Cazenovia third baseman Chad Warren (00) covers the bag as Westhill’s Bob Antonacci slides in safely during last Friday’s game at NBT Bank Stadium, where the Lakers took a 5-0 defeat to the Warriors in a rematch of the 2012 Section III Class B final.
The last time the Cazenovia baseball team was at NBT Bank Stadium, it was making history and claiming the 2012 Section III Class B-2 title.
Nearly 12 months later, the Lakers were back, ready to take on Westhill in Friday's rematch of last spring’s overall Class B final won by the Warriors, and sending its best pitcher to the mound.
None of that mattered, though, as Westhill, getting a superb one-hit effort from its ace, Ben Walsh, beat Cazenovia 5-0 in a game that was part of the sixth annual Strike Out Lou Gehrig's Disease Classic, a gathering of top Section III teams at the Syracuse Chiefs' home ballpark to raise money for ALS research at Upstate Medical University.
This was also the only time Cazenovia and Wesethill would play in the regular season. So it wasn't surprising that Rogers and Walsh were on the hill, and for a while the two hurlers were both in full command.
Rogers carried a 4-0 record into the game, and despite J.C. Pena reaching third base with a triple in the first inning and a walk and two stolen bases in the third inning, Rogers escaped trouble both times, striking out seven in his first three innings of work.
Walsh, who flirted with no-hitters in each of his last two starts against Skaneateles (on April 22) and Solvay (April 26), was working with a full week's rest, and despite some shaky early control, he too, kept the game 0-0, helped by Sam Walsh throwing out Jeff Stowell trying to steal second base in the bottom of the first and a pick-off of Mark Dewan two innings later.
In the top of the fourth, Westhill broke through against Rogers. Sam Walsh's fly ball fell in left field for a double, and with two out, Bob Antonacci doubled home Walsh with the game's first run.