May 20, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A good reputation may have much to do with the Baldwinsville baseball team’s no. 4 state Class AA ranking, but its play in the last week of the regular season offered a lot of justification to that high standard as the Bees won all five games it played to improve to 16-3 on the season.
And it culminated with an impressive run to the championship of the John Ilacqua Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse, where it beat two long-time powers in extremely different ways.
First, in Friday’s opening round B’ville met Westhill, the state Class B champions in 2009 and 2010. With strong pitching and timely hits in the latter stages, the Bees beat the Warriors 5-3.
Other than a three-run third inning, Bees pitcher Casey McAllister kept Westhill off the board, allowing six hits in six innings of work.
Still, the Bees trailed 3-2 until the bottom of the fourth, when it used a single run to pull even. Then, in the fifth B’ville moved in front for good with a pair of tallies.
Connor Martin, with three hits and two runs scored, led the comeback as Zach Leo also scored twice. Jimmy Schmidt, Jake Norton and Colin Conklin each joined Martin and Leo in the RBI column, and Schmidt also pitched a scoreless seventh inning of relief for the save.
No late drama was required in Saturday’s final against Bishop Ludden (who beat host C-NS 7-5 in the other half of the opening round), as the Bees buried the Gaelic Knights 21-5.
Only once before this season had B’ville scored in double digits, when it beat Auburn 13-6 way back on April 16. Here, the Bees got away with six runs in the third inning and a season-best nine runs in the bottom of the fifth.
All told, B’ville had 22 hits, including five from Leo (a career high), while Josh Savacool went four-for-five and, like Leo, scored three times. Gabe Levanti singled, doubled and drove in four runs as Josh Demoski and Jordan Hughes earned three RBIs apiece. Hughes finished with three hits and thre runs scored as Norton and Leo each drove in two runs.
The Bees’ 6-5 victory over West Genesee last Monday afternoon was in a non-league contest. Still, it gave B’ville some payback after it lost 6-1 to those same Wildcats exactly one week earlier.
Scott Orr, staked to a quick 1-0 lead on Levanti’s RBI double, gave up that edge in the top of the third inning, when WG used four hits to plate three runs.
Quickly, though, the Bees tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the third as Martin doubled to plate Levanti and Brett Charbonneau. Three more runs followed in the fourth as Levanti and Martin both had run-producing hits. Levanti was three-for-four overall.
B’ville protected that 6-3 lead until the sixth, when Steve Payette’s two-run single cut the margin to one. For the top of the seventh, Scott Blewett relieved Orr, and Blewett proceeded to strike out the side to earn the save.
A day later, the Bees hosted Auburn, and used steady production to eventually pull away from the Maroons and win by a 6-3 margin.
Briefly, Auburn led 1-0, but B’ville tied it in the bottom of the first and got at least one run in each of the first five innings. What’s more, five different players – Charbonneau, Levanti, Martin, Norton and Conklin – earned RBIs, creating a much more balanced attack. Conklin also pitched, going the route and surrendering seven hits, but not walking a batter as he earned five strikeouts.
B’ville made it three wins in as many days on Wednesday afternoon, going to Oswego and this time getting a full and effective start from Blewett in a 6-2 victory over the Buccaneers.
Other than the fourth inning, when Oswego got both of its runs on RBI hits from Ryan Lavner and Kyle Perez, Blewett shut things down. He held the Bucs to six hits, did not walk a single batter and recorded 13 strikeouts on his way to a complete game.
B’ville used a run in the first inning and three more in the second against Oswego starter Kevin Carpentier to take control. Martin’s hot streak continued, as his pair of hits led to three RBIs, while Levanti scored twice and drove in a run and Jordan Hughes added an RBI.