Riverside walked off the field at McCarthy Park on Thursday as Cornell Cup League II baseball champions thanks to Brandon Jiminez’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, which gave the Frontiers a 4-3 triumph over Burgard.
Winning pitcher Josh Oakley had a huge game for Riverside, culminating with the junior scoring the game-winning run after reaching in the home half of the eighth via walk. He then stole second and third. With one out and two bases open, Burgard opted to pitch to Jiminez.
That proved to be a mistake.
“It was a good line-drive shot to the outfield,” said Riverside first-year coach Welland Davis of the championship-clinching hit.
Oakley struck out 18 and yielded just two hits to earn the win for the Frontiers (15-1). Offensively, he finished with three hits, stole six bases and scored two runs. Owen Laureno also had three hits for Riverside, while DeShawn Haines drove in a run for the winners.
“It’s huge,” Davis said of the importance of winning the Division II title. “It’s a revitalization of the Riverside baseball program. We have a young team, we’re only losing one guy.”
Davis also praised the season-long efforts of assistant coach Alexi Figueroa.
Friday postseason frenzy
It’s not Football Friday, but today figures to be the most frenetic day of the spring season with Section VI athletes resuming the quest for state championships on the softball diamond and in track and field.
Section VI’s softball champions face off against Rochester-area counterparts in the Far West Regionals. Niagara Wheatfield hosts the Class AA (6 p.m.), A (4 p.m.) and B (5 p.m.) regionals, while Brockport State hosts the Class C (4 p.m.) and D (6 p.m.) games.
Day One of the state track and field meet begins today at Cicero-North Syracuse.