A confident and motivated Liverpool baseball team is back on the diamond once more, bent on getting at least more win in 2011.
Head coach Fred Terzini's Warriors went 18-4 a season ago, advancing to the Section III Class AA finals before falling to Auburn. With a strong returning cast (including some who led North Syracuse to the 13-15 Babe Ruth World Series title last summer), Liverpool expects nothing less than another run at the crown.
Yet in its first big test of the season, the Warriors visited Utica Proctor last Tuesday night and found itself on the wrong end of a 5-3 defeat to the Raiders.
Always able to contend, Proctor gave the ball to pitching ace Wendell Wright, who in six innings of work struck out eight Liverpool hitters. Still, the Warriors overcame an early 2-1 deficit with single runs in the third and fourth innings to inch in front 3-2.
It remained that way until the bottom of the sixth when, against Liverpool pitcher Mike Parsons, Proctor tied it, 3-3, then went ahead for good when Nick Maldonado fouled off several 3-2 pitches, then lashed a two-run single. Tom DeBernardis then relieved Wright and blanked the Warriors in the seventh for the save.
The journey began with last Monday's home game against Oswego, and the Warriors' bats were as hot as the 85-degree temperatures in a 15-6 victory over the Buccaneers.
A three-run first inning set the tone, as Liverpool added four more runs in the third to make it 7-1 and would never trail.
Shawn Peake led the 16-hit assault, hitting a three-run home run and double on his way to four RBIs for the afternoon and Matt DiPaulo also going deep as he drove in three runs.
In all, 10 different players had at least one hit as Mike Parsons and Andrew Schreyack each drove in two runs, with Pat Wright, Corbin Gapski and Josh Withrow earning one RBI apiece. Peake and Alex Caruso each scored three runs as Schreyack pitched six innings to earn the win, recording five strikeouts.
Counting the annual April school break trip to South Carolina, Liverpool will not play a home game until April 26, against Corcoran.