Aug 05, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A fair amount of rain managed to stop the Onondaga baseball All-Stars from getting started last week in the Babe Ruth 16-18 Mid-Atlantic Regional in Pine Forge, Pa.
Nothing else worked, though, as Onondaga, sweeping through the tournament, earned a chance to defend its Babe Ruth World Series title later this month in Alabama.
Even with a team mostly different, in terms of personnel, from the 2012 World Series champions, head coach Ted Klamm’s Onondaga side had no trouble casting aside anything in its path.
It all started last Friday, a day after rain postponed the tournament opener against Maryland. Knowing that an opening defeat would mean a long climb through the loser’s bracket, Onondaga dominated from the start, defeating Maryland 10-0.
With a chance to rest, Onondaga returned a day later with Westhill ace Ben Walsh on the mound, and he recorded 13 strikeouts, allowing just two hits, in a 9-1 romp over Staten Island, the Metro New York representatives.
In what turned into a pattern, Onondaga scored three runs in the first inning against Staten Island, two of them on a double from Jamesville-DeWitt’s Chris Lenish. Josh Savacool (Baldwinsville) and Chris Schad (Bishop Grimes) each went two-for-four at the plate.
Moving on to Sunday, Onondaga simply needed to beat Delaware to reach the finals, and did so in a 4-2 decision that proved the closest of the tournament.
Henninger’s Damon Ozelek went 4 1/3 innings to earn the win before Cory Poplawski (Bishop Ludden) took over in relief in the fifth and pitched the rest of the way.
Once more, Onondaga put together a three-run first inning as Lenish lashed a two-run double and J.P. Quinn (Fayetteville-Manlius) also drove in a run. Josh Demoski’s squeeze bunt gave Onondaga an insurance run.
On Monday afternoon, Onondaga faced the host team from Pine Forge, Pa., in the championship round. Pine Forge would need to beat Onondaga twice, but it would never get close as Onondaga won the title in a 5-0 shutout.
They were 0-0 in the top of the third when Walsh, now doing his damage at the plate, crushed a 3-0 pitch that eluded the Pine Forge outfielder’s glove and went over the fence for a two-run home run. As if that wasn’t enough, Walsh tacked on a two-run single in the fifth.
Schad didn’t need much help, though. The Grimes ace earned seven strikeouts and only allowed four hits in his complete-game effort, and also got a pair of hits at the plate, as did Henninger’s Frank Vigliotti.
Starting on Aug. 15, Onondaga will play in various locales in Covington County, Ala., just north of the Florida panhandle, looking for another Babe Ruth World Series title to match the one earned in Texas 12 months earlier.