against defending NY-Penn champion Auburn. After three games with the Doubledays, Oneonta hosts State College for three games, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Lowell scored in the first and second innings off losing pitcher Dan DeLucia (0-1). Mitch Dening hit an RBI double to center in the first inning.

Ronald Bermudez opened the Spinners' second by walking off DeLucia. He moved to second on Will Middlebrooks' single to left. After Rafael Gil's fly out to deep center sent Bermudez to third and Middlebrooks to second, Matt Hoffman relieved DeLucia.

Hoffman got Zach Gentile to ground out to third and struck out Rafael Cabreja, but the third strike got past Tigers catcher Bowen for a wild pitch that allowed Bermudez to score for a 2-0 lead. Cabreja homered to right off Hoffman in the fifth to cap the scoring.

Oneonta threatened in the fourth, loading the bases against winning pitcher Hunter Strickland (1-1).

Stein and Ramirez opened with singles to put runners on first and second. Billy Nowlin's fielder's choice grounder to shortstop sent Stein to third. But after Bowen walked, Harryman grounded into a double play.

The Tigers also got their first two hitters on in the eighth, when Gosse doubled to left and Brandon Douglas walked. Seth Garrison then relieved Charlie Rosario and got Ben Guez to fly to right, Christoper White to pop to short and Stein to ground out to short.

Notes: Shortstop Joaquin Guzman (broken right ankle), shortstop Brent Wyatt (broken nose) and pitcher Mark Sorensen (undisclosed injury) were recently placed on the seven-day disabled list by the Tigers.

Shortstop Douglas and catcher Nowlin have been added to the roster. Douglas, who played seven games for the Tigers' Gulf Coast League team in Lakeland, Fla., was selected in the 11th round by the Tigers in June. Nowlin played six games in the GLC.


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O-Tigers' sale comes as no surprise to some

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ The sale of the Oneonta Tigers didn't seem to shock many Wednesday night at Damaschke Field, but there was a sense of sadness.

Owners Sam Nader, 88, and Sid Levine, 95, announced the sale of their Oneonta Athletic Corporation on Tuesday to a group headed by E. Miles Prentice. The sale needs the approval of the New York-Penn League, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball.

"I'm happy for Sam and Sid," said Oneonta resident Diz LaMonica, 97, a season-ticket holder since the birth of the franchise in 1966. LaMonica holds the rights to the box seats next to Nader's along the first-base line.

"They've worked hard," he continued. "We hate to lose them, but all good things come to an end."

LaMonica's wife, Joann, said fans should understand the decision to sell because of the advanced ages of Nader and Levine.

"We know as people get older, they want to get all their eggs in their basket," she said. "We had mixed emotions, but we're happy for their families and wish them nothing but the best and good health. (Nader) is a legend in his time."

During a news conference Tuesday to announce the sale, Nader said one thing he's always prided himself on is making sure he took care of players who have made a stop in Oneonta.

Apparently, he does the same for the visiting teams. Auburn manager Dennis Holmberg, in his seventh year with the defending NY-Penn champion Doubledays, said he is familiar with some of the league's owners, including Nader.

"He amazing and one of the last of the Mohicans," Holmberg said. "His love and passion of baseball is second-to-none. "¦ He's a gentleman. You don't get to know people like Sam without being in the league for a few years. I have all the respect for Sam Nader."

Oneonta pitcher Mark Brackman, in his second year with the Tigers, said he likes the relaxed feel at Damaschke and noted the efforts of Nader and his director of operations, Bob Zeh, in helping players adjust to professional baseball.

"(Nader) loves baseball and it's good to play for a guy who loves baseball," Brackman said. "Being a short-season team, they do treat us well. Anything we want, they try and get for us."

First-year manager Ryan Newman said it will be sad to see Nader leave the organization.

"He's an outstanding man and I know the Tigers will miss him," he said. "I'm sure it will be hard to keep him away from the park, though."

The new ownership has agreed to keep the team in Oneonta through 2010, when contracts with the Detroit Tigers and the City of Oneonta end. Some fans expressed hope that the team would stay much longer.

