The longer it stayed undefeated, the more a target the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team would become – but at least so far, the state Class AA no. 3-ranked Northstars have turned back every possible challenge.
That included last Tuesday’s game against Syracuse West, where the Northstars again were pushed to the wire, but again won in its last at-bat, beating West 4-3.
Even a three-run first inning by C-NS, keyed by Eric Hamilton’s two-run trouble, did not faze West as pitcher Nate Boughton settled down and blanked the Northstars over the next five innings.
Meanwhile, West got back in it with two runs in the top of the second, and though Austin Frawley shut the door for a while (he only allowed four hits in six innings of work, striking out five), he surrendered the tying run in the top of the sixth.
So it was 3-3 going to the seventh. Reliever Will Apps shut down West, and in the bottom of the seventh Owen Dziados walked, moved to second on a sacrifice, and sped home with the winning run on Mike Mento’s clutch single.
So began a stretch of four games in five days. Just one of them was on the road, a visit to Falcon Park on Wednesday to face 8-3 Auburn, but what looked like a potential danger spot turned, instead, to a strong team performance as the Northstars pulled away to beat the Maroons 8-2.
After surrendering a pair of second-inning runs, pitcher Steven Theetge shut the door on Auburn, going the route as he gave up just one walk and seven hits, striking out three.
A 2-1 deficit vanished when C-NS scored twice in the top of the third off the Maroons’ pitching ace, Josh Charles. Then the Northstars pecked away, with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make it 5-2 before clinching it with three runs in the top of the seventh.