Cazenovia Even at this late point in the regular season, it's unclear whether the Cazenovia baseball team will make its way to the Section III Class B playoffs.
It it does, though, the Lakers will take with it enormous confidence based on one effort alone - Friday night's 5-1 upset of Westhill, the no. 1 team in the state Class B rankings.
Between David McEntee's stellar pitching and a timely five-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, Cazenovia gave future opponents much more reason to worry about them.
Just on the surface, it looked to be a mismatch. Cazenovia was 4-7, mired near the bottom of the standings in the OHSL Liberty division, and had lost to this same Westhill team 10-0 back on April 17.
However, the Lakers may have picked the perfect time to catch Westhill, for it had just come off two draining games the previous two days - an 11-inning 3-2 thriller over Solvay on Wednesday and a 2-0 conquest of state no. 5-ranked Homer on Thursday. The Warriors had used their two best pitchers, Ben Walsh and Alex Godzak, in those games.
Thus, McEntee, who had not started a game all season, got to square off with J.C. Pena, who had relieved Walsh in the Solvay game and had thrown 4 2/3 innings of relief in that Solvay marathon.
Even with that, the Lakers could not solve Pena for five scoreless innings. Meanwhile, McEntee kept the game 0-0 until the top of the fifth, when the Warriors inched ahead on Jeff Lobello's double that scored Will Downs.
And that's where it stood in the bottom of the sixth. Here, the Lakers forced Pena out of the game, and when Walsh tried to relieve him, Cazenovia blitzed him for the five decisive runs.
Alex Szlamczynski supplied the biggest blow, a two-run double, just after Darian Smith had driven in a run. Smith, Ben Langey, Brian Gara and Liam Rogers each crossed the plate.