"I don't want to see baseball leave," said Dick Thorn, 84, of Oneonta. "But it's tough to get people down here. "¦ I think (Nader and Levine) have done a great job. I'd like to see them stay with it, but they've served their time."

"It might be a bad thing for Oneonta," said Joe Signor, 82. "But for Sam and Sid, it's a good thing. They've done a tremendous job through the years."

Signor, another long-time box-seat holder at Damaschke and Oneonta resident, said he wasn't surprised by the sale.

"Sam has been talking about it for a couple of years," Signor said. "They've done a tremendous job, but it'll never be the same. I firmly hope they keep some kind of team here. It would be a shame to let it go."

Mark Piekarski, 45, who has held season tickets for two years, said he hopes the new owners maintain the no-beer policy.

"This is a good place to bring kids and not run into drunks," the Oneonta resident said. "I hope the new owners recognize that. "¦ It's the end of an era and the end of a family-run baseball operation. You don't see that much anymore. What they've tried to do with a family in mind, you hope that won't end."


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White runs wild in win

By P.J. Harmer

Staff Writer


Star photo by Brit WorganOneonta Tigers pitcher Trevor Feeny throws during the second inning Wednesday night at Damaschke Field

ONEONTA _ Chris White made things happen Wednesday night at Damaschke Field.

White finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error to help the Oneonta Tigers to a 5-2 New York-Penn League victory over the reigning league champion Auburn Doubledays in front of 1,917 fans.

The Tigers set a season high for attendance one day after team president Sam Nader announced the sale of the franchise to a group led by New York City lawyer E. Miles Prentice.

Oneonta (8-8) and Auburn (10-6) continue their three-game series at 7 tonight. The series finale starts at 4 p.m. Friday. The O-Tigers then host the State College Spikes for a three-game set, which begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The O-Tigers entered the bottom of the eighth trailing, 2-1.

"We just needed one thing to spark us and get us into the game," White said. "We started off really slow. We just kind of needed something to get us kick-started."

Brandon Douglas led off with a double to left field off losing pitcher Justin Cryer. Douglas moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Guez.

White followed with a sharp single up the middle, his liner passing Cryer as he tried to get a glove up to grab it. Douglas scored to make it 2-all.

Keith Stein followed with a bloop single to right field. Bartolo Nicolas dived forward, but the ball dropped in front of his glove. White rounded second and kept going.

"When Chris gives me an effort like that, (Nicolas) is going to have to make a perfect play to get him," Oneonta first-year manager Ryan Newman said. "I saw the jump White got at first base and I saw he was running hard. That's the time to take a chance right there."

Nicolas quickly got up, grabbed the ball and overthrew third baseman Leance Soto. White executed a head-first slide into third base, but with the ball ticketed for the left-field fence, he jumped to his feet and scored without a throw for a 3-2 lead.

"(Stein) had hit the ball soft, but he pulled it and I saw the first baseman ranging to it and I saw it go through," White said. "I knew it wasn't hit hard enough to get to the right fielder fast enough, so I just put my head down and started running. I saw the guy jump at third and heard the ball go right over him. I just got up and started running home."

Stein moved to second on the play and, after Carlos Ramirez walked on four straight pitches, Mike Gosse popped out in foul territory to first baseman David Cooper.

Bryan Pounds then hit a 2-1 pitch off the left-field wall for a double, scoring Stein and Ramirez for a 5-2 lead.

"I was definitely looking for a fastball," said Pounds, who finished 1-for-3. "I got beat in my first two at-bats by fastballs. I tell you what, they either need to move these fences up or I need to hit the weight room because I thought I was trotting on that ball. ... I hit it about as good as I could hit it."

Tyler Stohr faced four batters in the top of the ninth, allowing a one-out hit to Nicolas, to earn his fifth save. He struck out two.

Relief pitcher Lester Oliveros (1-1) came in with one out and bases loaded in the eighth and struck out Chris Demons and Cooper to end the threat. Oliveros earned the victory.

The O-Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Douglas reached on a single, but was erased at second when Guez bounced a fielder's choice grounder to shortstop Bryan Kervin. White then tripled to right-center, scoring Guez, but was stranded when Stein struck out looking.

