Going into the April school break, the West Genesee baseball team was 2-2, looking for a series of wins to build some early-season confidence. And it would prevail twice -- though it nearly proved to be better.
In the middle of this was Wednesday's trip to Falcon Park to face Auburn, a team the Wildcats tied, 3-3, in a game called due to darkness on April 6.
The rematch 15 days later proved equally thrilling -- and even more frustrating, as a late lead got away and WG lost in nine innings by a score of 8-7.
Things really began to stir in the fourth inning. Trailing 2-1, WG tagged Auburn ace Steve Komanecky for three runs. A fifth-inning exchange followed, and when the Wildcats got two more runs in the top of the seventh, it led 7-3 and appeared to be safe.
Auburn thought otherwise, stunning the Wildcats by rallying for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it, including a call so disputed that head coach Kevin Krause got ejected. Mike Ferlenda's two-run double was the key blow.
Shaken, WG managed to get through the eighth inning. But with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Kris Catino laced a single off Shawn Schiltz that allowed Brian Roe to race home with the winning run.
Schiltz, appearing in relief after Turner Parry and Tyler Carr, took the loss. Erik Krohl produced a double and two RBIs as Eric Spencer tripled and drove in two runs. Carr also had a triple as he, along with Greg Wadach and Justin Capella, earned single RBIs. Erik Krohl got a double.
Now the Wildcats had to regroup for Thursday's game with Baldwinsville, a team that had started 4-1 before notching back-to-back losses to Rome Free Academy and Utica Proctor.