SYRACUSE Winning its first Section III championship in 11 years was sweet enough for the Jamesville-DeWitt baseball team. Doing it at the expense of its neighbors and rivals from Christian Brothers Academy made it sweeter.
What was a close, tense sectional Class A final at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday night blew open when the Red Rams scored nine runs in the fifth inning, going on to defeat the Brothers 11-1.
According to head coach Ryan Dora, the roots of this victory traced back to May 9, when J-D went to CBA and lost a 13-5 decision, seeing its pitching ace, Sam Crisalli, lit up for seven runs in just three innings before getting pulled. The Rams had not lost since.
"We played tight in that game," he said. "Here, we kept our emotions in check and played loose and confident."
The final gave Crisalli, who pitched a complete-game, six-hit shutout in an 11-0 win over Whitesboro in the Class A quarterfinals on May 24, a chance at redemption against the Brothers, who countered with its own ace, Webb Little.
If any single play got J-D rolling, it was a 5-4-3 double play in the bottom of the first, Jake Binder to Chris McGee to John Werbowsky, that snuffed out CBA's first attempt to get on the board.
Minutes later, in the top of the second, Crisalli and Binder led off with singles. Jimmy Sinopoli moved them over with a textbook sacrifice bunt, and on Alex Way's grounder, Crisalli somehow slid around the tag of CBA catcher Camillo Spinoso for the game's first run. Tom Canfield's RBI single scored Binder to make it 2-0.
Little settled down and retired the Rams in order in the next two innings, while Crisalli continued to silence the potent Brothers' bats, inducing plenty of fly-ball outs on the vast turf of the Syracuse Chiefs' home field. Crisalli said that his calm, relaxed approach allowed him to pitch better against CBA this time around.