UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Kevin Hughes struck out 12 in 7.1 innings and also drove in the game-winning run in the eighth as Jurek edged Oneonta 3-2 in the opening game of the New York State American Legion Tournament at Murnane Field in Utica.
Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Edward Kohout hit a one-out triple and Hughes brought him in with a groundout to second. Oneonta got the tying run on first with two outs in the ninth but reliever Zach Lauricella sealed the victory for Jurek with a strikeout.
Hughes allowed the two runs, both earned, on 10 hits and walked two and escaped several jams along the way. Oneonta had the bases loaded with two outs in the third and a 1-0 lead, then with Jurek ahead 2-1, Hughes got out of second and third with one out in the fifth and the leadoff runner on second in the sixth. Oneonta also had first and second with one out in the eighth but Lauricella shut the threat down.
Jack Benjamin took the hard-luck loss for Oneonta, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits in a complete-game effort.
The result sends Jurek, which is from the Buffalo region, to the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament and puts Oneonta on the brink of elimination in the losers bracket.
Oneonta started the scoring in the first with a first-and-third double-steal as Matt Marcewicz took home on the throw to second. Jurek came back with a two-run double by Andrew MacKinnon in the fourth, then Oneonta tied it in the seventh on an RBI single by Brenden Wolfanger.
Oneonta tried to force its way ahead in the next at-bat when Eric Scorzafava struck out on a dropped ball with runners on second and third and one out and Benjamin tried to score on the throw to first, but first baseman Jack Eldridge threw him out to keep the game tied.
Updated tournament information can be found at www.nystourney.com.