"First at-bat (pitcher Matthew Wright) had thrown me outside fastballs and I came off on them," White said. "He threw me a first-pitch fastball the second at-bat for a ball and I knew he was coming with it again, so I just went that way. It just happened to scoot into the gap and kept on going."

Auburn took the lead in the fifth. Cooper had a two-out, two-run double to cap the inning.

Douglas had three hits to lead Oneonta. Stein, White and Gosse each finished with two.


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O-Tigers give up 14 hits in 8-5 loss

Staff Report

Four Oneonta Tigers pitchers allowed 14 hits Thursday in an 8-5 New York-Penn League loss to the Auburn Doubledays before 401 fans at Damaschke Field.

All eight Auburn runs scored with two out.

Starter and losing pitcher Luke Putkonen was the hardest hit of the quartet, allowing five runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Putkonen (2-1) gave up four runs in the fourth inning.

Luis Rivera walked with one out. He advanced to second when Bryan Kervin grounded out to Putkonen.

Jon Del Campo followed with a single to right that scored Rivera.

After Del Campo stole second, Leance Soto reached on an infield hit to third. Del Campo scored on the play after a throwing error by Bryan Pounds.

Soto then stole second before Chris House hit an RBI double to right.

Luis Gil relieved Putkonen and gave up an RBI double to Chris Demons to make it 5-1.

The O-Tigers scored in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Keith Stein and Carlos Ramirez.

Oneonta scored twice in the seventh to pull within 5-4.

Ramirez drew a leadoff walk and went to second on Mike Gosse's single to left. Pounds followed with a two-run triple to center. With a chance to tack on another run, Auburn's Jason Monti got Wade Lamont to pop out to third and then struck out Tyler Weber before inducing Brandon Douglas to groundout to short.

The Doubledays then scored three times in the eighth off Sean Finefrock.

Finefrock struck out Del Campo to start the inning before allowing singles to Soto and House.

After Demons lined out to short, Bartolo Nicolas singled to left, scoring Soto. House advanced to third and Nicolas went to second on a fielding error by Tigers left fielder Chris White.

David Cooper followed with a two-run single to center to make it 8-4.

The Tigers receives singles from Gosse, Lamont and Weber in the ninth but scored once.

Gosse reached on an infield single to second with one out. After Pounds flied to right, Gosse advanced to second on a wild pitch by Robert Bell. Lamont followed with a single to right to score Gosse. Weber's single to center to sent Lamont to second and brought Douglas to the plate as the tying run.

But Bell got Douglas to fly to right to end it.


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Starter makes solid return for O-Tigers

By Courtney A. Erickson

Contributing Writer

ONEONTA _ Mark Sorensen returned from a seven-day stint on the disabled list in solid fashion for the Oneonta Tigers on Sunday.

The 6-foot-3 right-hander allowed one run and four hits over four innings as the Oneonta Tigers shut down the State College Spikes, 6-1, in a New York-Penn League game before 1,775 fans at Damaschke Field.

"Coming back, I just wanted to get out there and put up some zeros," said Sorensen, who was on the disabled list from June 27-July 4, missing one start because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. "The first two innings were a little rough, but after we put up four runs, (I) kind of settled down."

The O-Tigers' second straight victory, combined with Stedler Division leader Vermont's 10-9 home loss to Batavia, left the them tied with Lowell in second place, one game behind Vermont.

"It was really nice to see him go out there and have a positive outing," O-Tigers manager Ryan Newman said of Sorensen, who threw 42 of his 62 pitches for strikes and finished with three strikeouts and two walks. "That was nice to see."

Sorensen's only episode of wildness led to State College's run in the top of the second inning. Andy Vasquez reached on a bunt single before Sorensen hit Josue Peley with a pitch to start the inning. After Chad Rice's sacrifice bunt moved Vasquez to third and Peley to second, Sorensen hit David Rubenstein to load the bases. Leadoff hitter Cole White followed with a sacrifice fly RBI to center, scoring Vasquez for a 1-0 lead.

Oneonta (10-10) answered with four runs in the bottom of the second. The first five hitters got base hits off State College starter William Kelly (0-1). Billy Nowlin doubled down the left-field line and scored on Mike Gosse's line-drive triple to right-center that avoided the leaping attempt of right fielder Kyle Morgan and plated Nowlin to tie the score at 1.

