Even though the Cazenovia baseball team has taken blemishes both small and large, it still remains a force that OHSL Liberty division opponents must respect.
The Lakers proved this in last Wednesday’s game against first-place Phoenix, managing to solve the Firebirds’ pitching ace, Adam Thoryk, and pull out a 4-1 victory in a game shortened to six innings by rain.
Thoryk had beaten defending Class B champion Westhill in his previous outing on April 17, and he started out well, blanking Cazenovia through three innings as Phoenix got a run off Liam Rogers to grab a 1-0 lead.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the Lakers solved Thoryk and drove him from the game with three runs, and then added an insurance run in the fifth. Evan Cornell’s double and two RBIs keyed the comeback, with Brodie Kellish and Cullen Franz also driving in runs.
Meanwhile, Rogers lasted five innings, allowing five hits and two walks, but striking out six. Chris Matteson worked the sixth inning and got the save.
An even more exciting game followed Friday, at Marcellus, where the Lakers blew a six-run lead, but somehow recovered with a seventh-inning comeback of its own to beat the Mustangs 10-7.
All was fine for Cazenovia going to the bottom of the fifth, as it held a 6-0 lead for pitcher Mark Dewan. But the Mustangs cut the margin in half with three runs in the fifth, and then tacked on four runs in the sixth against Dewan and Matteson to grab a 7-6 lead.
Absorbing all this, the Lakers showed its poise and promptly put up four runs of its own in the top of the seventh, giving the lead to Chad Warren, who earned the last three outs to earn the save.
Franz smacked a home run and finished with three RBIs. Rogers, Warren, Ryker Smith and Drew Devendorf drove in one run apiece as Franz and Devendorf each scored twice and Smith earned a team-best three hits.