Apr 05, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On its way south to Myrtle Beach for its annual school-break tournament work, the Westhill baseball team put together an impressive 2-0 start against local foes.
The key part of that equation was Wednesday’s game at Solvay, where the Warriors broke a close contest open in the late going and got past the Bearcats 12-5.
Defense proved an issue on both ends, the two teams combining for nine errors. That led to runs, and Westhill shook off Solvay’s three-run outburst in the first inning by scoring seven times in the second and third frames to seize a 7-3 lead.
Solvay scored twice in the fifth to pull back within 7-5, but the Warriors answered with a five-run outburst in the top of the sixth to give itself a comfortable cushion.
J.C. Pena reached base four times for Westhill, including a triple, scored twice and finished with four RBIs. Ben Walsh and Jacob Nigolian each had two hits and one RBI. Joe Meluni and Jeff Lobello both had two walks and three runs scored.
Alex Godzak pitched six innings and took the win, striking out eight. Solvay’s Carmen Gacek lost despite 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work. John Savo had two hits and two runs scored.
Both entered their contests off winning last Monday’s season openers, which went in far different directions.
Westhill, eager to start again after falling to eventual champion Marcellus in last spring’s Section III Class B playoffs, jumped all over Jordan-Elbridge and won a 21-0 romp. The Warriors scored at least one run in each inning, peaking with a six-run third, and got 21 hits overall.
Ben Walsh had three of those hits, all doubles, and scored three runs. J.C. Pena crossed the plate four times as David Graf added two hits and three runs scored. Jacob Nigolian tripled, as did Pena, as Will Downs, Kevin Karleski, Matt McMullen and Jeff Lobello had two hits apiece. J-E also took an 11-0 loss to Skaneateles on Wednesday afternoon.
Solvay, on the other hand, had to make a big comeback and go nine innings to fight past the Hannibal Warriors in a 7-5 battle.
Hannibal scored four times in the bottom of the third and built a 5-0 lead. Solvay climbed back in it, though, with its own four-run rally in the top of the fourth.
From there, pitcher Matt Fantacone and his relief replacement, John Savo, shut down Hannibal’s bats for the rest of the game, giving the Bearcats ample time to catch up.
Sure enough, Solvay used a run in the sixth to tie it, 5-5, and moved in front with two more runs in the top of the ninth, surviving a sloppy contest where both teams committed five errors. Savo finished off a three-inning relief stint where he struck out five and did not allow a hit.
Then, in a non-league game at Weedsport, the Bearcats were on the brink of defeat before rallying in the seventh inning to edge another group of Warriors 8-7.
Cruising along with a 5-1 lead, Solvay got stunned when Weedsport exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth, taking a 7-5 lead. Yet the Bearcats got over this shock and, in the top of the seventh, scored three times to go back in front, and it blanked the Warriors in the bottom of the seventh to hold on.