WHITESTOWN POSTS TOURNEY OPENING 11-3 WIN OVER ONEONTA
Utica, NY (8-1-13) – Matt Engler tossed eight innings allowing just three runs to lead Whitestown Post 1113 over Oneonta Post 259, 11-3, in the opening round of the New York State American Legion Baseball Tournament Wednesday evening at Murnane Field. The opening round matchup pitted Whitestown from District Five and Oneonta representing District Six.
Middletown started the Tournament off on Wednesday morning with a 6-4 win over Jurek Post.
“My fastball was here and there, but the curve ball and slider were really working”, said Engler, a freshman at Onondaga Community College. “A solid defense behind me makes it easy…just put the ball over the plate” he said.
The reigning state champs got right to work, as the visitors, scoring three runs on a long ball from Brendan Heitz to take an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first.
Leadoff shortstop Mike Sullivan reached first after being hit by a pitch on a 0-1 count.
Centerfielder Mike Bunal then reached on a throwing error by Oneonta third baseman Sean Getman who threw the ball into right field trying to turn a double play.
Engler gave up a leadoff, infield hit to Oneonta’s Dave Wright before baiting starting pitcher Ben Moxley into a 6-4-3 double play ball.
The left-handed hurler went on to retire the next four batters as he tallied just 20 pitches (11, nine) over the first two innings.
Moxley began to settle down on the hill as he would sit down six of the next seven Warriors with three pop flies, a ground ball and a strikeout headed into the bottom of the third.
Moxley was hurt all game long by his defense as Oneonta committed six costly errors.
Oneonta manager Mike Jester was not kidding when he lamented about just how costly the fielding miscues were to his team. In fact the Oneonta skipper figured that the mistakes cost his starter, Moxley, 40 extra pitches during his outing.
Oneonta leftfielder Mark Giallanza led off with a rope up the middle and scored on a double to the gap by shortstop Ryan Rivino to give OP its first run of the day.
Second baseman Ben Peyton, who reached on the throwing error, scored on a Dave Wright fielder’s choice to pull Oneonta within one run of the lead, 3-2.
The visiting Warriors retaliated however with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth on three consecutive hits.
Third baseman Dan Smith drilled a leadoff double to the right center gap and scored on an RBI base hit to left field by Connor Passalacqua.
Passalacqua then crossed the dish on a Dylan Gorski single to give WP a 5-2 edge at the midway point.
Engler cruised through the next two innings tallying his third 1-2-3 inning in the fourth and then retiring three of five batters in the fifth. Engler and his mates then worked out of a fifth inning jam.
With a runner in scoring position at second base Whitestown catcher Dylan Gorski came up big when he bare handed a sac bunt attempt by David Wright, no not that David Wright.
Gorski scopped the ball up made a strong throw and cut the runner down at third to help Post 1136 regain their composure and keep momentum on their side of the diamond.
Moxley found a groove of his own as he held the reigning champs to three straight scoreless innings.
He downed three of four batters in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings while fanning three and allowing just one hit.
Oneonta cut the lead to two runs, 5-3, as it managed one run in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back hits.
First baseman Dan Hodne took a 1-1 pitch down the left field line with one out and later crossed the plate on an RBI single from Zach Pidgeon.
The State Champs awoke late, however, as Whitestown went on to score two more runs n the eighth and four more in the ninth to seal its 11th straight victory, moving onto the State Tournament’s winner’s bracket contest Thursday at 5:00PM.
Smith and Passalacqua each had consecutive hits in the eighth and ninth innings with Smith ripping two doubles and scoring twice and Passalacqua roping an RBI double and a single while scoring a run himself.
“He left a few over the plate and I took advantage of them”, said the everyday right fielder Passalacqua when asked how he felt in the box.
Engler, a winner of 9 straight, threw eight complete innings allowing just six hits and three runs for WP while Moxley tossed eight innings as well allowing seven runs on eight hits.
Whitestown’s Ron Adamczyk came on in relief of Engler.
Oneonta would not go away without making some noise as they loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but could not muster a run as they fall into the loser’s bracket.
Passalacqua and Smith led the local champs as they combined for six hits and five runs scored to lead the pack as Passalacqua went 3-for-4 at the dish with two RBI and a double and Smith adding three doubles and three runs scored.
Whitestown Post 1113 moves its season record to 29-3 overall including a perfect 5-0 in the postseason and looks to make it 12 in a row Thursday.
New York State Tournament – Opening Round
Murnane Field – 5:00 PM
Whitestown Post 1113 – 11, Oneonta Post 259 – 3
Whitestown 300 200 024 11 12 2 Oneonta 002 001 000 3 7 5
Pitchers of Record
Matt Engler: Won (9-0), 8 Innings Pitched, 3 Runs, 2 Earned Runs, 6 Hits, 2 Strikeouts, 5 Walks, 1 Hit Batter
Ron Adamczyk: 1 Inning Pitched, 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Strikeouts, 2 Walks
Conner Passalacqua: 3-for-4, 2 Singles, Double, Hit-by-Pitch, 2 Runs Scored, RBI
Dan Smith: 3-for-5, 3 Doubles, 3 Runs Scored, RBI
Matt Engler: 2-for-5, 2 Singles, RBI
Dylan Gorski: 1-for-3, Single, Sacrifice Fly, Sacrifice Bunt, 2 RBI’s
Brendan Heitz: 1-for-4, Home Run, Hit-by-Pitch, Reached-on-Error, 2 Runs Scored, 3 RBI’s
Ryan Watson: 1-for-5, Double, Reached-on-Error, Run Scored
Adam Pexton: 1-for-5, Single, Reached-on-Error
Mike Sullivan: 0-for-3, 2 Hit-by-Pitch, Sacrifice Fly, Run Scored, RBI