Cicero-North Syracuse senior left fielder Vince Mallaro is greeted at home plate by his teammates after his solo home run in the fourth inning of Wednesday night's game against Baldwinsville. Mallaro's blast proved to be the game-winner as the Northstars won its first-place showdown over the Bees 3-2.
continued Then, in the bottom of the fourth, with the game still 2-2, Mallaro returned to the plate. The University at Buffalo-bound senior said he was confident going into that at-bat thanks to his previous single, and he crushed Merryweather's fastball 400 feet for a go-ahead home run.
"He has been getting big hits for us all season," said C-NS head coach Kevin Rockwell. "And in big games, he steps up."
In the top of the fifth, Rockwell didn't hesitate. He said that Farabee's velocity was a concern, so facing the top of the Bees' order, he brought in his relief ace, Apps, whose three-inning stint in the first meeting with B'ville led to a win.
Apps was even better on this night. Using his unique sidearm delivery and wide array of pitches, he retired the side in the fifth and sixth, and after drawing a leadoff walk in the seventh, he escaped further trouble, getting Josh Demoski to ground out to end it. Not once did a B'ville hitter get a ball past the infield against Apps.
"You've got to change speeds against that lineup," said Apps. "When you do, you find success."
And the Northstars' success against B'ville means that it could have an easier path to the sectional title. Still, the Bees are set to be the no. 2 seed, so a third encounter, in the May 27 title game at Rome's DeLutis Field, could take place.