As it does each April during the school break the Westhill baseball team made its way to Myrtle Beach, S.C., testing itself in a series of games against opponents from around the country.
The Warriors opened the Mingo Bay Tournament by facing South Western and, relying on the strong arm of Alex Godzak, won in a 3-0 shutout.
Godzaek went six innings and struck out 12, only allowing one hit before Kevin McAvoy struck out the side in the seventh. All the runs came in the fourth and fifth innings as McAvoy continued his early-season tear at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
Though it proved closer in the second game against Lewisville (N.C.), Westhill still pulled out a 3-2 win by getting all of its offense late.
Down 1-0, the Warriors went in front when, in the bottom of the sixth, Nick Vitgaliano smacked a two-run home run. Lewisville pulled even in the top of the seventh, but Westhill's David Graf reached base in the bottom of the seventh and scored the winning run on a passed ball.
Those late runs vindicated the work of four pitchers, including McAvoy, who worked the seventh and got credit for the win. J.C. Pena and Nathan Nigolian also saw mound stints.
Having only pitched in relief so far, McAvoy finally got his first start of the season Wednesday, against Penfield (Section V), and was superb in a 2-1 win over the Patriots.
Other than a third-inning run, McAvoy kept Penfield off the board, giving up just four hits and two walks while amassing 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Nathan Nigolian's home run in the first inning put Westhill in front 1-0. After Penfield tied it in the third, the Warriors had to wait until the sixth to pull ahead for good, Graf racing home on Pena's sacrifice fly. Nigolian and Graf both had three hits, with the rest of the team settling for three hits combined.