Sixty-four strikeouts to six walks.
That's how Ben Moxley entered his senior season as a relative nobody and exited as the state's Class B Player of the Year.
He threw strikes, lots of them, and quality ones. He had a third of Oneonta High's victories and batted .373 to boot in leading the Yellowjackets to their first Class B state championship in baseball.
"I put the ball around the plate and get that contact," said Moxley, The Daily Star's Player of the Year. "I'm impressed with that (strikeout-to-walk ratio). That impresses me."
He went from injured in 2011 to unbeatable a year later. He threw the season's first and last pitch, and along the way went 8-0 with a 1.15 ERA. He also scored 25 runs and drove in 20.
"He played to our expectations and even higher," Oneonta High coach Joe Hughes said of Moxley. "He has confidence as a pitcher and a hitter. He came through on every level and every time he had the chance to shine, he did."
As did Hughes, who repeated as The Daily Star's Coach of the Year after guiding the Yellowjackets to a 24-2 season that culminated in a 2-0 victory over Briarcliff in the Class B title game at Conlon Field in Binghamton.
It was in that state final that Moxley performed to near perfection.
Hughes called the pitches and Moxley executed them. He finished with two strikeouts and no walks in a 77-pitch four-hitter against a 23-5 squad that advanced to the Class B state final the season before. Fifty-three of his pitches went for strikes, he started 17 of 24 batters with strikes and went to three-ball counts on two hitters.
"Something in that championship game against Briarcliff, I just sensed that he and I were on the same page," Hughes said. "Every pitch, it just seemed the game really slowed down for him. His confidence, he might not have shown it with a two- or one-run lead, I just felt good with him on the mound. He was changing speeds and putting it where he wanted it. I knew we had a real good chance because I just felt he was in such a good place. It was all coming together and it was masterful performance."
It came on the heels of a three-hitter against Westhill in a Class B state quarterfinal that Oneonta won, 4-1. Moxley allowed a run in the first inning against the 2009 and 2010 Class B state champions and then started a run of 13 scoreless innings to end the season.
"Every game that I started I felt the same every time out," said Moxley, whose season included a no-hitter against Chenango Forks on May 7 _ a 4-0 win that included 11 strikeouts and one walk. "I had three good games to end the season."
That season-ending streak included a four-hitter in a 6-1 Section Four semifinal victory over Waverly.
The thing about Moxley is he doesn't look all that imposing on the mound, he doesn't possess an overpowering fastball, and he doesn't have drop-off-the-table offspeed stuff. But what he did over 60 2/3 innings this past season was pitch. That's to say he moved the ball in and out, changed speeds and kept the ball down.
In the state final, he induced 14 groundouts.
"No matter the situation, he was always under control and always believed in himself," Hughes said. "The pressure, the emotion and the intensity in big games can get the best of players. They'll try to hit it too hard or throw it too hard or try to do too much. He was able to stay focused and disciplined and that's really what might separate him from other players."
Moxley attributed that belief in himself to the work he did in the offseason. He said he and Daily Star First Teamer Mark Giallanzo spent three days a week with OHS assistant coach Mike Jester at the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club to get ready.
"Mark Giallanzo and I went 15-0," Moxley said of his combined pitching record with Giallanzo, who went 7-0 with a 1.20 ERA. "Even though we did all that hard work, that's still surprising. Mark and I talk about it a lot because we helped the team so much more this year."
It also kept Moxley healthy. A portion of his junior season was derailed by a pinched nerve in his throwing shoulder.
Asked what his pitching record would have been without the offseason preparation, Moxley said, "probably 3-3."
As for his hitting, Moxley said one of the more surprising aspects to the season was seeing his name second in a stacked OHS lineup.
"I was surprised when I saw my name at the No. 2 spot," Moxley said of the season-opening game against Chenango Forks. "I was thinking probably seventh or eighth."
His 25 runs were third on the team, as were his 31 hits. He also had six doubles, one triple and a team-best eight sacrifices.
"I liked his bat all along," Hughes said. "I thought he would hit for us and he did."
Next year, he'll play for NJCAA Division III power Herkimer County Community College. Moxley said he has designs on a baseball scholarship for his final two years of school.
"I'm looking to step in and be one of the top guys, one of the top one or two pitchers," he said. "I need to throw harder. My main focus will be to get bigger, stronger and throw harder, and work on my offspeed pitches a little bit.
"The first year is important," he continued. "The first year and the next summer _ that's when you get looked at. I just have to get bigger and stronger and show Division I teams what I can do."
Moxley is one of seven Yellowjackets who'll continue to play next season. Daily Star First Teamers Mike Calkins (Division II University of Tampa); Giallanzo and Ben Payton (Mohawk Valley CC); Sean Getman (Bridgton Prep Academy); Zach Pidgeon (Ithaca College); and David Wright (Erie CC) also will continue to play baseball.
Conor Youngs and junior Chris Pindar also earned spots on The Daily Star's First Team, giving the Yellowjackets all but two of the All-Star spots _ the others going to Unatego's Quinn Barnhart and Dan Shelton.
"The battle and competitiveness of this team as a collective group was better than any group I've been fortunate to coach," said Hughes, who's steered the Yellowjackets to a 44-4 record over the last two seasons, including back-to-back Southern Tier Athletic Conference titles. "They were competitors and they put the work in at practice and on off days to make themselves even better."
