May 14, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Another week of strong play was helping to push the Fayetteville-Manlius baseball team toward another high seed for the Section III Class AA playoffs.
The lone blemish was last Thursday’s game at Baldwinsville, where the Hornets were one strike from defeat, rescued the game, went into extra frames, took the lead – and still lost a 4-3 decision to the Bees in nine innings.
Much of the game had belonged to the pitchers. Scott Blewett, throwing for the Bees, held his own against F-M’s ace, Zach Tucker, during regulation and protected a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning.
After Mike Perry singled and moved to second to lead off the top of the sixth, B’ville decided, with two outs, to intentionally walk Dave Nuzzo, even though he was the go-ahead run. It backfired when Mike Monashefsky took Blewett’s next pitch into left field for a single that scored Perry.
But the 1-1 tie didn’t last long, either. In the bottom of the sixth with two out, Leo drew a walk. Jimmy Schmidt then doubled into the gap, allowing Leo to race home with the go-ahead run when the throw was just off target.
Now Blewett aimed to end the game in the seventh. After J.P. Quinn’s single, a strikeout, stolen base and groundout left Quinn on third and two out for Perry. From a 2-2 count, Perry fouled off three pitches and then hit a grounder to shortstop Brett Charbonneau, who short-hopped his throw to first as he tried to record the final out. Quinn scored, it was 2-2, and now it went to extra frames.
Neither team scored in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, though, F-M loaded the bases and moved ahead 3-2 on Flynn’s single, but another runner got thrown out at home, and B’ville reliever Casey McAllister escaped further damage.
B’ville now had Tucker out of the game, replaced on the mound by Mike Hoalcraft. Charbonneau and Gabe Levanti both reached base, and Martin tied in with a single that scored Charbonneau and moved Levanti to third. Hoalcraft then threw an outside pitch that spun to the backstop, allowing Levanti to dive home with the winning run.
That, as it turned out, was the lone blemish in a 4-1 week for F-M that improved the team’s overall record to 12-44.
The Hornets began the week by hosting Central Square and building a big early lead before it held on to beat the Red Hawks 6-4. F-M got to Central Square’s starting pitcher, Parker Reese, for two runs in the first inning and four runs in the third.
Quinn and Nuzzo both hit home runs. Quinn finished with three RBIs, while Jack McClure also drove in a run. Nuzzo finished with three hits as Mike Perry added two hits.
Given that big early cushion, Matt Godleski cruised until the sixth, when Central Square finally got on the board. A three-run seventh made it more alarming, but Godleski closed it out, finishing with eight strikeouts against six hits and three walks allowed.
Right before facing B’ville, F-M got another first-rate pitching performance, this one from McClure, as the Hornets blanked Syracuse West 4-0.
All of the Hornets’ runs came in the second and third innings. Quinn doubled, singled, scored a run and earned two RBIs, while Monashefsky also had a pair of hits. McClure, given that cushion, shut down Syracuse West, holding them to two hits and one walk while earning eight strikeouts.
Though the loss to B’ville hurt, F-M recovered well, sweeping a Saturday doubleheader against Rush-Henrietta, from the Section V ranks. It started with a 7-0 shutout where Godleski held the Royal Comets to four hits. F-M had runs in each of the first six innings as Perry and Quinn each scored twice and Peter Battan managed two hits.
In the second game, the Hornets unleashed twice as much offense in a 14-5 romp, breaking it open with eight runs in the fourth inning. Nuzzo and Monashefsky both hit home runs as part of a 19-hit assault where Perry led with four hits and three RBIs. Hoalcraft drove in three runs as Sean Brown joined Nuzzo and Monashefsky with two RBIs apiece.