In some ways, the series schedule for CNY Counties League baseball team provided a direct benefit for Fayetteville-Manlius, for instead of challenging the top sides like Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool, it had to prove itself first against Baldwinsville.
The opening game of that abbreviated series with the Bees was also the Hornets’ season opener, and with Colin Sommers giving a superb effort on the mound, F-M flourished and earned a 5-0 victory over the Bees.
Part of the security for Sommers was that he was staked to an early margin thanks to the Hornets scoring three runs in the bottom of the first innings. Two more runs followed in the fourth inning as Jack Grifo got two hits and two RBIs, with Sommers driving in a single run, as did Steve Laurie. Christian Maloney and Mitch Seabury had two hits apiece.
A single run was all that Sommers required, for in his 5 2/3 innings of work he limited B’ville to five hits, striking out eight to offset a trio of walks. Maloney and Kyle Walsh combined in relief to pick up the last four outs.
Traveling to B’ville two days later following a 24-hour rain postponement, F-M could not make it two wins in a row, falling 2-1 to B’ville in a game that was scoreless for five innings, with Hornets pitcher Peter Miller matching zeroes with Bees ace Jason Savocool.
Finally, in the top of the sixth the Hornets broke through with the go-ahead run as Kyle Walters’ hit drove home Grifo. But B’ville countered in the bottom of the sixth as run-scoring hits by Cam Williams and Alex Robinson put the hosts in front, and Savocool blanked F-M in the seventh. Each side had just two hits
The F-M softball team nearly got a big win in its season opener at Baldwinsville, but could not hold on to a late lead in an 8-7 defeat to the Bees. A first-inning run put the Hornets in front, and it stayed that way until B’ville used two runs in the third and another in the fourth to go up 3-1.
Then F-M batted around in the top of the fifth and didn’t stop until six runs had crossed the plate, with Isabella Bastian’s bases-clearing triple the key blow as she got three RBIs, with Lily Fish, Alex Monasefsky and Madelyn Goskoski driving in one run apiece.
Yet that 7-3 lead didn’t last long. B’ville stormed back to tie it, 7-7, with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, two of them driven home on Madelyn Shuler’s single, and with the score still tied in the seventh, Jillian Dunn delivered the double, her third hit of the game, that plated the Bees’ winning run off Sarah Vaccaro.
At least F-M got on the board against B’ville, unlike with Wednesday’s 7-0 defeat to West Genesee. Vaccaro pitched well most of the way, but the Wildcats got to her for five runs in the bottom of the fourth to break the game open.
Meanwhile, the Hornets accumulated six hits, two each by Emily Gryczka and Emma Robinson, yet could not turn them into runs against WG pitcher Deanna Shackleton, who also had two RBIs at the plate to match teammate Mya Case.
F-M dropped another close decision on Thursday, this one a 5-4, 10-inning defeat to Auburn that saw the Hornets erase a 3-0 deficit by scoring four runs in the top of the fifth. Fish, who had three hits on the day, drove in a run in that rally, as did Vaccaro and Goskoski.
Yet Auburn staged its own comeback, tying it in the bottom of the sixth. From there, Vaccaro and Maroons pitcher Katie Feocco dueled it out until the bottom of the 10th, when Auburn’s Marley Plish doubled, her third hit of the game, and drove home the winning run.