By Nate Discavage
ONEONTA, N.Y. — The Oneonta Outlaws are returning to the New York Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series for the second straight year after sweeping the Geneva Red Wings in two games. They clinched with a 3-2 victory over Geneva at Damaschke Field Friday night in the Eastern Division Championship Series.
Ben Mauseth (Grand Canyon University) paced the Outlaws offensively. He went 2-4 and drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the seventh.
Brandon Agar (University of North Georgia) came on in relief to seal the victory for Oneonta.
The Outlaws were the first team to score for the first time in the playoffs. Mauseth led off the inning with a single. He moved to second on a bunt by Carson Waln (Wofford College) and later scored on Jimmy Hand’s (Northeastern) RBI single.
The Red Wings were held hitless until Cameron Coons (Alvernia University) connected on a two-out single in the fourth inning.
Geneva knotted it up in the sixth. Ricky Gorrell (Kutztown College) walked to start the inning. Mark Huddle (John Carroll University) then laid down a perfect bunt that hugged the foul line all the way to the third base bag for an infield single. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch before Gorrell crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Utterback (Alabama A&M University).
Tyler Martis (Siena College) led off the bottom of the seventh with a double before he scored on Mauseth’s triple. Waln hit a sacrifice fly to give the Outlaws a vital insurance run and put Oneonta ahead 3-1.
Geneva was not ready to back down and scored a run in the top of the eighth. Gorrell drew a one-out walk and would score on an RBI double by Utterback.
Agar retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth before forcing Clint Roche (Marietta College) to foul out to first base and send the Outlaws to the championship.
Mauseth, Hand, and Martis all had two hits for Oneonta. The trio combined to out hit the Red Wings 6-3.
Agar pitched three and two-thirds innings to earn the win. He allowed one run on one hit and struck out six batters.
“Geneva has seen me a good bit, so I kind of had to mix my pitches pretty well,” the 6’3 junior from Snellville, Georgia said. “I was just trusting what I could do and let my defense work behind me.”
Oneonta starter, J.T. Genovese (University of Albany) pitched five and one-third innings. He allowed one run on two hits. The 6’8 sophomore struck out three and walked three.
Matt Kozemchak (Lehigh University), Geneva’s starter, pitched five and two-thirds innings. He allowed one run on five hits and did not factor into the decision. Kozemchak walked two and struck out three.
Jeremy Hutchison (Neumann University) suffered the loss for the Red Wings. He gave up two runs on two hits in his one inning of work.
Despite falling just short of the finals, Geneva coach, George Schaefer could not have been more proud of his team that finished with the most wins in franchise history and won its fourth division title.
“I am proud of the way our guys worked. They worked hard every day; they came to the ballpark on time with a lot of energy, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” the first-year Geneva coach said. “The guys play hard. They are the ones who should get the credit. Myself and Coach Sumner, our assistant, push a few buttons but the guys play.”
“Congratulations to the Geneva Red Wings, they are a really good team and they have a really good coach in George Schaefer,” Hughes said. “We were able to play some good baseball and beat a very good baseball team.”
The Outlaws will face the Hornell Dodgers. It is a rematch of last year’s finals where Oneonta swept the series in two games.
Oneonta players are excited for an opportunity to play in the championship game.
“I am just happy to be here,” Mauseth said. “I just hope we keep winning and doing our thing and play hard every day.”
“I really want to play Hornell. That is all I am thinking right now,” Agar said. “I look forward to getting back to the championship series. It’s fun; we won it last year so maybe we can do it again.”