It took nearly two-thirds of the season, but a local side – or rather, a local pitcher – was what slowed down the Westhill baseball team.
The Warriors had no answer for Skaneateles pitcher Cregg Scherrer in last Thursday’s game as it lost, 5-0, to the Lakers, ending an eight-game win streak that dated back to Westhill’s spring-break trip to Myrtle Beach.
The combination of a wet day and Scherrer’s pitching made it miserable for Warriors batters as they got just one hit – a single from E.J. Zawadzki – off Scherrer, who allowed three walks but amassed 11 strikeouts.
John Geer, Westhill’s ace for most of this season, was touched up for single runs in the first and third innings and three runs in the fifth. Josh McCabe, with a single, triple, walk and three runs scored, sparked Skaneateles as Jake Reed got two RBIs, with Scherrer and Michael Murphy also driving in runs.
Before this, the Warriors had an interesting test last Wednesday afternoon at Bishop Grimes, where Westhill assistant coach Mark Kelley served as head coach before Ted Klamm hired him as an assistant on the Warriors’ staff.
Here, Kelley got the best of it, Westhill defeating the Cobras 5-2 as it went in front with a pair of third-inning runs and tacked on a run in the fifth before Grimes scored twice in that frame to pull back within one.
But the Warriors got away again with two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Ben Coates had three of Westhill’s nine hits, earning two RBIs as he also pitched six solid innings, striking out eight to overcome five hits and three walks. Zawadzki and Jordan Marcano both had a hit, RBI and two runs scored. Corey Frassica added two hits.
Solvay would struggle again in last Monday’s game at Chittenango, unable to keep the Bears off the board in a 10-7 defeat. An early lead of 1-0 vanished, but the Bearcats fought back to tie it, 5-5, with three runs in the top of the fifth, only to see Chittenango answer with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good.
Three Bearcats pitchers – Zach Chrysler, Josh Posnick and McKyle Sands – gave up 11 total hits, three of them to Tom Rooney, who led Chittenango with five RBIs as Tim Ryder also got three hits. Chrysler and Mike Cimino both drove in two runs for Solvay as Sands added a double, two walks and an RBI.
Marcellus would play Bishop Grimes before Westhill did, and the Mustangs lost, 12-8, to the Cobras. A closer game followed on Wednesday against Phoenix, with Marcellus again tasting defeat, this time by a 3-2 margin.
An exchange of first-inning runs was followed by the Firebirds netting a run in the second. Again, the Mustangs tied it, 2-2, in the bottom of the fourth, but Phoenix moved back in front with a sixth-inning run and saw Taber Carter work 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven and holding the hosts to four hits.
Jake Schettine had two of those hits, with Matt Spicer and Ethan Molinari earning the other hits. Ben McFall pitched for Marcellus and lasted five innings before John Houser worked the last two innings of relief. Combined, they got nine strikeouts.
Bouncing back on Thursday, Marcellus beat Jordan-Elbridge 10-3, scoring twice in the first inning and then breaking out with six runs in the bottom of the third to support Molinari, who pitched a complete game, holding the Eagles to three hits while striking out five.
John Houser had three hits, doubling twice and scoring two runs. Molinari supported his own cause with a single, double and two RBIs, while Spicer also drove in a run. Schettine and Sam Grattan also scored twice. For J-E, Geoff Lippa got credit for an RBI as Jordan Osborn, Carson Ashby and Joe Reagan scored the Eagles’ runs.