As if the Westhill baseball team wasn't frightening enough, what it displayed on its way to winning Cicero-North Syracuse's John Ilacqua Jr. Memorial Tournament had to put greater fear into all possible post-season opponents.
The tournament began last Friday with sophomore pitcher Jack Ganley throwing a perfect game in the Warriors' 18-0 romp over Jamesville-DeWitt, and concluded Saturday with fellow sophomore Kevin McAvoy going to the mound and shutting down the hosts from CNS in a long relief stint to beat the Northstars 9-6 for the first-place trophy.
With the Section III Class B playoffs looming and league play over, head coach Bob Weismore intended to use his younger pitchers to give the guys in front of the staff (Mike DeCarr, Ryan Malley and Pat Lemmo) a chance to rest.
Thanks to Ganley and McAvoy, Westhill got a lot more than it ever imagined.
When Ganley went to the mound against J-D, it didn't look to be an easy assignment, since the Class A Red Rams were 12-6 and had enough power in its lineup to produce runs -- or at least some hits.
Somehow, Ganley prevented both things from happening. Twenty-one J-D batters came to the plate -- and all 21 were retired, just one of them through a strikeout.
This meant Westhill had to make 20 defensive plays behind Ganley, including Mike Mascari reaching over the fence for a catch to prevent a home run. Infielders Greg Schmidt, Mike McMullen and Nate Nigolian all made superb plays, too, to keep the gem alive.
Meanwhile, Westhill unleashed its usual amount of offense -- 19 hits off three J-D pitchers, two of them home runs from DeCarr as he finished with five RBIs. Schmidt, David Grace and Mike Fagan each drove in two runs, as McMullen, Mascari, Corey Hewitt and Tyler Nigolian earned one RBI apiece.