"What I was just trying to do was get a good pitch I could pull to the right side and move (Nowlin) over to third and get him in better scoring position," said Gosse, whose three-run double in the seventh inning Saturday helped the O-Tigers to a 9-5 victory over the Spikes. "Fortunately, I got a really good piece of it and got all the way around to third base."

Newman praised Gosse's ability to get the big hit for the O-Tigers for the second straight day.

"He's come up big for us, especially with guys on base," Newman said of the 5-foot-7 second baseman. "He did it again tonight and he's swinging the bat well."

Luis Arlet followed with another hard hit ball, driving a triple to the wall in left-center for a 2-1 lead.

"I tried to make good contact on the ball and tried to hit the ball hard," said Arlet, who spoke in Spanish via translator and batting coach Luis Quinones. "I did my job."

Tyler Weber followed with an RBI single to make it 3-1.

Brandon Douglas then executed a hit-and-run play to perfection. With Weber running, the right-handed hitting Douglas found a hole on the right side of the infield vacated by Rice, who covered second on the play. Douglas' single sent Weber to third. Ben Guez's sacrifice fly to left scored Weber as Oneonta's lead grew to 4-1. Weber scored without a throw.

"We're really doing everything right as a team right now putting everything together so it's working out pretty well," Gosse said.

Added Newman: "Any time you have a big inning like that and guys can string together a couple of big hits, especially extra-base hits, that's going to help us out big time. We've been hitting the ball hard all season, just seemed like it'd been right at guys and finally tonight we found some gaps and holes and put some hits up there and runs across. We played well on both sides of the ball."

Oneonta tacked on single runs in the fourth and eighth innings off Kelly and relief pitcher Alan Knotts.

In the fourth inning, Kelly gave up a one-out single to Douglas, whose grounder bounced off shortstop Vasquez's chest. Douglas stole second and went to third on Kelly's wild pitch to Guez, who struck out on the play but made it to first. Reliever Allen Ponder got Chris White to ground to third baseman Matthew Payne, who bobbled the ball off his chest for an error that scored Douglas and gave Oneonta a 5-1 lead.

Oneonta's eighth inning started with a single by Douglas. He stole second and went to third on a passed ball by Peley. Chris White's single to center scored Douglas for the game's final run.

Tigers reliever Daniel DeLucia pitched two scoreless innings to even his record at 1-1. Lester Oliveros then retired all nine batters he faced, including five strikeouts, to earn his first save.

"Ollie's been doing that for us all year," said Newman of Oliveros, whose fastball is clocked in the 90s. "He comes in, he throws hard and he can throw it by them and he has a nice slider."

Oliveros threw 24 of his 35 pitches for strikes.

"I feel very proud of doing my job and keeping us in the game," Oliveros said through translator Quinones. "I do what I need to do to get people out with my best pitch, which is my fastball."

Douglas had three hits, and Nowlin and Artlet each had two hits for O-Tigers, who finished with 12.

Newman will send right-hander Trevor Feeney (1-0) to the mound against Brian Leach (0-0) tonight, when the O-Tigers will attempt to sweep the three-game series.


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O-Tigers rally to beat Spikes

Staff Report

Mike Gosse's three-run double with two out in the seventh inning snapped a tie in the Oneonta Tigers' 9-5 New York-Penn League victory over State College before 477 fans Saturday at Damaschke Field.

Gosse's double to left broke a 5-all tie and helped Oneonta end a two-game skid.

The Tigers finished with 14 hits, including three apiece from Ben Guez and Carlos Ramirez. Chris White, Keith Stein and Billy Nowlin each contributed two hits for Oneonta, which overcame four errors.

White got Oneonta's seventh started with a one-out single to center against losing pitcher Maurice Bankston (0-3). After White stole second, Bryan Pounds walked. Stein flew out to center before Ramirez reached on an infield single to short to load the bases, setting up Gosse's double.

Oneonta capped the scoring in the eighth.

