May 16, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Should the Liverpool baseball team rise up and make a serious push for the Section III Class AA title, it may point to last Monday’s game against Baldwinsville as a turning point.
Down nine runs to the defending state Class AA champion Bees, the Warriors did not blink, instead making it all the way back to pull off a satisfying – and nearly miraculous – 12-10 victory on a Senior Day no one would ever forget.
It was 0-0 when, in the top of the third inning, B’ville (who beat the Warriors 8-1 just 10 days earlier, on May 3) broke out for six runs off Liverpool starter Nick Claver. Andrew Dominic took over, but he gave up three runs in the fourth, and the Warriors trailed, 9-0, the game looking out of reach.
It was Don Pauldine providing the spark in the bottom of the fourth, catching a Kody Caestle pitch and crushing it well over the fence for a three-run home run. Fired up by that, the Warriors added four more runs in that inning to knock out Castle and make it 9-7.
And despite a B’ville run that made it 10-7 in the top of the fifth, Liverpool struck again in the bottom of the fifth off relievers John Mercurio and Billy Clifford.
Two more runs made it 10-9. Fittingly, Pauldine, who started the outburst, singled home the tying and go-ahead runs that put Liverpool in front 11-10, and the red-hot Warriors tacked on an insurance run, too.
Where once it stared at a one-sided defeat, now the Warriors had to protect a two-run lead. Spencer Powers, who had gone three-for-three at the plate, did so, working two innings in relief before Luke Gilbert pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the save.
Jason Schulz also went three-for-three, with Ben Terzini adding two hits and Mike Wright saving several B’ville runs with a big catch in the outfield. Terzini and Rick Sisto had two RBIS apiece, with Powers and Tim Cerniglia each driving in one run.
In some ways, it was good for the Warriors to get a bit of a breather after that win, as for two days it finally practiced on a home field it was rarely able to use for anything other than games during this weather-plagued spring.
Before the rains returned again, the Warriors hosted Central Square on Thursday and, to its own relief, required a more modest kind of comeback to subdue the Red Hawks 6-1.
Central Square scored first, in the top of the second as Mike Tolone drove in the run, and the Warriors were patient against Red Hawks pitcher Parker Reese because Pauldine would settle down and toss a two-hit complete game.
Finally, in the bottom of the fourth Liverpool broke through against Reese, scoring twice to go in front, and adding two runs in each of the next two innings for further security. Pauldine led the charge, going three-for-three with two doubles and an RBI, while Sisto and Wright each had two hits and one RBI. Tom Karins also managed a pair of hits.