Out to claim its second Section III Class AA title in three years, the Liverpool baseball team knows that, at the very least, it has a dependable pitching ace in front of the rotation.
Aaron Schuldt got a chance to showcase his strong stuff in Monday's season opener against Rome Free Academy, and stayed patient for the run support until the late stages as the Warriors beat the Black Knights 4-1.
Only 12-10-1 a season ago, Liverpool is bent on bouncing back to a championship level, with Schuldt's strong right arm as the primary foundation.
Over seven strong innings of work, Schuldt piled up 15 strikeouts and allowed just three hits, yet still found his team tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Finally, Liverpool's bats broke through, scoring three times in that frame, the rally launched by no. 9 hitter Tom Everson's RBI single that scored Joe Yager. Eventually, the Warriors loaded the bases, then added two more runs on walks.
Greg Blankenship and Dom Caruso also drove in runs. Mike Weakley hit the game's lone triple, as Blankenship and Matt Wessinger also hit doubles.
Liverpool is home again on Wednesday to face Baldwinsville, who beat Cicero-North Syracuse 6-5 in a five-inning opener.
After allowing a first-inning run, B'ville jumped all over CNS starter Patrick O'Brien in the bottom of the first, driving him from the game as it scored five times.
Eventually taking a 6-1 lead, the Bees nearly saw it dissipate as the Northstars got four runs in the top of the third, but Bo Watson, pitching in relief of Brad Wright, blanked CNS the rest of the way as the game was shortened to five innings by darkness.
Wright shined at the plate as he doubled and drove in three of the Bees' runs, while Adam Moehringer also had an RBI. Billy Dubiel doubled, too.