Apr 27, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Holding itself to a high standard, the Westhill baseball team was not entirely pleased with its 2-1 league start, especially in light of an April 17 defeat to Phoenix.
But the Warriors felt a lot better after the ensuing week’s action, which included ace pitcher Ben Walsh twice throwing one-hit, complete-game efforts, the latter of them on three days’ rest.
It all started with last Monday’s 7-0 Westhill shutout of Skaneateles.A year earlier (almost to the day), Alex Godzak had no-hit the Lakers. Now Walsh attempted to do the same, navigating through six innings without surrendering a hit before Conor Herr reached safely in the top of the seventh.
It helped Walsh (who had nine strikeouts and only allowed two walks) that Westhill jumped on Skaneateles pitcher Luke Drancsak with five runs in the first two innings to take control.
Jim Albright’s two-run single in the bottom of the first put Westhill ahead 2-0, and J.C. Pena added to it in the second, tripling to drive home two more runs. All told, Pena had three hits, while Kevin Karleski managed a pair of hits and Bob Antonacci scored two runs.
In the make-up of a rained-out April 13 game against Chittenango, the Warriors took care of the Bears 10-3, getting all of its runs early as it scored twice in the first inning and chased starter Sean Cliff with eight runs in the bottom of the third.
Ben Walsh now starred at the plate, getting two hits and three RBIs. Karleski had a single, double and three runs scored. Pena and Antonacci each scored twice and drove in two runs, while Albright, Sam Walsh and Mike Burton all drove in single runs. Antonacci pitched four innings to earn the win, striking out four and giving up just four hits.
Then Westhill made it three wins in as many days by jumping all over Jordan-Elbridge Wednesday afternoon, putting up its largest run total of the season in rolling past the Eagles 18-3.
A three-run first inning set the tone, but the Warriors really took over in the top of the second, batting twice around the order and picking up 12 runs to make it 15-0, well out of J-E’s reach.
Again, Pena led the way, going four-for-four with a double, triple, four runs scored and three RBIs. Ben Walsh had a double, single and four RBIs, while Antonacci tripled and drove in three runs. Sam Walsh hit his team’s only home run and got two RBIs.
Kevin Drexler pitched 4 1/3 innings to earn the win, with Albright and Brian McMullen seeing relief stints. All of J-E’s runs came in the bottom of the second as Ryan Cooper, who had three hits, earned an RBI, as did Andrew Cassick and Travis Hyde.
To cap it off, Westhill hosted Solvay (who had won twice during the week) on Friday afternoon. And Walsh, going on three days’ rest, again threatened a no-hitter, but had to settle for a bit less as the Warriors fought past the Bearcats 3-1.
Going into the seventh, Walsh hadn’t given up a hit, just like with Skaneateles. And once more, the dream ended there, as Solvay’s John Savo singled. Savo came around to score on Dan Fantacone’s RBI groundout before Walsh ended things with his eighth strikeout of the day.
Fantacone pitched quite well for the Bearcats, only allowing eight hits. But he gave up unearned runs in the first and third innings, both of them driven home by Albright. A third run came in the sixth with Dan O’Brien-Mazza’s two-out single. Pena finished two-for-three at the plate.
More big games await the Warriors next week, from Monday’s tilt with neighbor Bishop Ludden to a showdown with Cazenovia next Friday at NBT Bank Stadium, a rematch of last year’s Section III Class B final.
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