On a night former major-league pitcher Al Leiter threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Damaschke Field, the Oneonta Outlaws maintained their hold on the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League's final playoff berth with an 8-3 victory over the Newark Pilots on Tuesday.
Heading into the final day of the PGCBL's regular season, the Outlaws have two ways to qualify for the playoffs.
The first is simple _ win tonight at Glens Falls. The second will require some cooperation from the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Should the Outlaws (25-21) lose tonight, Oneonta would earn the fourth and final playoff spot if Mohawk Valley (24-21) loses at Watertown. But if Oneonta loses tonight and MV wins, the DiamondDawgs would pass Oneonta for fourth place.
Mohawk Valley defeated Elmira, 13-2, Monday and followed it with a 10-5 win at first-place Amsterdam on Tuesday.
There's also a chance Oneonta could move as high as second place. If the Outlaws win tonight, they would tie second-place Glens Falls (26-20). Third-place Newark (25-20) plays host to Elmira and if it loses, Oneonta would pass the Pilots if the Outlaws beat Glens Falls.
The team that earns the fourth playoff spot will travel to Amsterdam (35-11) on Friday for the start of a best-of-three semifinal series. The second- and third-place teams will play in the other series.
Outlaws starter Nathaniel Abel struck out nine over six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, to lead Oneonta to its sixth win in seven games.
Zach Lucas led the offense with three hits, including a double, a triple and three RBIs. Oneonta scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, when Zander Wiel doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. Wiel finished two hits and teammates Sutton Whiting and Cory Hunt also had multiple hits.
Cooperstown 17, Albany 15
In a game that featured 35 hits and eight errors, Coleman Barron's two-run homer in the eighth inning snapped a 15-all tie as the Hawkeyes won the completion of a suspended game in the PGCBL.
Bobby Guerra drew a two-out walk off of Trevor Lacosse before Barron homered to left.
Cooperstown lost the regularly scheduled game, 8-2. No other information was available. The last-place Hawkeyes finished the season with a 12-32 record.