Apr 15, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As it does each April, the Westhill baseball team trades a week of potential weather issues in Central New York for guaranteed playing time – and bonding time – in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
All told, the Warriors played four games – and won each of them, improving to 6-0 in the process and gaining a full dose of momentum heading into the heart of OHSL Liberty division play.
For this latest installment of the Mingo Bay Tournament, Westhill sprinted out of the gate, beating another Upstate New York team, Wilson (Section VI), 6-3, mostly by scoring two runs in each of the first two innings.
Wilson fought back within 4-3 by the fifth inning, but Westhill scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to get away again. David Graf, with three hits, led the attack as he, along with J.C. Pena and Jacob Nigolian, drove in runs. Tyler Thomas scored twice.
Alex Godzak pitched most of the way, going 4 1/3 innings to earn the win as he amassed 10 strikeouts and only allowed three hits. Ben Walsh saw work in relief before Pena worked a shaky seventh inning, giving up two hits before picking up the save.
No suspense was necessary, though, in the Warriors’ 11-2 rout of Washington, though the offense did take a while to get going. It was only 2-0 when Westhill scored three times in the top of the fifth inning, but six more runs in the next two innings followed.
Just as with Wilson, Graf found his way on base with a pair of hits and scored three runs, stealing three bases. Thomas managed a pair of RBIs as he and Joe Meluni each had two hits.
Pena, Walsh and Kevin Karleski drove in one run apiece. Walsh also pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win, allowing four hits while striking out eight as Matt Kinney and Tim Grace relieved this time around.
Against another Section VI team, Dunkirk, the Warriors blew a three-run lead, but shook it off and, with a late push, beat the Marauders 6-4.
Three total runs in the third and fourth innings put Westhill in front, 4-1, before Dunkirk got three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth to pull even, 4-4.
The Warriors regained the lead by scoring twice in the top of the sixth, which was enough as Pena, who pitched six innings, and Godzak blanked the Marauders the rest of the way. Pena and Walsh both had a double and two RBIs, with Godzak and Pena scoring two runs apiece.
To complete this effort, Westhill beat North Myrtle Beach 2-0. This time, Godzak got the start, going five innings and striking out eight against just two hits allowed. Matt Kinney worked the final two innings for the save. Single runs in the first and sixth innings prove enough for the Warriors as Pena, Meluni, Nigolian and Thomas earned hits.
Westhill is set to go for seven in a row Tuesday, against Cazenovia (who also played last week in Myrtle Beach) before a long-awaited rematch Thursday with Marcellus, who knocked out the Warriors last May on the way to the Section III Class B title.