HORNELL — In an eventful doubleheader, the Olean Oilers both reached their high point of the season AND displayed some of the flaws that have made this a relatively uneven campaign.
Frank Wayman went 3-for-4 and Olean pounded out 13 hits in a 12-1, seven-inning triumph over Hornell in Game 1 of a New York Collegiate Baseball League twinbill on Friday at Maple City Park.
This was Olean’s crescendo.
It gave the Oilers their fourth-straight victory, their largest winning streak of the year. It brought them to within a game of .500 (not including ties), the first they’ve been at that mark since they were 1-2. It was their most decisive triumph since topping Mansfield by the same margin (16-5) in their season-opener.
Coach Brian O’Connell Jr.’s team continued the barrage in Game 2, plating three first-inning runs to take early control. Ultimately, though, it allowed a 4-2 fifth-inning advantage to dissolve into a 6-4 loss and doubleheader split. And that’s where perhaps its biggest deficiency came to light, as late-inning issues allowed another winnable game to slip away.
Still, there was more good than bad in Friday’s effort.
With a split, Olean (14-16-3) remained in third place in the Western Division standings, within a point of second-place Mansfield and now holds leads of three points (over Hornell) and two points (over Genesee) for the final playoff spot with nine contests remaining.
Noah Weiner remained hot, going 2-for-4, while Dylan Vincent (Olean High, 3 runs scored) and Michael Beimel (2 RBIs, 2 runs) each added two hits in the opener for the Oilers. Mason Nadolney doubled with two RBIs and Zach Hemphill (Allegany-Limestone) had a hit and two runs scored for Olean, which broke a 2-0 game open with a seven-run second and a three-run third.
Murphy O’Brien surrendered just one run on five hits while striking out five with one walk over five frames to earn the win. Olean also took advantage of three errors, four wild pitches, a dropped third strike and other Hornell miscues in Game 1.
In the nightcap, Adam Moore (Archbishop Walsh) went 2-for-3 with a two-run single to help give the Oilers an early 3-0 advantage. Still up in the fifth, Olean surrendered one run in the bottom half and three runs in the sixth and never recovered.
Nadolney (double) added two hits and two runs scored while Kevin Mooney had a hit and two RBIs and Branden Myers a double for Olean. Tyler Robison pitched all six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Olean will play a 7 p.m. game tonight at Genesee before returning home Sunday with a 1 p.m. start against Niagara.