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Destroyers Top Hornell, 8-5
The Mansfield Destroyers began their inaugural season in the NYCBL (New York Collegiate Baseball League) with an 8-5 win over Western Division rival Hornell at Mansfield University’s Shaute Field on Thursday, June 6.
Hornell opened the game with a run to take an early 1-0 lead but Mansfield answered back in the bottom of the 2nd to knot the game up. Eric Feliz led off the inning with a base hit, then advanced to 2nd on a ground out by Austin Schmitt, then scored as Tim Carroll singled.
Hornell scored 3 runs in the top of the 3rd to retake the lead, 4-1, but the Destroyers rallied in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to a single run. Kipp Hillson started the inning by reaching on error and later advanced to 2nd on a Pat O’Neill single. Tyler Melko loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice before Michael Wein drew a walk to score Hillson. Two at bats later O’Neill scored with Schmitt at the plate to make it 4-3.
The Dodgers increased their lead to 5-3 with one more run in the top of the 4th, but again the Destroyers rallied and would tie the game up this time.
Carroll led off the bottom half of the 4th inning by reaching on error and taking 2nd before a Blake Murray single moved him over to 3rd. Murray stole 2nd to put two runners in scoring position during Hillson’s at bat, then both men scored as Matt Williams singled, tying the game at 5-all.
After a scoreless 5th inning, the Destroyers broke the game open with 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. After Carroll and Murray led off with back-to-back singles, Williams again came through in the clutch with a double to right field to score Carroll. Next at bat O’Neill singled to center field to score Murray then Tyler Melko singled to right field to score Williams, putting the Destroyers in front for good, 8-5.
O’Neill went 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI to lead Mansfield on the evening. Carroll was 2-for-3 with a walk, Murray was 2-for-4, Williams was 2-for-5 with 3 RBIs, and Feliz and Melko added base hits.
Brendan Quigley scored the win on the mound for Mansfield, pitching 2 innings with 1 walk and 1 strikeout. David Higginbotham earned the save with an inning pitched with 1 walk and 1 strikeout.
The win starts the Destroyers’ season off at 1-0 in the NYCBL Western Division. Mansfield is on the road for the next three days before returning home to host Niagara on Monday, June 10.