May 17, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Enough bad weather popped up in the spring so that the West Genesee baseball team had to play five times in the last week of the regular season, two of them made up from previous postponements.
Of those games, none had more importance than last Wednesday’s clash with defending Class AA champion Liverpool, which was supposed to happen April 23.
The month-long wait for the actual showdown added to the stakes, and WG stepped up, delivering a 4-3, eight-inning victory over the Warriors that clinched a tie for the CNY Counties League American division regular-season title with Fayetteville-Manlius.
They were still even, 3-3, with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning, and threatening to go longer before WG’s Wes Randall took full advantage of two Liverpool defensive mistakes.
A fielding error got Randall on base. After moving to second, Randall took off for third when Sean Pisik hit a slow grounder, eventually beating the throw for an infield hit.
Zooming right past third, Randall sprinted for home, and when Liverpool first baseman Pat Wright could not get a clean grip on the ball, Randall crossed the plate with the winning run.
So ended an exciting game where WG twice came from behind. The Warriors got single runs off Matt Naton in the second and third innings, and threatened to break it open in the fifth, loading the bases before Randall threw out a runner trying to score, ending the threat.
Fired up by that, the Wildcats got two runs in the bottom of the fifth, both driven home on Pisik’s single. A tense exchanged followed in the seventh as Liverpool went back in front, 3-2, only to see WG tie it once more and send it to extra frames.
Naton stayed in there in the top of the eighth, again loading the bases – and again getting out of it with his fifth strikeout of the day, setting up Randall’s winning trip around the bases in the bottom of that frame.
This long, busy week began last Monday with a scheduled trip to Baldwinsville, where it nearly made a comeback in the late stages before falling to the Bees 6-5.
Since WG already beat B’ville 7-4 on May 7 in league action, the non-league contest carried less meaning. Still, the Wildcats took a 3-1 lead in the third inning on four hits off Bees pitcher Scott Orr.
Quickly, the Bees tied it, 3-3, in the bottom of the third and tacked on three runs in the fourth to move in front. Steve Payette’s two-run double cut the margin to one in the sixth, but Scott Blewett, a starter appearing in relief of Orr, struck out the side in the seventh to end it.
In another non-league game on Tuesday, against CBA, the Wildcats received a superb all-around effort from Randall as part of a 10-0 shutout of the state Class A no. 8-ranked Brothers.
WG, batting around in the bottom of the first inning, torched CBA for seven runs. Randall ignited the attack, as his two hits led to a season-best four RBIs, while Nate Flask had two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Pisik, Adam Wierbinski, Mike Sgroi and Trevor Finney drove in one run apiece.
Adding to his work at the plate, Randall also pitched five valuable shutout innings, striking out six and only allowing one walk. Sgroi and Flask worked in relief to complete the shutout as the trio held the potent Brothers to just five hits.