May 17, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Right at the end, the Liverpool baseball team started to click and find success, even if it was too late to reach the post-season.
What the Warriors could take the most pride in, perhaps, was the way it played in two-head-to-head encounters with rival Cicero-North Syracuse.
Despite its 17-1 record, CNY Counties League National division regular-season title and no. 7 state Class AA ranking, the Northstars nearly lost both of its encounters with Liverpool, including last Thursday’s game, where C-NS pulled out a 5-4 decision.
Much like their April 24 meeting, where C-NS erased a 4-0 deficit in the last two innings to prevail 6-5, the Warriors were resilient, even after the Northstars claimed a 3-0 lead with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings.
Breaking out, Liverpool got to C.J. Szczesny in the bottom of the fourth for all of its runs to take a 4-3 lead, with Rick Sisto’s bases-clearing double the big blow as Dom Pirro added an RBI in that frame.
C-NS shook this off and tied it, 4-4, in the top of the fifth before getting the go-ahead run in the sixth off Warriors starter Don Pauldine. No. 9 batter Justin Teague reached base, went to sacrifice bunt and raced home on Paul Ludden’s single.
Then Austin Frawley, pitching in relief of Szczesny, held Liverpool scoreless in the last two innings to earn the win. Nathan Dodge pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for the Warriors, who got two hits apiece from Ryan Caldwell and Sam Colella.
Eric Hamilton, with a double and two RBIs, keyed the early C-NS push, while Vince Mallaro hit a solo home run, just as he had to beat Baldwinsville 3-2 a night earlier. Paul Vinciguerra and Jake McArdell each doubled and scored.
The game with C-NS came two days after the Warriors, playing the spoiler role, hurt Utica Proctor’s playoff hopes, making a stirring comeback to beat the visiting Raiders 5-4.
Proctor appeared in control when it scored twice in the second and fifth innings to grab a 4-0 lead, with pitcher Matt Haddad shutting down anything Liverpool tried to establish.
But in the bottom of the fifth, Liverpool broke through, tying it, 4-4, as Dominick PIrozzi and Josh Mason both had run-scoring hits on their way to finishing with two RBIs apiece. It stayed even until the bottom of the seventh, when the Warriors pushed across the winning run.
Jason Schulz, pitching in relief of Jackson Hobble, threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings and ended up earning the win, only allowing one hit and striking out three.
Even more impressive was Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over Syracuse East, a team that was going to the playoffs and had knocked off Liverpool 6-2 just five days earlier.
The rematch saw the Warriors get a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After East tied it, 2-2, helped by a Frank Vigliotti solo home run, Liverpool got back in front in the bottom of the fifth and added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.
Pirro took the mound and held East to five hits, overcoming five walks with six strikeouts as he constantly got out of trouble. He also notched two hits and two RBIs at the plate as Mason hit a solo home run, while Sisto and Ben Terzini also drove in runs.
Back on Monday, Liverpool’s season-long frustrations were symbolized by the effort in a 3-1 defeat to playoff-bound Oswego.
Dodge was staked to a 1-0 lead when Schulz singled home Pirro, but that lead didn’t hold up, Oswego using single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to move in front.
Dodge didn’t give up anything more, and held the Bucs to four hits overall. Yet Liverpool could not warm up its bats as Oswego’s Josh Carney held the Warriors to five hits and reliever Brandon Schultzke pitched a scoreless seventh to get the save.