Amid the Marcellus baseball team's 6-1 win over Onondaga on Tuesday afternoon, a player who had not seen action all season completely stole the show.
When he tried out for the team in March, Shawn Hodgson was told he could not play, but stayed on the team to practice, take care of the diamond and even keep score during games. He was grateful for the opportunity.
In the top of the seventh against OCS, with the score 5-1 and two men out, head coach Pete Birmingham called on Hodgson to pinch-hit, his first at-bat of the season.
Players and fans came to their feet as Hodgson came to the plate. On the very first pitch he saw, Hodgson ripped a single, scoring the Mustangs' final run and causing cheers to erupt among the Mustang faithful.
As to the rest of the game, Marcellus jumped out with four runs in the first inning to give pitcher Adam Breuer all he needed.
Combined, Breuer, along with relievers Phil Zdanowski and Jordan Smith, gave up just three hits. At the plate, Jon Quick doubled and drove in two runs as Adam Szymaniak, Scott Cotter, Tim Reynolds and Dan Heil each had one RBI.
A day earlier, the Mustangs made a big comeback against Skaneateles, only to see the visitors rally and, in nine innings, beat them 7-6.
Dan Heil pitched and endured a brutal first inning, allowing five runs. But he settled down and blanked Skaneateles over the next five innings, giving Marcellus lots of time to catch up.
Sure enough, the Mustangs scored four times in the bottom of the second, then used a pair of fourth-inning tallies to take a 6-5 lead.
Joe Cornish had four hits, all singles, as Heil drove in two runs. Scott Cotter, Zdanowski and Szymaniak each had one RBI during the rally.
Just one out from victory in the top of the seventh, Marcellus could not close it out as Paul Hamilton's single put in the tying run. Two innings later, in the ninth, another run-scoring hit, from Owen Stokes-Cawley, off Breuer proved decisive. Both teams would finish with 11 hits.