Three area baseball teams - from Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt and Bishop Grimes have opportunities to win Section III baseball championships next week.
F-M will play for the Class AA title after it upended top seed Watertown 8-3 in Saturday's semifinals, this coming two days after a 10-5 victory over West Genesee in the quarterfinal round.
Entering the sectional tournament as a no. 4 seed, the Hornets caught a break in that Watertown was not thought to be a strong no. 1 seed, even though it beat Syracuse East 4-1 in the quarterfinals behind a no-hitter from pitching ace Caleb Bettis.
So the Hornets avoided Bettis, and wasted little time taking charge against the Cyclones with Mike Monashefsky's three-run home run in the top of the first inning. The lead grew to 5-0 in the third, and when Watertown closed the gap to 5-3, F-M put it away with three more runs in the top of the seventh.
Mike Hoalcraft, Dave Nuzzo, Jack McClure and Scott Bellina each got two hits, with Monashefsky and Nuzzo scoring two runs apiece. Staked to that big early lead, pitcher Matt Godleski went 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and allowing six hits, before McClure relieved him and went the rest of the way.
F-M faces a formidable opponent in Wednesday's AA final against no. 3 seed Baldwinsville at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Bees have notched 58 runs in its last three games, including 37 in playoff romps over Syracuse West (21-0) and Liverpool (16-6).
B'ville also won its lone regular-season meeting with the Hornets, a 5-4 thriller in nine innings back on May 10. Zach Tucker pitched eight innings in that contest and is likely to throw again in the rematch against the Bees' Scott Blewett.
J-D is also going to Alliance Bank Stadium, to play New Hartford for the sectional Class A title after it took out Whitesboro 10-2 in the quarterfinals and, on Saturday, worked past no 8 seed Oneida 12-5 in the semifinal round.