Aug 04, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Scott Blewett’s masterful effort on the pitcher’s mound helped Onondaga’s baseball all-stars capture the 16-18 Babe Ruth World Series championship.
Striking out 15 batters while only allowing six hits, the Baldwinsville right-hander shut down host team Texas Tri-Counties as Onondaga won by a score of 4-1 in Saturday’s World Series championship game in Weimar, Texas.
Not since 1990 (Staten Island) had a team from New York claimed this title, but some of these players were part of the North Syracuse squad that won the 13-15 Babe Ruth World Series in 2010.
In the title game, Onondaga met the same Tri-Counties team it had blanked 9-0 in the tournament opener on July 27. TTC had not lost since, including two straight elimination-games – 4-2 over Port Angeles (Wash.) in the quarterfinals and 4-0 over previously undefeated Cape Cod (Mass.) in the semifinals.
Blewett started out quite strong, with a 1-2-3 first inning and striking out the side in the top of the second. He got a 1-0 lead when, with two out in the bottom of the second, Brett Charbonneau (Baldwinsville) singled home Chris Davis, though Pat Wright (Liverpool) was tagged out at home trying to score on that same hit.
Even though he gave up a pair of hits in the top of the third, Blewett again struck out the side, giving him eight K’s, and the number reached 10 with two more whiffs in the fourth inning.
Onondaga could not add to its margin in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with one out before TTC pitcher Cade Brewer escaped with a double play. But in the fourth, Eric Hamilton (Cicero-North Syracuse) doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored when Charbonneau beat out an infield hit, making it 2-0.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth. Alex Caruso led off with a single, and Davis, from the cleanup spot, crushed a ball over the left-field fence, a two-run home run that doubled Onondaga’s margin to 4-0.
All that was left was for Blewett to record the final three outs. He did, giving up his only run with two out in the seventh but closing it out with his 15th strikeout before his teammates buried him in a celebratory pile next to the mound.
Charbonneau, with a .571 batting average, earned tournament MVP honors. Caruso, Ryan O’Kane (Bishop Ludden) and Gabe Levanti (Baldwinsville) made the All-Tournament team while Ciro Frontale (Bishop Ludden) and Charbonneau were All-Defensive selections.
In stark contrast to the neat order of the championship game, a night earlier Onondaga survived a wild, exciting semifinal against Modesto (Calif.), where a huge lead nearly vanished before Onondaga held on for a 9-8 victory.
Having come from behind to beat Modesto 4-3 in round-robin play on July 28, Onondaga didn’t sweat when Modesto scored twice off O’Kane in the top of the first inning. With a run in the bottom of the first and another tally in the fourth, Onondaga tied it, 2-2, and then the fun really started.
Onondaga appeared to gain control when it picked up four runs in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 6-2 lead, Caruso driving in the go-ahead run. Three more runs followed in the sixth (after Modesto poked across a run in the top of that frame), which expanded the margin to 9-3. Onondaga had no idea how valuable those extra runs would be.
Joe Pokrentowski, relieving O’Kane, got into quick trouble in the seventh, Modesto loading the bases with one out. Conor Nolan came in to pitch, but gave up a pair of bases-loaded walks to Connor Torres and Klayton Miller, and then a single, which made it 9-6, still with one out.
Now it was Ryan O’Neil’s turn to pitch and try to save Onondaga from a total collapse. O’Neil gave up another run-scoring single to Bobby Schauer, but then coaxed two groundouts, the last of which stranded Modesto’s tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position and sent Onondaga to the finals – where Blewett, with a fair amount of help, would handle the rest.