From a no. 7 seed in an eight-team field, Marcellus survived three elimination games and lay claim to the Greater Syracuse Baseball Association Connie Mack tournament title early last week.
Marcellus beat a field that included Solvay, East Syracuse-Minoa, Mexico, Christian Brothers Academy, Fabius-Pompey, Cazenovia and Chittenango.
In fact, Marcellus met Chittenango, the no. 2 seed, in the opening round on July 27, riding strong relief pitching and patient run production to beat the Bears 5-4.
Dan Heil took over on the mound in the second inning and pitched the rest of the way, a six-inning effort that produced a win.
Tied 2-2 after two innings, Marcellus used single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to go in front, which was enough despite Chittenango's two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. John Marrs, Adam Szymaniak, Zack Amidon and Billy Walter each had one RBI. Zdanowski's steal of home in the top of the sixth produced what proved to be the winning run.
A day later, Marcellus took a quick advantage in the semifinals against Fabius-Pompey, who had topped Cazenovia in the opening round, and won by a score of 5-2.
Dan Zdanowski pitched this time and was staked to a 2-0 first-inning lead. He would blank F-P until the bottom of the sixth, by which time Marcellus had a 4-0 advantage, enough to win as Heil picked up the save.
Marrs doubled twice at the plate as Marcellus got 11 hits to F-P's five, finishing with two RBIs along the way. Heil, Szymaniak and Jeff Crysler each drove in one run. Zdanowski scored three of the Marcellus runs.
In the championship game on July 29, Marcellus visited Solvay, who had beaten ESM and Mexico to get this far. But it proved to be a showcase for the Marcellus lineup as two large rallies led to a 14-3 victory and the championship.