Baldwinsville By the time the Baldwinsville baseball team found itself in extra innings Thursday against Fayetteville-Manlius, only two choices remained - a bitter and disappointing defeat, or a satisfying and momentum-building victory.
It nearly turned into the former, but the Bees ultimately created the latter scenario, beating the Hornets 4-3 in nine innings.
One strike from winning in regulation, B'ville was denied, and it ultimately fell behind 3-2 in the top of the ninth before the top of the order helped rescue the contest.
Long before that, the game had belonged to the pitchers. Scott Blewett, throwing for the Bees, held his own against F-M's ace, Le Moyne College-bound Zach Tucker, whose 2012 mark included a no-hitter against Utica Proctor in April.
In the bottom of the second, B'ville seized a 1-0 lead. Connor Martin led off with a walk, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored when, with two out, Josh Demoski laced a single up the middle, the Bees' first hit of the afternoon.
Blewett protected that 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, aided by terrific defense that included a 6-4-3 double play in the second and Zach Leo's diving catch in the fourth that saved a run.
After Mike Perry singled and moved to second to lead off the top of the sixth, B'ville decided, with two outs, to intentionally walk Dave Nuzzo, even though he was the go-ahead run. It backfired when Mike Monashefsky took Blewett's next pitch into left field for a single that scored Perry.
But the 1-1 tie didn't last long, either. In the bottom of the sixth with two out, Leo drew a walk, only the second that Tucker allowed. Jimmy Schmidt then doubled into the gap, allowing Leo to race home with the go-ahead run when the throw was just off target.