All spring long, the Baldwinsville baseball team operated with the understanding that two outstanding pitchers, Pat Merryweather and Scott Blewett, were capable of carrying them all the way to the top, so it only figured that they would team up to insure a second consecutive berth in the state Class AA final four.
With Merryweather getting the start and Blewett going the rest of the way in relief, the Bees defeated Section II champion Shenendedhowa 4-0 in Tuesday night's AA regional final at DeLutis Field in Rome.
Not only was the pitching sound, but the Bees got yet another big hit from Jake Norton, whose solo home run sparked a three-run fifth inning that put the Plainsmen away.
More than a week had passed since B'ville had defeated Oswego in the Section III Class AA final, ample time for both of the Bees' aces to rest from its post-season exertions.
Head coach Dave Penafeather said the plan to split the pitching duties was formed while watching Shenendehowa beat Shaker 3-2 in last Friday's Section II final. He said that Merryweather's ability to throw strikes against a potent Plainsmen lineup was important early in the game.
Shen didn't get overwhelmed by Merryweather, putting six runners on base in his four innings of work. Every time, though, the Bees escaped thanks to superb defense, including a 1-4-3 double play in the top of the second. Merryweather said he wasn't as nervous to pitch as he was in other games, and felt comfortable after his prolonged post-season rest.
B'ville had the same trouble with its chances against Plainsmen pitcher Greg Geisel, who appeared to be gaining control when he struck out the side in the bottom of the third to strand Josh Demoski on third base and keep the game 0-0.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Gabe Levanti helped put the Bees in front. He led off with a single, took off for second on Merryweather's grounder to avoid a double play, stole third, and came home on Jimmy Schmidt's hard grounder up the middle.