Heading into the Section III Class B playoffs, the Westhill baseball team is favored again to finish on top, but judging by the way it has played down the stretch, Solvay is a worthy challenger after it broke a 28-year league championship drought.
When those two neighbors gathered once more last Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale, the Bearcats prevailed, 4-3, extending its win streak to 11 games and ending the Warriors’ 12-game win streak at the same time.
Remembering how close it played Westhill in a 3-1 defeat on April 26, Solvay got itself out of early trouble, only trailing 2-0 when it scored three times in the bottom of the third as Brandon Pelose and John Savo both had run-scoring hits.
Westhill pulled even, 3-3, in the fifth, and it stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh. With Brandon Pelose on second base and J.C. Pena on the mound, Jake Cintron hit a grounder, but it got flubbed, and the speedy Pelose tore home with the winning run.
Cintron also pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and five walks, but constantly halting the Warriors’ attempts to gain control and outlasting Westhill starter Sam Walsh, who went three innings before Kevin Drexler and Pena relieve him.
It had already been a busy and eventful week, highlighted by the Bearcats tying Cazenovia for the OHSL Liberty National division regular-season title with Friday’s 5-3 victory over Jordan-Elbridge. It’s Solvay’s first league title of any kind since 1985.
A pair of first-inning runs got Solvay moving, and it led 3-0 after three innings, answering the Eagles’ run in the fourth with two of its own to make it 5-1.
Savo and Fantacone continued to tear it up at the plate, each getting a pair of RBIs, while Cody Pucello managed a pair of hits. Brandon Pelose scored twice as Fantacone pitched four innings to earn the win, with relief help from Savo, Josh Call and Brandon Franklin.