It’s not everyday that a two-vs.-three game ends prematurely in a run-rule decision, but that was the case at Bear Creek Saturday afternoon, as Oneida started strong, then exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning to break Harriman, en route to a 16-6 win in six innings.
Oneida started strong out of the gate, with five runs in the first. After the Blue Devils battled back to tie the game in the top of the fourth, the Indians exploded for seven runs in the next frame, taking a 12-5 lead. After that, they didn’t let up, with two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to end the game.
Junior Hunter Shoemaker and freshman Caden Rector had big days at the plate. Shoemaker finished with four RBIs and two runs scored on a 3 of 5 batting effort, while Rector had three RBIs and two runs on a 3 of 3 effort.
Colten Daugherty, a sophomore, had two RBIs and three runs, while Hunter Hutchison had a pair of RBIs and a run scored.
Three Oneida pitchers — Hutchison, Rector and Daugherty — teamed up to allow just two hits, but Harriman made the most of eight bases on balls and three errors by the Indians to score six runs, which were enough to make things interesting before Oneida slammed the door with a big half-inning in the bottom of the fourth.
Oneida started the game strong, loading the bases with their first three batters on a McLorne Love single and a pair of walks, before a three-run triple by Shoemaker gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Two walks later, Oneida had the bases loaded again with still no one out. Shoemaker scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Derek Ryon to make the score 4-0, and Cole Cross scored on an RBI single by Rector to make it 5-0 before Harriman was finally able to get out of the inning.
Harriman loaded the bases in the third but could manage just one run, but then the Blue Devils caught fire with a big two-out rally in the fourth. After a 5-4-3 double play by Oneida, Harriman loaded the bases with a base hit sandwiched between two walks, before another base on balls made the score 5-2. Then disaster struck when Oneida gave up three more runs on a sequence that included a balk and a two-run error.
Rector struck out a Harriman batter to end the inning, with the score tied at five.
The Indians wasted no time striking back, as the bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth. Oneida’s first four batters in the frame got base hits, with Shoemaker scoring Daugherty on a base-hit to reclaim the lead, 6-5. With the bases loaded, Hutchison was hit by a pitch to earn a base and make the score 7-5, as Blaine Shepherd scored. Then Shoemaker scored on a passed ball to make it 8-5.
An RBI single by Rector made it 9-5, scoring Cross, before Harriman finally recorded the first out of the inning.
But Oneida wasn’t done.
With the bases still loaded, Love got a base on balls to score Hutchison, then Daugherty hit a two-run single to score Todd Derek Ryon and Rector, and Oneida led 12-5.
Things didn’t get any better for Harriman in the fifth. Rector hit an RBI triple to score Ryon and make the score 13-5, then Jailin Anderson singled on a ground ball to first to score Rector.
Harriman scored one in the top of the sixth, but an RBI double by Shepherd and an RBI single by Hutchison in the bottom half pushed the Indians’ lead to 10 runs and ended the game.
Oneida will next host the winner of Harriman and Oakdale Monday evening, with the winner advancing to the District 3-A championship game.