BINGHAMTON – Oxford’s rise to prominence in Section IV baseball didn’t happen overnight. It was a steady climb for the Blackhawks who forged their skills on the baseball diamond at the beginning of this decade in Little League. A dream of a championship, born several years ago, became a reality for those one-time youngsters. Now young men, Oxford’s baseball team captured its first sectional baseball title since 1981 beating Candor, 13-8, Thursday at Conlon Field.
The Blackhawks will play Cooperstown Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Conlon Field or Union-Endicott High School in the first round of the state playoffs. The Redskins blanked Fabius-Pompey, 8-0.
“We’ve been working toward this goal for a long time,” said Ben Burdick, one of nine seniors on the winning Blackhawks. “Every time we stepped on the basketball court, we saw the banner from 1981. That was a long time ago, and we needed to win another one.”
Burdick was just one of several hitting stars for Oxford, who compiled a 14-hit attack in its most prolific offensive support in several weeks. It came at the right time with Candor’s hot-hitting lineup consistently pressuring Oxford starter Steve Locke. Locke earned his 10th win of the season needing 100 pitches over six innings, while giving up five runs – two earned – matching the high against him this season. “I know Steve wouldn’t admit it, but I think his arm had to be a little sore today,” said Oxford head coach Chris Palmer. “Candor is just a good hitting team. They hit the ball hard against us or put it in play with hard hits. Steve was able to gut it out for us.”