With the OHSL Freedom division title within its grasp, the East Syracuse-Minoa baseball team did everything within its power to keep it from slipping away.
A dramatic example of this resilience was last Friday's showdown with Jamesville-DeWitt, where the Spartans made one of the biggest comebacks in team history to beat the Red Rams by a score of 9-8.
Andrew Hines only lasted until the fourth inning. By the time Brandon Lansing arrived on the mound, J-D enjoyed an 8-0 lead and looked to be well on its way to eliminating the Spartans from the league race.
It was still 8-0 when, in the bottom of the fifth inning, ESM scored four times to cut the deficit in half. Now fired up, the Spartans got three more runs an inning later, making it 8-7, and it capped the resurrection by netting the tying and winning runs in the seventh inning off J-D pitcher Andrew Hughes.
Mike Duncan's double and three RBIs paced an ESM attack that used 17 hits to wear down the Red Rams' arms. Tom Sullivan, Sean Halligan, Jon Kravetz, Brian Para and Sean Halligan each drove in one run to help out. Lansing shut out J-D in his last three innings of work to get the victory.
Capping off a great weekend, ESM parlayed an explosive start Saturday into a 10-6 victory over the Fulton Red Raiders.
Quite unlike the J-D game, the Spartans raced to the front, scoring three times in the first inning to erase a 2-0 deficit, then adding seven runs in the bottom of the second to build a 10-2 lead, one it would not squander.
Sullivan tripled and drove in two runs, as Halligan added two RBIs of his own. Para earned a triple and RBI as Duncan, Joe Gigliotti, Chris DeCoursey and Jason Kondra also drove in runs. John Maselli pitched most of the way to earn the victory.