Westhill baseball sweeps into playoffs

To give itself full momentum for its Section III Class B title defense, the Westhill baseball team could not afford anything less than a sweep through the last week of the regular season - which it got by outscoring its three foes by a combined 37-7 margin.

A key in that process was last Wednesday's game against Solvay, who had won four of six. Catching the Bearcats at the tail end of that busy stretch, the Warriors ripped the Bearcats 14-0.

Kevin McAvoy, in six innings of work on the mound, allowed just two hits and struck out seven. His job was made a lot easier by the Warriors picking up two runs in the first inning and five runs in both the second and third innings to get a 12-0 edge.

Nathan Nigolian hit his team's only home run and finished with three RBIs. Mike McMullen and Greg Schmidt each had two hits and three runs scored, while Dan Karleski tripled and, like Nigolian, drove in three runs. Mark Syron and Jake Rush had two RBIs apiece as Mike Fagan added an RBI.

Before that, the Warriors took apart Skaneateles 13-5 last Monday afternoon, its second win over the Lakers in less than a week.

With the game tied 1-1, Westhill tagged Skaneateles pitcher Zach Augustine for five runs in the bottom of the second. As if that wasn't enough, the hot-hitting Warriors added six runs in the bottom of the sixth after the Lakers closed the gap to 7-5.

Syron's power surge continued, as he and Karleski both smacked home runs. Syron had a game-high three RBIs as Karleski and McMullen each drove in two runs. Schmidt and Rush joined Karleski and McMullen (who pitched four innings to earn the win) with two-hit outings.

And right after blanking Solvay, Westhill met its Warriors counterparts from Hannibal on Friday and beat them 10-2 to move its overall mark to 13-3.

Westhill put up two runs in each of the first three innings, enough for Corey Hewitt ,who pitched five innings to earn the win. Fagan went three-for-three, scoring twice as Nigolian got two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. McAvoy drove in two runs as Syron, Schmidt, Dan Lowery and Len Graf earned one RBI apiece.

Gaining the no. 2 seed in the Class B tournament, Westhill will face no. 15 seed Clinton in the first round, the winning Warrior side advancing to Thursday's quarterfinal against Adirondack or Solvay.

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