May 13, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
What had been a smooth, calm ride for the Westhill baseball team through the OHSL Liberty division is now a genuine fight for top league honors.
Christian Brothers Academy made this possible, containing the Warriors’ potent lineup last Tuesday afternoon at St. Denis Field as Westhill took a 6-2 defeat at the start of a crazy and memorable week of action.
From the time CBA pitcher Matt Croglio got through the first inning (retiring Mike DeCarr, D.J. Beaudette and P.J. Niedzwiecki in order), the Warriors found itself in trouble. In the second and third innings, Croglio escaped possible jams by coaxing Pat Lemmo and DeCarr to hit into double plays.
By then, CBA led 1-0, its run coming on a walk and error that led to Stu Flynn’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the second. It got to 2-0 an inning later when DeCarr uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score.
Every time Westhill tried to get something on the board, Croglio would shut it down. And when DeCarr left the mound in the bottom of the sixth, replaced by Ryan Malley, then Lemmo, CBA erupted for four runs, two of them coming off throwing errors.
Croglio lost his shutout in the top of the seventh, thanks to Mike McMullen’s two-run home run, but he got the final outs and, overall, gave up just five hits.
The result put Westhill at 8-1 in the OHSL Liberty division, just ahead of CBA (6-1) with one more head-to-head meeting later this month that could determine the league title.
Just before facing CBA, the Warriors made a trip to Skaneateles last Monday and got all of its runs early in an 8-2 victory over the Lakers.
Westhill tagged Sknaeateles pitcher Nick Pesarchick for five runs in the top of the first, plus three runs two innings later. DeCarr and D.J. Beaudette each had two RBIs in this early flurry, as Pat Lemmo also drove in a run. Beaudette also got the win on the mound.
Good as this was, the game turned sour when DeCarr, intending to pitch in relief, got ejected from the game for wearing a red wristband, part of the team’s fund-raising effort for fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Technically, the wristband violated the rule against wearing jewelry or other kinds of adornment, but the Warriors were outraged by the decision and later got an apology for it.
Ironically enough, on Saturday, the Warriors played Fayetteville-Manlius at Alliance Bank Stadium as part of the Stop Lou Gehrig’s Disease Classic, a benefit for local ALS research and the national ALS Foundation.
And it took a long time to get settled — 13 innings, to be exact — but somehow the Warriors came out on top, beating the Hornets 12-11.
Two different times in regulation, Westhill came from behind, erasing deficits of 2-0 and 5-4. Both times, though, the Warriors gave up the lead, including in the seventh inning when, with two outs, a slow grounder by Matt Cowie produced an infield hit and the tying run to make it 6-6 and force extra innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, Westhill loaded the bases with nobody out, and still couldn’t score. That looked to be costly when, in the top of the 10th, F-M erupted for five runs to take an 11-6 lead.
Somehow, Westhill regrouped and, in the bottom of the 10th, staged its own five-run uprising, prolonging the marathon. Dan Karleski’s three-run home run keyed the rally.
After neither team scored in the 11th or 12th innings, Westhill finally won it when David Grace’s double scored Beaudette with the game-winner.
Malley won on the mound, re-entering the game in the 13th to relieve after getting pulled 11 innings earlier. Karleski finished with five RBIs, including the homer and a third-inning two-run triple, while Mike Mascari drove in three runs and snagged two big catches in center field during regulation that kept his team alive. Dan Gasapo earned a pair of RBIs.
In a homestand that covers all of this week, Westhill (12-2, 8-1 league) welcomes Bishop Grimes, Marcellus, Jordan-Elbridge and Hannibal.