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Caz baseball clinches Class B playoff spot

Reeling at 3-7, the Cazenovia baseball team picked just the right time to start surging as it moved above .500 within the OHSL Liberty division and secured a post-season berth.

The spark for this surge was a sweep of a May 7 doubleheader against Hannibal.

In the first of two five-inning games, a 4-0 shutout of the Warriors, all of the Lakers' runs came in the first inning as Chad Warren smacked a two-run single, while Brian Gara and Forest Blanchard drove in the other runs. Gara and

Warren combined on a two-hit shutout as it held Hannibal to three hits.

The other game saw Cazenovia erupt late to beat Hannibal again, this time 10-2. Down 2-1, the Lakers went ahead with two runs in the fourth and settled it with seven runs in the top of the fifth inning. Alex Slamczynski led a late surge with two hits and three RBIs. Gara and Jack Malmsheimer each drove in two runs as Blanchard scored twice.

Back in regulation play on Monday afternoon, Cazenovia maintained the momentum, going to Solvay and beating the Bearcats 8-5. What was a 2-1 lead grew in the top of the third, when the Lakers batted around and earned five runs.

Gara and David McEntee each earned a pair of RBIs, while Blanchard earned three of his team's four hits and scored three runs. Ben Langey also drove in a run in a game that looked bigger when, later in the week, Solvay stunned two-time defending state Class B champion Westhill 4-2 in eight innings.

Meanwhile, the Lakers looked for four in a row Wednesday, against Marcellus, but here the streak ended as Cazenovia fell to the Mustangs 10-6.

Marcellus bolted to a 5-0 lead by the second inning, and Cazenovia never caught up. Still, McEntee kept his team within sight with a home run, two hits and three RBIs, while Slamczynski, Ben Davis and Chad Warren also drove in runs and Blanchard again crossed the plate twice. Gara took the loss as Mustang left-hander Jordan Smith struck out 13.

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