If nothing short of light regard was given to the Bishop Grimes baseball team at the start of the Section III Class C-2 playoffs, all that was shown was respect by the time the Cobras were done.
In Monday's hot, steamy C-2 final at Rome's DeLutis Field, Grimes, the no. 6 seed, gave top seed Fabius-Pompey a real score, only to come up just short in a 4-3 loss to the Falcons.
The Cobras were attempting to complete a clean sweep of C-2's top three seeds, having already gone on the road to knock off no. 3 seed Cooperstown and no. 2 seed West Canada Valley to get this far.
Fabius-Pompey offered a different sort of challenge. The two were familiar OHSL Patriot division foes, though in their pair of regular-season meetings earlier this month (played three days apart, on May 2 and 5) the Falcons won by scores of 9-5 and 13-3, in the latter game wiping out Grimes with 12 runs in the first inning.
Nothing of that sort happened here. F-P would meet with an odd mix of accomplishment and frustration against Grimes pitcher Chris Schad, stranding 11 baserunners in the first five innings.
Thus, while the Cobras fell behind 3-0, due to a single run in the first inning and two more in the third, driven home by a bases-loaded walk and infield hit, Schad kept escaping big trouble and, by turn, kept Grimes in it, too.
Meanwhile, Falcons pitcher Casey Blanck did not allow a hit for 4 2/3 innings until Ryan Gosson singled with two out in the fifth. Moments later, Billy Blasland singled, and an errant throw from the outfield allowed Gosson to score, cutting it to 3-1 - though Blasland was tagged out trying to reach third.
F-P restored the 4-1 margin with a double by Ben Rotondo, a bunt single from Dan Gallagher and sacrifice fly from Lucas Cognitti. That run proved more important when the Cobras chased Blanck in the sixth with a pair of runs, brought home by singles from Schad and Josh Allan.
Relieving Schad in the fifth, Schad tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, keeping it tight. However, Matt Perry replaced Blanck with two out in the sixth and retired all four batters he faced to give F-P the win.