In the course of the regular-season homestretch, the Fayetteville-Manlius baseball team could really announce its presence as a Class AA championship challenger, especially since it has games against favorites Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool.
At least the Hornets got the first part right, relying on Brooks Weigl's arm and Pat McClure's bat in last Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the West Genesee Wildcats.
Through five innings, Weigl maintained a shutout, but only had a 1-0 lead. All that changed in an eventful sixth inning, which started with WG scoring a run (Matt Naton drove in Brian Burns) to pull even.
However, the Hornets got its biggest hits in the bottom of the sixth, when it tagged Wildcat ace Eric Spencer for three runs. McClure was in the middle of it all, capping an afternoon where he had a home run and finished with three RBIs.
Given a three-run cushion in the top of the seventh, Weigl finished off the complete game. All told, he gave up seven hits, three more than Spencer, but struck out five and constantly made his way out of trouble thanks to stellar F-M defense.
As this went on, F-M's softball team went to Camillus and engaged in a long battle with West Genesee before falling to the Wildcats 1-0 in 10 innings.
Amy Bright saw yet another superb pitching effort go unrewarded. Bright struck out 18 Wildcats and only allowed four hits, only to get matched by WG ace Ashley Amidon, who got 11 strikeouts and only allowed three hits.
The game stayed 0-0 until the 10th, when a runner gets put on second base. F-M could not convert - but the Wildcats did, Rachel Hayden racing home with the decisive tally.