What the Westhill baseball team is sure to find in the next two months is that every opponent will line up its best pitchers, and save its biggest efforts, for them as the reigning state Class B champions wear a season-long bulls-eye.
Not that the Warriors mind it -- as it showed in last Monday's game at Marcellus, where one big rally made the difference in a 9-0 victory over the Mustangs far closer than what the final margin would indicate.
Much of the game featured Westhill's Mike McMullen in a fierce pitching duel with Marcellus counterpart Adam Breuer. The Warriors got a first-inning run, but nothing more for a while as Breuer contained their potent bats.
At the same time, though, McMullen wasn't giving Marcellus anything, calmly working his way to a five-hit shutout where he gave up just two walks and improved to 2-0.
The break came in the top of the sixth, when Westhill batted around and produced eight runs, knocking Breuer out as Jordan Smith saw relief duty. Mark Syron's home run highlighted the charge as he finished with three RBIs. Dan Karleski drove in two runs as Jake Rush doubled.
Westhill will face Jordan-Elbridge Eagles - just after the Eagles lost Monday to Bishop Ludden 10-2.
Improving to 4-0, the Gaelic Knights actually trailed, 2-1 when, in the bottom of the fourth, it finally got to Eagles pitcher Zach Frost, scoring four times. An inning later, the Gaelic Knights settled matters with seven more runs as it batted around.
Ryan O'Kane, unstoppable early this season, had two doubles and an RBI. Aaron Maher also stayed hot, driving in two runs to join Chris Davis in that category as Rooney and Mike DePalma each got one RBI. Liam Corfield drove in both of J-E's runs.
Solvay, beaten in its first three games, dramatically turned things around in its Monday trip to Phoenix, doing everything right in an 18-0 shutout of the Firebirds.