Displeased by the two defeats it took at the Utica-Notre Dame Tournament on May 16-17, the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team sought to regain its footing before the Section III Class A playoffs -- but it didn't prove that easy.
In a neighborhood battle on Thursday between the Brothers and Jamesville-DeWitt, the Brothers came back from a five-run deficit in the last two innings to stun the Red Rams 6-5.
Fueled by solo home runs from starting pitcher Justin Marzella and Kenny Schunck, J-D seized a 5-0 lead by the third inning. Tom Driscoll, Mick Cariseo and Jack Susman also drove in runs.
Riley Dixon relieved Rob Cuomo, and prevented the Rams from getting anything more. Still, CBA didn't score until the top of the sixth, when it finally got to Marzella for four runs, cutting the margin to one.
In the top of the seventh, J-D reliever John Sheedy got the first two outs. Just one out from defeat, CBA stayed alive when Dave Anderson singled, and Bryant Moore stunned the crowd by smashing a Sheedy pitch over the right-field fence, giving CBA a one-run lead.
Sensing the game's importance, the Brothers brought in its ace, Mike Kitts, to close it out. He walked Marzella, who went to second base on a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt. The tying run was 90 feet away.
Susman grounded out, though, and Dylan Sacks took a called strike three that J-D hotly protested, but to no avail. CBA had won.
Three days earlier, the Brothers were at home, unleashing its offense on Phoenix in a 15-2 rout over the Firebirds.
Down 1-0 early, CBA went ahead with three runs in the second inning, then got five runs in the fifth inning and six runs in the bottom of the sixth.