In the most important of baseball games, opportunities arise for each side. It's how they are dealt with that can make the difference.
West Genesee found this out during Tuesday afternoon's 6-3 defeat to Liverpool, where timely hits on one end, and the smallest of mistakes on the other, led the Wildcats to defeat.
Striking first, WG went up 1-0 in the first inning when Dan Connor reached second base on an error, then scored on Greg Wadach's bad-hop single up the middle.
Then Liverpool cleanup hitter Andrew Schreyack took over, twice victimizing Eric Spencer with two outs. First, he smacked a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, then returned two innings later with a single just inside the line that plated two more runs.
Down 4-1, WG nearly made it back in the fourth inning. Spencer's long RBI double, combined with a throwing error, put him on third base with nobody out.
Brian Burns followed with a hit down the right-field line that easily scored Spencer, making it 4-3. But Burns didn't realize it was a fair ball and, running at full speed too late, got thrown out at second. Instead of the tying run in scoring position with nobody out, WG had no one on base, and would not score again.
In fact, Liverpool pitcher Vince Valentino, after putting two Wildcat runners on base in the top of the fifth, retired the last nine batters he faced. He got a cushion when, in the bottom of the fifth, Schreyack got intentionally walked with two outs -- but Shawn Peake doubled, bringing two runs home.