Baldwinsville's baseball team has an immense amount of talent on hand for 2011, and rightly thinks that it can challenge for Section III Class AA supremacy.
Even the off-season for B'ville brought good news, as two of its top players, Gabe Levanti and Brett Charbonneau, helped the North Syracuse All-Stars win the 13-15 Babe Ruth World Series last August in Arkansas.
It didn't take long for the Bees to face a major test, as on Saturday it went to Gillette Field to face Cicero-North Syracuse. Though it was a non-league game, the result still proved a bit discouraging as B'ville fell to the Northstars 9-3.
Single runs in the second and third innings put B'ville into a quick 2-0 lead, but CNS countered by getting three runs in the bottom of the third, then four runs in the fourth to seize control.
Pat Merryweather took the loss, with Nick Riley and Terry Engels also seeing mound duty. The Bees managed just three hits all afternoon, though Levanti earned an RBI and Dan Dubiel doubled and drove in a run. CNS's Brian Hamilton belted a solo home run.
In stark contrast, a day earlier the Bees made short work of Mexico, pounding out 16 hits and lots of early runs in a 15-5 romp of the Tigers.
B'ville batted around in the bottom of the first inning, scoring six times. And the lead grew to 12-0 by the end of the third as the Bees tacked on three more runs in the sixth.
Eleven different B'ville players had hits, as Levanti and Dubiel each scored three runs. Levanti smashed the game's only home run and finished with three RBIs as Dan Wright drove in two runs. Dubiel, Theo Kaminski, Kyle Lattanzio, Connor Martin and Zach Leo also had RBIs as Charbonneau stole a pair of bases, earned two hits and scored twice.
Mike St. John got the start on the mound and went five innings for the win, giving up just three hits while striking out four. Scott Orr went the final two innings in relief.
B'ville would be back home Tuesday to take on Rome Free Academy before going east on Thursday to face Utica Proctor.