Apr 18, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Eric Spencer’s terrific work on the pitcher’s mound was not enough for the West Genesee baseball team in Monday afternoon’s early-season clash with fellow Class AA contender Baldwinsville.
No, the senior right-hander had to do something more – which he pulled off at the plate by driving home the decisive runs in the late going, all leading to a 4-1 victory over the Bees as the Wildcats improved its mark to 4-0.
Despite rains throughout the weekend, the home field in Camillus was ready for play – and the earlier start time, due to the spring school break, allowed the game to finish before more precipitation of various kinds showed up later in the afternoon.
Spencer was matched up against B’ville ace Mike St. John, who had shut out Rome Free Academy 3-0 in his previous outing on April 12. In fact, the Bees were on a roll, having followed up that RFA decision with a big win at Utica Proctor two nights later.
Perhaps still feeding off that momentum, B’ville leadoff hitter Brett Charbonneau hit Spencer’s first pitch of the game into the gap for a double, going to third on a bunt and scoring on Gabe Levanti’s sacrifice fly.
And with that, the Bees’ run production was done for the day. Other than a Josh Savacool double in the third and Pat Merryweather reaching on an infield hit in the fifth, Spencer would allow nothing more, using a mix of fastballs and curves to strike out seven (five of them looking) and not allowing a single walk in his complete-game effort.
At the same time, though, St. John was setting the Wildcats down with greater ease. Through five innings, the B’ville right-hander had only allowed one hit (Greg Wadach’s leadoff single in the second) and also had not surrendered a walk. He also got great defense, as on one fly ball Shay Sargent dove in left field and saw the ball glance off his glove – and into the bare hand of teammate Kyle Lattanzio for an out.
All that changed in the bottom of the sixth, when WG’s eighth and ninth hitter launched the winning rally.
Finally showing patience at the plate, catcher Cam Kyle worked a 3-2 count, then screamed a drive just over Sargent’s reach in left for a double. Moments later, Matt Greco blooped a single, putting runners on first and third with nobody out.
When Dave Salvagni beat out a botched grounder at third, Kyle scored and WG had tied it, 1-1. Matt Naton’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, and up stepped Spencer, who promptly fisted a single up the middle that brought home Greco and Salvagni. A fourth run followed when Wadach doubled and Brian Burns reached on a dropped fly ball.
Now with that long-sought lead, Spencer worked a perfect seventh, striking out Merryweather to end it.
WG hosted Henninger a day after the B’ville win and avoiding a letdown by holding off the Black Knights 5-3.
Steadily, the Wildcats built a 4-0 lead through three innings, only to have Henninger get back in it with three runs in the top of the fifth. WG countered with a run in the bottom of that frame, then saw John Fredette, pitching in relief of Sean Pisik, blank the Black Knights the rest of the way.
Overall, Pisik gave up six hits, but still earned the win. Spencer, feeding off the late hit that beat B’ville, had two hits and two runs scored, while Mike Sgroi also managed a pair of hits as he, Salvagni and Erik Krohl earned one RBI apiece.