In need of a signature win that could turn things around, the Fayetteville-Manlius baseball team may have found it in last Wednesday's 9-7 home conquest of defending Section III Class AA champion Cicero-North Syracuse.
Entering this game, the Hornets were 1-4, having dropped four consecutive games -- not the sort of play that would suggest success against the well-stocked Northstars.
Sure enough, CNS seized a 4-1 lead in the third inning. But F-M began to show its resilience by scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth to tie it, 4-4.
And even though the Northstars went back in front 5-4, the Hornets went around the order in the fifth and didn't stop until it had produced five runs and a 9-5 advantage. CNS would chip away, but not catch up.
Zach Tucker picked up the win, with Brooks Weigl working in relief to get the save. All told, F-M had 13 hits, including Mike Perry's double as he finished with a game-high three RBIs. Mike Palermo drove in two runs as Jeremy Kidd, Pat McClure (who had three hits) and Pat Kellogg earned one RBI apiece.
The week did not start out well for the Hornets, as one bad inning proved costly in last Monday's 7-4 defeat to the Tully Black Knights.
In the top of the second, with the score tied 1-1, Tully chased F-M pitcher Ryan Brown from the mound with five runs. Billy Patrick relieved Brown and was impressive the rest of the way, but the Hornets could not help him out much.
Pat McClure, Jeremy Mapstone and Brooks Weigl each had an RBI, but F-M managed just four hits off Black Knights ace Ben Smith, as compared to the eight hits Tully got.
After games this week at Central Square and Rome Free Academy, F-M will host Chittenango Saturday as part of the "Something for Shafer" day-long fund-raiser that includes baseball, softball and lacrosse games, plus a nighttime dance for F-M and Chittenango students. All money raised will benefit the Shafer Family Education Fund in honor of John Shafer, the long-time F-M English teacher who passed away in February.