Thwarted last spring in its bid at back-to-back Section III Class AA championships, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team wants to get back to the top.
To that end, head coach Kevin Rockwell and his Northstars have worked throughout the off-season, then patiently endured the bad weather (snow, rain, etc.) that wiped out early games against Rome Free Academy and Baldwinsville.
Finally, CNS got on the field last Wednesday, and quickly earned a quality win when it beat the Central Square Red Hawks 5-4.
Central Square was fresh off beating Fayetteville-Manlius (and its ace pitcher, Cory Nelson) a day earlier, and it threatened to do the same here when it took leads of 2-0 and 4-3 in the first two innings off CNS ace Pat Corbin.
However, Corbin would settle down, as he and relief pitcher Anthony Brauchle shut out the Red Hawks the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Northstars put up single runs in the third and fourth innings to pull back in front. In all, CNS had nine hits, including Greg Larioni's triple and Ryan Mahoney's double.
The Northstars made up the B'ville game on Saturday, and used one big inning to subdue the Bees in an 8-2 victory.
Jeff Benz started, but was chased in the first inning as B'ville scored twice. Picking up the slack, Grant Nadeau and Jim Rinella combined to shut out the Bees the rest of the way, giving CNS ample time to rally.
And in the top of the third, the Northstars struck hard, getting seven runs. Patrick O'Brien earned two RBIs as Dave Kernan, Shawn Moonan, D.J. Pastuf and Joe Shepard drove in one run apiece.
Then the season ground to a halt again after Monday's snowstorm. A trip to RFA was postponed, and games with Oswego, Nottingham and Seton Catholic were also put in doubt.