Bees earn shutout in AA baseball regional

Merryweather, Blewett send B'ville back to state final four

All along, said Penafeather, the plan was to bring in Blewett in the fifth, and he arrived with a 1-0 lead. Soon, though, he would have a much bigger cushion, thanks to Norton and his teammates.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Norton came up. He had already produced an 11th-inning game-winning hit in the sectional quarterfinals against Auburn and a triple that led to the winning run in the next round against Syracuse East.

Here, he sent Geisel's fastball high and deep over the left-field fence, a solo home run that made it 2-0.

"Everything has clicked in the post-season," said Norton, and Penafeather agreed. "Jake loves to be out here and loves to compete," the coach said. "Nothing bothers him."

B'ville wasn't done in the fifth. A single and throwing error put Levanti and Josh Savacool in scoring position, and after Shen reliever Brian Warzek walked Merryweather to load the bases, Zach Leo delivered a two-run single.

Blewett handled it from there, the Plainsmen stranding two more baserunners in the sixth before the B'ville right-hander retired Shen in order in the seventh to end it.

Now the Bees could look ahead to its trip to SUNY-Binghamton, where on Saturday at 10 a.m. it will take on Ward Melville (Section XI) in the state semifinals. The winner of that game plays in the 4 p.m. state final against Clarence (Section VI) or Arlington (Section I).

Norton said the team's experience, gained from its state semifinal visit in 2012, will have them ready for the challenges this time around, and Blewett added that playing for their community is a huge motivating factor.

"Our mission is to bring the state title back to Baldwinsville," said Blewett.

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