Brandon Douglas reached on a fielder's choice off Bankston before Guez lined a single to right field, giving the Tigers runners at the corners. With White batting, Bankston tried to pick off Guez at first but threw wildly, allowing Bankston to score. White then lined out to second baseman Chad Rice, who doubled off Guez at first.

Trailing, 5-3, Oneonta tied the score in the fifth.

Douglas and Guez hit back-to-back triples to start the inning against Bankston. Guez then scored on a passed ball by Josue Peley to make it 5-5.

The O-Tigers opened the scoring in the first off Wilson Ortiz. Guez led off with a single to center, advanced to second on Pounds' walk, moved to third on an infield single by Stein and scored on Ramirez's sacrifice fly to left.

State College scored three times in the fourth off O-Tigers starter David Stokes. Andy Vasquez drove in two runs with a ground-rule double to right-center. He took third on a fielding error by third baseman Pounds, who misplayed a grounder by Ciro Rosero.

Rosero stole second, drawing a throw from catcher Joe Bowen that gave Vasquez enough time to steal home for a 3-1 lead.

Oneonta tied in the bottom of the fourth. Stein and Ramirez hit back-to-back singles to chase Ortiz. Reliever Yoffri Martinez induced Gosse to into a 4-6-3 double play that sent Stein to third. Stein scored on a wild pitch before Bowen walked and went to second on a passed ball by Peley. Nowlin followed with an RBI single to center.

Two Tigers' errors helped the Spikes to two runs in the fifth. State College's Cole White reached when first baseman Ramirez caught a throw from shortstop Douglas but dropped the ball while transferring it to his throwing hand. Although Ramirez had stepped off the bag before the drop, field umpire Joey Amaral called White safe.

White stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on Quincy Latimore's triple to center. Latimore then scored on an infield single to third by Calvin Anderson, who advanced to second on Pounds' throwing error.

Stokes got Andrew Biela to ground out to third to end the inning. Stokes pitched five innings, allowing five runs _ two earned _ on six hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Winning pitcher Aaron Fuhrman pitched the next three innings, allowing no runs on one hit. Fuhrman (2-1) struck out five and walked none.

Tyler Conn pitched a scoreless ninth with one walk and one strikeout for the O-Tigers.


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Tigers sweep Spikes

By Courtney A. Erickson

Contributing Writer

ONEONTA _ For the second straight night, Oneonta Tigers pitchers shut down the State College Spikes.

Starter Trevor Feeney allowed six hits and one earned run in five innings Monday. Relievers Anthony Shawler and Tyler Stohr combined to allow two hits over four shutout innings as the Tigers defeated State College, 4-1, before 563 fans at Damaschke Field.

The Tigers' third straight victory gave them a sweep of the Spikes (5-15), owners of the worst record in the New York-Penn League. It also allowed the O-Tigers (11-10) to remain one game behind Stedler Division leader Vermont (12-9).

"This whole series, going 4-2 in a six-game homestand, these guys are really starting to turn it around and play well," said Oneonta manager Ryan Newman, whose team defeated State College, 6-1, on Monday. "The pitching _ this whole homestand _ they've thrown well."

Oneonta took advantage of two errors to grab a 1-0 lead in the third inning against starter Brian Leach. Third baseman Matthew Payne charged Eric Harryman's slow roller and fielded the ball cleanly before throwing it in the dirt for an error with one out. Harryman went to second when the throw rolled toward the O-Tigers' bullpen.

Payne followed with another error, bobbling Brandon Douglas' grounder off his mid-section as Harryman advanced to third. Ben Guez then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field. Harryman scored without a throw.

State College tied the score in the fifth off right-hander Feeney.

David Rubinstein singled with one out and Cole White followed with a liner that left fielder Chris White misjudged. White broke to his left before retreating as the ball sailed over him for a double that scored Rubinstein.

Oneonta grabbed the lead for good in the sixth off losing pitcher Ramon Aguero (0-4). The inning started with a bizarre play when Harryman's grounder lodged in Payne's vest jersey, allowing Harryman to reach on an infield single. Douglas then hit a grounder that bounced over Payne's glove into shallow left field for a single that sent Harryman to third.

After Guez walked on four pitches, Aguero got White to ground into a fielder's choice grounder to second, scoring Harryman for a 2-1 lead.

