A good reputation may have much to do with the Baldwinsville baseball team’s no. 4 state Class AA ranking, but its play in the last week of the regular season offered a lot of justification to that high standard as the Bees won all five games it played to improve to 16-3 on the season.
And it culminated with an impressive run to the championship of the John Ilacqua Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse, where it beat two long-time powers in extremely different ways.
First, in Friday's opening round B’ville met Westhill, the state Class B champions in 2009 and 2010. With strong pitching and timely hits in the latter stages, the Bees beat the Warriors 5-3.
Other than a three-run third inning, Bees pitcher Casey McAllister kept Westhill off the board, allowing six hits in six innings of work.
Still, the Bees trailed 3-2 until the bottom of the fourth, when it used a single run to pull even. Then, in the fifth B’ville moved in front for good with a pair of tallies.
Connor Martin, with three hits and two runs scored, led the comeback as Zach Leo also scored twice. Jimmy Schmidt, Jake Norton and Colin Conklin each joined Martin and Leo in the RBI column, and Schmidt also pitched a scoreless seventh inning of relief for the save.
No late drama was required in Saturday’s final against Bishop Ludden (who beat host C-NS 7-5 in the other half of the opening round), as the Bees buried the Gaelic Knights 21-5.
Only once before this season had B’ville scored in double digits, when it beat Auburn 13-6 way back on April 16. Here, the Bees got away with six runs in the third inning and a season-best nine runs in the bottom of the fifth.
All told, B’ville had 22 hits, including five from Leo (a career high), while Josh Savacool went four-for-five and, like Leo, scored three times. Gabe Levanti singled, doubled and drove in four runs as Josh Demoski and Jordan Hughes earned three RBIs apiece. Hughes finished with three hits and thre runs scored as Norton and Leo each drove in two runs.