May 11, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
By the time the Baldwinsville baseball team found itself in extra innings Thursday against Fayetteville-Manlius, only two choices remained – a bitter and disappointing defeat, or a satisfying and momentum-building victory.
It nearly turned into the former, but the Bees ultimately created the latter scenario, beating the Hornets 4-3 in nine innings.
One strike from winning in regulation, B’ville was denied, and it ultimately fell behind 3-2 in the top of the ninth before the top of the order helped rescue the contest.
Long before that, the game had belonged to the pitchers. Scott Blewett, throwing for the Bees, held his own against F-M’s ace, Le Moyne College-bound Zach Tucker, whose 2012 mark included a no-hitter against Utica Proctor in April.
In the bottom of the second, B’ville seized a 1-0 lead. Connor Martin led off with a walk, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored when, with two out, Josh Demoski laced a single up the middle, the Bees’ first hit of the afternoon.
Blewett protected that 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, aided by terrific defense that included a 6-4-3 double play in the second and Zach Leo’s diving catch in the fourth that saved a run.
After Mike Perry singled and moved to second to lead off the top of the sixth, B’ville decided, with two outs, to intentionally walk Dave Nuzzo, even though he was the go-ahead run. It backfired when Mike Monashefsky took Blewett’s next pitch into left field for a single that scored Perry.
But the 1-1 tie didn’t last long, either. In the bottom of the sixth with two out, Leo drew a walk, only the second that Tucker allowed. Jimmy Schmidt then doubled into the gap, allowing Leo to race home with the go-ahead run when the throw was just off target.
Now Blewett aimed to end the game in the seventh. After J.P. Quinn’s single, a strikeout, stolen base and groundout left Quinn on third and two out for Perry.
From a 2-2 count, Perry fouled off three pitches and then hit a grounder to shortstop Brett Charbonneau, who short-hopped his throw to first as he tried to record the final out. Quinn scored, it was 2-2, and now it went to extra frames.
Neither team scored in the eighth as Casey McAllister relieved Blewitt. In the top of the ninth, though, F-M loaded the bases and moved ahead 3-2 on Flynn’s single, but Leo (with help from Martin’s accurate cutoff throw to Levanti) nailed another runner trying to score, and McAllister escaped further damage.
B’ville now had Tucker out of the game, replaced on the mound by Mike Hoalcraft. Charbonneau and Gabe Levanti both reached base, and Martin tied it, 3-3, with a single that scored Charbonneau and moved Levanti to third.
Hoalcraft then threw an outside pitch that spun to the backstop, allowing Levanti to dive home with the winning run.
What made the win more important was that previous games had not gone as well. That included last Monday’s visit to West Genesee, where the Wildcats battled through the rain and beat the visiting Bees 7-4.
WG had Sean Pisik on the mound, who carried a 3-0 record and sub-1.00 earned run average into the contest. B’ville did get a run in the top of the first inning, but after that had nothing until the sixth, by which time the Wildcats had a 4-1 lead against the Bees’ starter, Colin Conklin.
And it tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, two of them racing home on Trevor Finney’s double.
Fighting to the end, the Bees managed a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh, but could not catch up. Savacool had three hits and an RBI, while Martin doubled, singled and drove in two runs. Charbonneau and Levanti each had two hits.
A chance to bounce back Tuesday against Central Square got thwarted due to a rainout, but they made it up 24 hours later and the Bees beat the Red Hawks 5-1. A pair of second-inning runs put B’ville in front, but it needed three more runs in the fifth to pull clear as Scott Orr earned the win.
Two days after the F-M thriller, the Bees won a 9-6 non-league game over Penfield, breaking the game open in the bottom of the second, where it batted around and scored six runs.
Martin, with a double and three RBIs, led the attack as Schmidt added a double and two RBIs and Jordan Hughes also drove in pair of runs. Savacool and Leo each scored twice as McAllister pitched four innings to earn the win.
B’ville was 12-3 going to the final week of the regular season, which culminates with a trip to the Gillette Road complex at Cicero-North Syracuse for the John Ilacqua Tournament, where it will play Westhill in Friday night’s opening round, and then a game against C-NS or Bishop Ludden.