Apr 09, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Saddled with the role of pre-season favorite in the Section III Class AA ranks, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team might find, through the next two months, that it can live up to those expectations.
For now, though, the Northstars can just bask in a satisfying season-opening win, as it took charge in the middle of Saturday afternoon’s season opener against Baldwinsville and went on to earn a 9-3 victory over the Bees at Gillette Field.
As a first test, it appeared to be a stiff one. B’ville, like CNS, brought a host of talented players back from 2010 and, in its opener the day before, had pounded out plenty of runs in a 15-5 romp over Mexico.
Sure enough, the Northstars trailed, 2-0, going to the bottom of the third inning, only to move ahead for good when it put together a three-run rally. To back that up, CNS got four more runs in the fourth to make it 7-2, and never got caught.
Brian Hamilton hit a solo home run and scored twice. Jack Hotaling pounded out three of the Northstars’ eight hits, earning a pair of RBIs as Matt Dykeman and Corey Burrows also scored two runs. Riley Moonan and Eric Hamilton drove in runs, too.
CNS, whose main strength might be a deep and versatile pitching rotation, saw Kyano Cummings work five innings for the win, giving just two hits while striking out five. Dan Brower had a solid two-inning relief stint.
As this went on, the CNS softball team, bent on returning to the state championship game that it lost a season ago, also opened with a victory in Saturday’s warm sunshine, beating Horseheads by the same 9-3 margin that the baseball team used to conquer B’ville.
By far, the biggest off-season development for softball was the move of the pitcher’s circle three feet back, from 30 to 33 feet. It could give the hitter a bit more time to see the ball – or give a top pitcher more time to give it some action.
CNS sure was ready for this on the offensive side – as evidenced by the eight runs it got in the bottom of the first inning to put Horseheads far behind them. Sydney Harbaugh and Kelly Corbin both had two hits and two RBIs as Amy Van Hoven notched a team-best three hits.
Brittany Paul, fresh off helping the CNS girls basketball team win the state Class AA championship, managed two hits, as did Sydney O’Hara, who also pitched a complete game that included nine strikeouts against five hits and one walk allowed.
Each of the CNS teams were set for a pair of early-week games (both playing Central Square Tuesday) before meeting Fayetteville-Manlius on Friday.