Determined to climb back to the top of the OHSL Liberty division, the Skaneateles baseball team might find that task easier in 2011.
Part of it is that the Lakers bring back a solid core of players. Another part of it is that Bishop Ludden, undefeated in the league a year ago, got moved up to the OHSL Freedom division, removing one large obstacle.
Still, the likes of two-time defending state Class B champion Westhill are around to conquer - but before Skaneateles could do that, it first had to face Phoenix in Thursday's season opener. And the Lakers handled it, beating the Firebirds 7-2 with some late offensive heroics.
Single runs in the second and third innings produced a 2-2 tie. Skaneateles did not take the lead for good until it got another run in the fifth, but it really put things away with a four-run rally in the seventh inning.
Pat Roberts had two hits, scored two runs and earned an RBI. Tom Jones and Conor Herr also drove in runs, with Brandon Barron scoring twice. Ryan Prochna pitched six solid innings to earn the win, surrendering just three hits while striking out seven as Roberts worked the final inning for the save.