In addition to Moxley's no-hitter, Calkins also had a no-hitter, that coming in a 3-1, eight-inning victory over Horseheads in a STAC semifinal. Calkins struck out 17 that day and Moxley followed with a win over Johnson City in the STAC final _ a 10-2 OHS victory at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.
The season also included two memorable comeback victories _ the first a 9-8 regular-season win in 10 innings over JC in which the Yellowjackets recovered from an early 5-0 deficit against Wildcats standout Ryan Clark.
The second was even more improbable. Facing defending state champion Chenango Valley in the Section Four Class B final _ the same CV squad that defeated OHS, 10-2, in the 2011 sectional final _ Oneonta trailed, 7-1, after four innings. And with Warriors standout Austin Lewis on the mound, things looked bleak.
But the Yellowjackets rallied to tie it a 7 after six innings before the Warriors countered with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Calkins answered with a three-run homer to right off of reliever Nick Deamer in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Pindar later hit the winning single to give OHS an 11-10 victory at Conlon Field.
In that state final, Calkins provided another huge home run, a shot to right-center in the fourth inning that snapped a scoreless tie.
"I can't remember bigger hits in big moments," Hughes said of Calkins' homers. "Those have to be the biggest home runs any player has hit for me _ some of the biggest home runs in OHS history."
Moxley said Hughes _ in his 28th season _ has a balanced approach to coaching.
"He's not pedal-to-the-metal 100 percent of the time," Moxley said. "He jokes with you and makes sure you have fun. But when it comes to working, we're going to have to do all the conditioning. He's stern in what he makes us do, but at the same time, he has fun with us."
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.
2012 DAILY STAR BASEBALL ALL-STARS
DAILY STAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ben Moxley, sr., Oneonta
DAILY STAR COACH OF THE YEAR: Joe Hughes, 28th year, Oneonta
DAILY STAR FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS
Quinn Barnhart, jr., Unatego
Mike Calkins, sr., Oneonta
Sean Getman, sr., Oneonta
Mark Giallanzo, sr., Oneonta
Ben Payton, sr., Oneonta
Zach Pidgeon, sr., Oneonta
Chris Pindar, jr., Oneonta
Dan Shelton, sr., Unatego
David Wright, sr., Oneonta
Conor Youngs, sr., Oneonta
DAILY STAR BASEBALL HISTORY
Players of the Year
Year, Player, Team
2012, Ben Moxley, Oneonta
2011, Andy Kozak, Sidney
2010, Kyle Liner, Cooperstown
2009, Jeff Wiltsie, Oneonta
2008, Philip Pohl, Cooperstown
2007, Philip Pohl, Cooperstown
2006, Kyle Donnelly, Oneonta
2005, Ryan Laymon, Edmeston
2004, Erik Scrivener, Edmeston
2004, Sam Ackerman, Edmeston
2003, James Moretti, Schenevus
2002, Shane Derry, Stamford
2001, Kyle Thomas, Oneonta
2000, Mike Connolly, Oneonta
1999, Mike Connolly, Oneonta
1998, Craig Hurba, Oneonta
1997, Rob Weeks, Afton
1996, Kyle Rockefeller, South Kortright
1995, Aza Hoyt, Sidney
1994, Jason Ronovech, Oneonta
1993, Tim Christman, Oneonta
1992, Tim Christman, Oneonta
1992, Marc Cerbone, Sidney
1991, John Davis, Edmeston
1991, Mike Weir, Stamford
1990, Greg Microni, Oneonta
1989, Rob Adair, Milford
1988, Tom Dye, New Berlin
1988, Matt McPhail, Oneonta
1987, Tom Dye, New Berlin
1986, Clay Bellinger, Oneonta
1985, Brad Carpenter, New Berlin
1984, Chris Rowe, Oneonta
1984, Randy O'Dell, Downsville
1984, Ron Reed, Laurens
Coaches of the Year
Year, Coach, Team
2012, Joe Hughes, Oneonta
2011, Joe Hughes, Oneonta
2010, Mike Clark, Edmeston
2009, Bob VanValkenburgh, South Kortright
2008, Mike Clark, Edmeston
2007, Frank Miosek, Cooperstown
2006, Gary Backus, Walton
2005, Ron Tasior, Edmeston
2004, Ron Tasior, Edmeston
2003, Pat Broe, Schenevus
2002, Joe Hughes, Oneonta
2001, John Toroni, Jefferson
2000, Pat Broe, Schenevus
1999, Pat Broe, Schenevus
1999, Frank Miosek, Cooperstown
1998, No Selection
1997, Jason Bryce, Afton
1996, Jim Johnson, G-MU
1995, Tom Hager, Sidney
1994, Bob VanValkenburgh, South Kortright
1993, Joe Hughes, Oneonta
1992, Tom Brigham, CV-S
1991, Curt Hoffman, Stamford
1990, Joe Hughes, Oneonta
1989, Ron Tasior, Edmeston
1988, Frank Johnson, New Berlin
1987, Frank Johnson, New Berlin
1986, Marty Gronwall, Edmeston
1985, Frank Johnson, New Berlin
1984, Roger Brown, Unatego