Jun 01, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Nothing, other than a title, was going to satisfy the Liverpool baseball team as it earned the top seed for the Section III Class AA playoffs.
And because of one bad inning, the Warriors would not end up satisfied.
Auburn, the no. 4 seed who lost in the finals to Utica Proctor a year ago, came to Liverpool for last Saturday’s AA semifinal and used a big fifth-inning rally to ruin the Warriors’ championship dreams in a 13-7 decision.
Liverpool was out to avenge an 8-3 defeat to the Maroons on May 11 at Falcon Park, and would Vince Valentino on the mound.
Wasting little time, Auburn signaled its intentions by getting three runs off Valentino in the top of the first inning. The Maroons also scored three times in the fourth inning (two of them on Edward Charles’ home run), putting Liverpool in a 6-1 deficit.
For a brief moment, it looked like the Warriors would turn it around, knocking Auburn starter Chris Anderson from the game with four straight hits that led to five runs in the bottom of the fourth and a 6-6 tie. Mike Weakley’s two-run double and Andrew Schreyack’s single brought Liverpool even.
But in the top of the fifth, it all fell apart. Auburn batted around and got seven runs off six hits, including three consecutive doubles. In relief, Matt O’Kipney, Joe Riley, Mike Parsons and Weakley would all work, but none could stop the Maroons from getting away.
Parsons, David Piraino and Shawn Peake each got credit for RBIs. Auburn saw Steve Komanecky double twice and earn four RBIs as Charles added a double and three RBIs, advancing to Tuesday’s final against Cicero-North Syracuse (who took out Proctor in the other semifinal) at Alliance Bank Stadium.
Following a first-round bye, the Warriors needed to warm up a bit in last Thursday’s Class AA quarterfinal before it could take charge and put up a 4-2 victory over no. 8 seed Baldwinsville.
Even though the Bees needed eight innings to get past Oswego in the opening round, it didn’t show any early fatigue, getting single runs in the first two innings off Pat Brown to seize a 2-0 lead.
Quickly sensing the danger, Liverpool tied it in the bottom of the second, then used two runs in the fourth inning off Brett Earle to break that deadlock.
Liverpool had just four hits overall, but still prevailed as Dan Cerniglia’s double produced two RBIs and Julio Martinez also drove in a run. Parsons, O’Kipney and Piraino joined Martinez in the run-scoring column as the bottom of Liverpool’s order delivered.
Aside from that second-inning stumble, Brown proved solid and reliable, allowing just five hits and not giving up a walk while striking out three.
The Warrriors’ loss to Auburn left the team with a finishing mark of 18-6. Cerniglia, Martinez, Piraino, Valentino, Weakley and Tom Everson make for a strong departing senior class. But Brown, O’Kipney, Parsons, Peake, Riley, Schreyack and Cory Folk all come back in 2010, so Liverpool should contend again.