The O-Tigers scored two more runs in the seventh off Aguero.

Carlos Ramirez singled to right to lead off the inning and scored on Wade Lamont's two-hop double off the right-field wall to make it 3-1.

"They kept throwing me in, so they came first pitch inside and I swung at that and that's what happened," said Lamont, the son of former Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Gene Lamont. "We don't have the most power, but we play small ball, we hit and run a lot and we get the bunts down. That's what makes us good."

With Tyler Weber at the plate, Lamont advanced to third on a passed ball by Josue Peley and scored three pitches later on Aguero's wild pitch.

"These hitters are doing an outstanding job putting the ball in play," Newman said. "When you put pressure on the defense, good things are going to happen and that's what they've done this series."

Shawler (2-2) struck out two and walked one in three innings. Closer Tyler Stohr allowed one hit in the ninth inning for his sixth save of the season.

"I was just trying to start out throwing strikes," Shawler said. "The walk was a lapse on my part. I was just trying to throw strikes and let the defense play, let them (State College) make contact and get themselves out."

Added Newman: "Shawler came in and did a great job and Stohr's been doing what he's been doing all year, coming in and closing the door for us."

After a day off today, the O-Tigers travel to Staten Island for a three-game series beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


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Prentice: O-Tigers to stay put

By Rob Centorani

Staff Writer

E. Miles Prentice III, the head of a group of investors who are close to buying the Oneonta Tigers, said he has no plans to move the short-season Single-A franchise.

As Monday night gave way Tuesday morning, Prentice called The Daily Star for his first extended talk with the newspaper since Sam Nader and Sid Levine announced the pending sale of their O-Tigers on July 1.

"If you buy a house, you live in it for awhile," said Prentice, a New York City lawyer who placed a bid to buy the Tigers along with associates Steve Long, John Gleason, Ed Mattes, Laura Mattes-Cox and Jim Weber. Although specific contract terms have not been made public, the O-Tigers likely carried a price tag in the millions. According to Minor League Baseball, a Single-A short-season franchise is worth at least $1.8 million.

"They've had good people there for a long time," Prentice continued. "We're thankful we have this year to break ourselves in and find out what works and what doesn't work. We have to promote it. Because of where you are, there are communities within driving distance. We have to let people know we're there and come out to a ballgame. Oh, and by the way, some of the guys you'll see are going to get to the big leagues."

The deal, pending approval of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the New York-Penn League, should be completed some time in August. The Detroit Tigers, Oneonta's parent club, are committed to staying in Oneonta through at least the 2010 season, when its current Player Development Contract runs out.

Prentice said he hasn't been in contact with anyone from Detroit's front office since negotiations began with Nader and Levine in mid-December.

"Sam told me (the Detroit Tigers) were happy," Prentice, a graduate of the University of Michigan's law school, said about the pending transaction. "I hope to get a chance to meet them."

Based on Prentice's ownership of his Double-A minor league teams, it appears he's set on keeping the franchise in Oneonta.

"None of my ventures have been short-term," said Prentice, the owner of the Double-A Huntsville Stars and Midland RockHounds. "I bought Midland in 1990 and my GM (Monty Hoppel) is still with me. I bought Huntsville in 2002 and it's still there. My banker told me I wasn't a trader; he said, you're a hoarder."

Assuming the sale goes through, Jim Weber's son, Andy, will serve as the general manager. Introduced to The Daily Star as the Oneonta Tigers' intern at the beginning of this season, Andy Weber has been present at all of the O-Tigers' home games this year.

Prentice said Andy Weber, 28, will become the face of the franchise.

"It's a great opportunity for a guy his age," said Prentice, 65. "At this particular time in his life, he's single and has the time to do it. These guys put in long hours and there's a fair bit to do. He's working with Sam and (Director of Operations) Bob (Zeh) and getting the lay of the land. He's really enjoying it."

As for Prentice's presence at Damaschke Field, he said he is unsure about how often he'll attend games. Prentice added that he tries to get to games in Huntsville and Midland about once a month.

"Oneonta's a little easier to get to," said Prentice, who lives in Manhattan. "Literally, I can get up in a day and drive back, so it's a little easier for me."


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