Way back on April 2, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team suffered an 11-5 defeat to Liverpool, and the gap between the two long-time rivals appeared quite large.
But with the regular season winding down, the Northstars went on the road last Tuesday and completely turned things around, beating the state-ranked Warriors 7-3.
A lot of this could be due to pitching. T.J. Jaquay took to the mound and gave up a run in the first inning, then blanked Liverpool over the next five innings. Jaquay struggled at the end, but he still finished a complete game, using 116 pitches as he earned three strikeouts and walked three.
Many different times, the Warriors would get runners on base, eventually earning 10 hits. But Jaquay and an error-free defense escaped those trouble spots.
Meanwhile, CNS patiently worked on Liverpool pitcher Vince Valentino, finally breaking a 1-1 tie with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
However, the big blow came in the top of the seventh, when the Norhtstars tagged Valentino and Mike Weakley for four runs, which proved to be the difference after Liverpool staged a late uprising.
Riley Moonan hit the game's only home run, a solo shot. John Howell and Fred West each had two hits as eight different players got hits at one point or another. Kevan Smith doubled and earned two RBIs, while Howell and Matt West also drove in runs.
As a follow-up, the Northstars hosted Fayetteville-Manlius Thursday and put together a 6-4 victory over the Hornets.
Fresh off beating Auburn a day earlier, the Hornets ran into CNS ace Grant Nadeau, who shut them out for the first four innings as his teammates built up a 3-0 lead.
F-M did score twice in the top of the fifth, cutting the margin to 3-2, but the Northstars answered with three runs in the bottom of that frame and never got caught.
Howell doubled and drove in three runs, while Moonan hit a home run for the second consecutive game. Matt Dykeman also drove in a run. Nadeau held the Hornets to six hits in his complete-game effort.