Apr 16, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Three games, spanned over just three days, all against top-flight opposition — and all a chance for the Baldwinsville baseball team to stake an undisputed claim as a Class AA championship contender.
The series culminated Thursday afternoon, against defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Bees’ experience — and youthful promise — both came to the forefront in a 5-1 victory over the Northstars.
Going into the season, everyone knew that B’ville had a strong core of returning stars, from seniors Bo Watson and Brett Earle to juniors Dan Dubiel and Mike St. John.
What’s become apparent early this season is just how good the newcomers are. Freshman catcher Gabe Levanti is on a hitting tear, with two sophomores, Connor Martin and Brett Charbonneau, manning the middle of the infield and two juniors, Kyle Lattanzio and Danny Wright, starting in the outfield.
CNS quickly found out how it looks when the entire formula works together. Watson, a big and imposing presence on the mound, gave up a first-inning run, then blanked the Northstars the rest of the way, earning eight strikeouts.
By scoring twice off James Coleman in the bottom of the first, B’ville went ahead for good, and it tacked on two more runs in the fifth, plus a tally in the sixth.
Improving his average to .467, Levanti bashed a home run and finished with two RBIs. Watson, Martin and Charbonneau drove in the other runs.
Back on Tuesday afternoon, the combined pitching of St. John and Kyle Cushman shut down Fayetteville-Manlius in a 7-0 shutout.
Going five innings, St. John allowed just one hit. Cushman’s two innings of relief work featured four strikeouts (he struck out the side in the sixth inning) and one more hit.
A pair of first-inning runs set the tone as, after Watson walked, Wright hit a bases-loaded single up the middle. Levanti’s second-inning sacrifice fly made it 3-0, and the Bees tacked on two-run rallies in the third and sixth innings.
With that out of the way, the Bees went east on Wednesday night to face Utica Proctor at Donovan Stadium — where, without two starters, it would take its first loss of the season, falling to the Raiders 8-5.
It didn’t start out that away. B’ville tagged Proctor pitcher Ryan Donovan for four runs in the top of the second, most of them driven home by Charbonneau’s triple.
Nick Riley pitched and kept that 4-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth. Proctor got a run in that frame, then scored four times in the bottom of the fifth off Riley and Scott Redmond.
Now trailing 5-4, B’ville tied it in the top of the sixth as Charbonneau drove in his fourth run of the night, but again the Raiders would strike, using three runs in the bottom of the sixth to move ahead for good. Donovan, supporting his own cause, had a double and three RBIs.
During a busy week of spring break, B’ville will face Rome Free Academy, Utica Proctor and West Genesee, plus Pulaski in a non-league outing.