Joe Chittester (Clarion) connected on a three-run home run as the Olean Oilers came from behind to defeat the Niagara Power, 12-5 and force a decisive game three in the New York Collegiate Baseball League Western Division semi-final series.
Chittester plated Seth Heck (Tacoma CC) and Thomas Richards (Univ of Buffalo) as the Oilers took a 6-5 lead and never looked back.
The home run, Chittester’s first of the playoffs and third of the season, couldn’t have come at a better time. After losing 4-0 in game one, Olean trailed 5-3 in the fifth inning.
The Oilers poured it on from there.
Stephan Adams (Tacoma CC) highlighted a five-run sixth with an RBI single scoring Chittester and Brad Rush (St. John Fisher).
Michael Booth (Canisius) was hit by pitch to lead the frame. Jon Kemmer (Clarion), the league’s leading hitter, followed with a double. Heck brought home Adams with a sacrifice fly, and Richards drove in Kemmer with a base hit. Mike Scarcello capped the inning with a single scoring Adams.
Niagara scored two in the fourth and three in the fifth for the early lead.
Tyler Schweigert (Eastern Illinois) doubled and came home on a Nicholas Linne (Northwestern) RBI single. One out later, Ryan Jordan (Medaille) doubled home Adam Taylor (North Greenville).
The Power took a short-lived lead in the sixth.
Ryan Kiesel (Trinity Christian) tripled to lead the stanza. Shakeel Newton (Genesee CC) followed with an RBI base hit. One out later, Schweigert singled. After a double steal, Taylor brought home Newton with a sacrifice fly. Schweigert crossed the dish on an error, and the Power led 5-3.
Brandon Nemeti (Erie CC) came out of the bullpen and shut down the Power for the sixth and seventh innings. The right-hander struck out one and walked one for his fifth win against one loss on the season.
Braden Lee (Virginia Intermont) took over from there and held the Power at bay. Niagara stranded three runners in the last two innings.
Jordan Schwartz (Niagara) suffered his first loss of the season. The right-hander walked three and allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in four and a third innings of work.
Chittester, Kemmer and Richards each had two hits. Chittester had a game-high four RBI.
Kiesel went three-for-four with a run scored for Niagara.
The series shifts to Niagara for a third and decisive game. Dave Spaeder (4-0/Gannon) gets the start for Olean. Rick Hubbard (3-3/East Carolina) toes the rubber for Niagara. First pitch at Sal Maglie Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
<spa@� ye����1ze:10.0pt;font-family:”georgia”,”serif”;color:#333333’=””>The series shifts to Geneva for game two. First pitch at McDonough Park is scheduled for 3 p.m.