Ponies jump ahead behind Oswalt's gem

Mets No. 29 prospect allows run over seven innings in opener

Corey Oswalt went 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA over 24 Eastern League starts during the regular season. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

By Michael Peng / MiLB.com | September 7, 2017 12:22 AM

Making his first career postseason start in the opener of a series, Double-A Binghamton's Corey Oswalt showed why he deserved the nod by shutting down the winningest team in the Eastern League.

Facing a Trenton team that went 92-48 in the regular season, the Mets No. 29 prospect allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out seven over seven innings in Binghamton's 4-1 win at NYSEG Stadium on Wednesday. The Rumble Ponies lead, 1-0, in the best-of-5 Eastern League semifinals.

Video: Binghamton's Oswalt freezes Frazier

"I was excited and ready to go out there," Oswalt said. "I was pumped and my team was pumped. I just wanted to go out there and compete and give my team the best chance to win. The guys played great defense behind me and it was just fun to watch."

The 24-year-old right-hander took a little time to find his rhythm as four of the first eight batters he faced reached base and one run crossed the plate in the first inning.

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"I just left a couple of balls up and they put some good swings on them," Oswalt said, "but after that, I settled in nicely and I was able to execute my pitches."

The 2012 seventh-round pick retired 17 of the final 19 batters he faced. He credited the gameplan he and his batterymate, Mets No. 11 prospect Tomas Nido, drew up.

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"I was just throwing my fastball in and out and mixing speed on them," Oswalt said. "I was just trying to keep them off balance, but also keep them honest inside.

"Once you get on a roll, it's fun. Being able to throw all your pitches for strikes and hitting the spots that you want to, that part is really fun. It was just a fun game, great atmosphere. It was the first postseason game I pitched in, so I was excited and I'm glad our team got the win."

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Mets No. 10 prospect Peter Alonso erased the early deficit for the Rumble Ponies with a two-run double in the first. He also walked twice.

"He's a force in the lineup," Oswalt said of Alonso, who has gone 15-for-47 (.319) in 12 games for Binghamton since getting promoted on Aug. 24. "He can really swing it and it just makes our lineup deeper when you add a bat like his. He's a great hitter."

Matt Oberste padded Binghamton's lead with a two-RBI double in the third before Tim Peterson and Tyler Bashlor combined for five strikeouts over two scoreless innings of relief.

Game 2 is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET on Thursday at NYSEG Stadium.

Other EL playoff action:

Altoona-Bowie, postponed

Michael Peng is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelXPeng. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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