High amounts of talent, and high expectations, follow the Fayetteville-Manlius baseball team onto the diamond for the 2007 season.
But even with its ace on the mound, the Hornets found it difficult to warm up for last Tuesday's opener against Central Square, which turned into a 5-3 loss to the Red Hawks.
Cory Nelson expected to win, but the senior left-hander got into third-inning trouble after the Hornets took an early 3-0 lead.
In all, Nelson gave up four runs in the top of the third, and Matt Marra offered the main damage, tripling and driving in two Central Square runs.
Marra did more than just hit. He went to the mound in relief of Chad Dixon in the fourth winning and would get the win. Combined, F-M pitchers Nelson, Will Porter and Scott Miller gave up just two hits in the defeat, hurt instead by walks and two errors as the Red Hawks played error-free ball.
F-M wasted little time recovering from this defeat, for it went to Oswego the next day and registered a 3-1 victory over the Buccaneers.
Austin Straub was superb on the mound, limiting Oswego to two hits in his complete-game effort and striking out 10. Still, when the game went to the sixth inning, the Hornets found itself in a 1-1 tie with the Bucs.
At risk of going to 0-2, F-M notched single runs in the sixth and seventh innings off Oswego pitcher Nate Pensero to get in front for good. Billy Donlon earned two RBIs to lead this late surge. T.J. Wilson also drove in a run.