SYRACUSE Onondaga Babe Ruth Baseball’s 16-18 All-Stars tried to accomplish what nine previous Syracuse-based teams could not - namely, win the biggest event of all, the Babe Ruth World Series.
However, a lack of run production hampered, and ultimately ended, Onondaga’s quest, as it survived round-robin play in this year’s World Series in Ephrata, Wash., only to get ousted in the quarterfinal round.
After making the nearly 3,000-mile trek across the country to Ephrata, located in the middle of Washington State, Onondaga faced a tall task in its first two games of round-robin play against teams with a combined 16 World Series titles between them.
Onondaga got through the first part, edging Sam Gabriel Valley (Calif.) 3-2 on Aug. 6. It was 0-0 until the fourth, when Syracuse got all of its runs as Pat Wright (Liverpool) and David Campese (Bishop Grimes)had RBI singles, and Wright came home on a balk.
Meanwhile, Ryan O’Kane (Bishop Ludden) blanked San Gabriel Valley until the seventh, when it scored twice to pull within a run. Staying calm, O’Kane got the final three outs, striking out Nick Cootzie to end it.
It all turned around Aug. 7 in a 10-0, five-inning (mercy rule) loss to Mobile, Ala. Alex Caruso (Liverpool) pitched and cruised along before Mobile erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth and tacked on four runs against Andrew Sanders (Auburn) to end it.
After a day off, Onondaga returned to the field last Tuesday to face Ottumwa (Iowa). But that break did little to awaken the team’s bats, as evidenced by a 5-2 defeat that put Onondaga on the brink of elimination.
Again, Onondaga’s offense struggled, with just five hits. One of those hits, from Brett Charbonneau (Baldwinsville), gave Onondaga a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
But Ottumwa countered with three runs in the top of the third, chasing starter Aidan Wiese, and though Kyano Cummings (Cicero-North Syracuse) and Sanders fared well in relief, Ottumwa had all the runs it needed. A groundout by Nathan Nigolian (Westhill) netted the only other Onondaga run in the fourth.