OLEAN — With a threatening forecast, Thursday night’s Oilers-Destroyers matchup began without pregame introductions.
Fortunately for Olean, it had the right pitcher on the mound to keep the game moving.
Fast-working Kyle Warner pitched six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine batters, and the Oilers’ bats produced an 11-1 win, ending the game after seven innings at Bradner Stadium.
“Work quick, throw strikes, you get in a rhythm,” said Michael Beimel, Warner’s catcher who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
The Oilers (3-4) hope they have found their groove, too. The victory over Mansfield (4-5) gave them their first winning streak of the NYCBL season.
Warner, a Canisius College lefty from Springville, made his second start. He earned a no-decision in last Friday’s opener against the same Destroyers, allowing five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. On Thursday, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior-to-be threw 51 of his 84 pitches for strikes, allowing only one run in the fifth inning. He walked two batters and hit another.
Beimel’s goal for Warner was simple.
“Just to pound the zone, honestly,” the St. John Fisher junior and St. Marys, Pennsylvania, native said. “He’s got good stuff. Just throw strikes, and he did.”
“He had a lot of pop in his pitches,” Olean manager Brian O’Connell Jr. said, “and most of their hitters were behind every swing that they had. He really threw a nice game for us.”
Reliever Alec Teska (St. John Fisher) surrendered the only Mansfield hit to Devan Nail (Kent State) in the seventh.
The Oilers were held hitless the first three innings by Mason Vaughan (Manhattan) before collecting five hits in a four-run fourth. Frank Wayman (Herkimer County CC) hit a two-run double, and Ryan Simmons (St. John Fisher) added a two-RBI single in the frame.
The Destroyers walked six batters in the seventh inning — the last two with the bases loaded to invoke the 10-run rule.
Noah Weiner (Ohio) finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Olean, which will try for its third straight win this morning (10 o’clock) against the Genesee Rapids at Houghton College.
“I think the guys are playing a little more loose,” O’Connell said. “Everyone’s kind of understanding what we’re trying to accomplish here. I could sense a little bit of a turn yesterday, and the guys came today and they were pretty loose.
“We had to make a decision today at 12:30 whether to tell Mansfield to get on their bus and come here, just for their bussing schedule. I was at my law office and I’m with their GM and my operations director, and we decide to give it a go and see if we could get the game in. The players, when they got here, they were all ready, I think they were all glad to say, ‘OK, let’s get down to work.’ They’re really coming to the park now and I see the enthusiasm. It’s a good sign.”