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V-V-S baseball upsets Oneida in playoff opener

By By BRIAN SANDLER

ONEIDA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Vernon-Verona-Sherrill erupted for eight runs in the first inning while Oneida's potent offense was powerless against Jason Dalton, and the 11th-seeded Red Devils upset the 6th-seeded Indians 12-0 in the first round of the Section III, Class A playoffs on Tuesday.

Oneida had swept the teams' regular-season Tri Valley League series by scores of 10-3 and 17-6, but a gamble on the choice of starting pitcher backfired to set the tone.  Ryan Shene, who's normally a reliever, gave up a single, a walk and back-to-back RBI doubles to the first four batters he faced and was promptly pulled.

The Indians brought in ace starter Nate Mallinder to relieve, but with only eight pitches allowed to warm up, his own first three batters all reached on a two-run double, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt that ended up being a single to load the bases.  After an RBI groundout and a flyout Mallinder was on the brink of escaping, but leadoff hitter Jeremy Roden smacked a three-run home run to dead center--his second hit of the inning after leading off with a single--to make it 8-0.  Roden finished 3-for-4 with the home run, a double, a walk, three RBIs and three runs scored.

The Red Devils tacked on three more runs in the second inning and added their final run in the fifth.  That was more than enough for Dalton, who used a spectacular curveball to hold the Indians--whose starting lineup featured seven players hitting at least .300--to just four hits, never getting a runner to third base.  Dalton finished with eight strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter.

V-V-S, now 14-10 overall, will face another Tri Valley League rival in the quarterfinals as it travels to No. 3 seed Camden on Thursday.

Oneida ends the season 14-7.

 

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