Skaneateles baseball hits late-season slump

Lakers struggle against top foes, pitchers

At just the wrong time, the Skaneateles baseball team started to slow up against some of the OHSL Liberty division’s better sides.

When the Lakers visited Solvay last Monday afternoon, it had a strong start, but a nightmarish second inning turned it all around and led to an 11-5 defeat to the Bearcats.

Skaneateles scored twice in the top of the first inning. And it still led 2-1 when, in the bottom of the second, Solvay hit Lakers ace Luke Drancsak hard and put seven runs across the plate.

From there, Drancsak and reliever Paul Musso did a better job of containment, but single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings were not enough to undo that early damage.

What’s more, Skaneateles managed just five hits against Solvay pitchers Dan Fantacone and Josh Rutkowski, one each by Drancsak, John Texeira, Collin Jones, Nick Hyland and Will Dougherty. Rutkowski paced the Bearcats’ attack, going three-for-three with a triple and three RBIs.

Back home for a rematch with Solvay 24 hours later, the Lakers rallied to force the game beyond regulation, but still lost in eight innings to the Bearcats 7-5.

In the bottom of the fifth, Skaneateles used two runs to erase Solvay’s 3-2 lead. The Bearcats answered with its own two-run rally in the top of the sixth, but the Lakers, three outs from defeat, put across a run in the seventh to make it 5-5.

And there, the magic would end, Solvay again getting two runs in the top of the eighth and Skaneateles unable to answer. Connor Herr and Sepp Martin both drove in runs as Nick Tortora lashed out four hits and Herr scored twice. John Savo had a home run and three RBIs for the Bearcats.

Though the Lakers wanted to break out of its sudden slump in Wednesday’s game against Hannibal, Chris Benedict would not let them, pitching his Warriors past Skaneateles 5-0.

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