May 27, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Three area baseball teams – from Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt and Bishop Grimes have opportunities to win Section III baseball championships next week.
F-M will play for the Class AA title after it upended top seed Watertown 8-3 in Saturday’s semifinals, this coming two days after a 10-5 victory over West Genesee in the quarterfinal round.
Entering the sectional tournament as a no. 4 seed, the Hornets caught a break in that Watertown was not thought to be a strong no. 1 seed, even though it beat Syracuse East 4-1 in the quarterfinals behind a no-hitter from pitching ace Caleb Bettis.
So the Hornets avoided Bettis, and wasted little time taking charge against the Cyclones with Mike Monashefsky’s three-run home run in the top of the first inning. The lead grew to 5-0 in the third, and when Watertown closed the gap to 5-3, F-M put it away with three more runs in the top of the seventh.
Mike Hoalcraft, Dave Nuzzo, Jack McClure and Scott Bellina each got two hits, with Monashefsky and Nuzzo scoring two runs apiece. Staked to that big early lead, pitcher Matt Godleski went 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and allowing six hits, before McClure relieved him and went the rest of the way.
F-M faces a formidable opponent in Wednesday’s AA final against no. 3 seed Baldwinsville at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Bees have notched 58 runs in its last three games, including 37 in playoff romps over Syracuse West (21-0) and Liverpool (16-6).
B’ville also won its lone regular-season meeting with the Hornets, a 5-4 thriller in nine innings back on May 10. Zach Tucker pitched eight innings in that contest and is likely to throw again in the rematch against the Bees’ Scott Blewett.
J-D is also going to Alliance Bank Stadium, to play New Hartford for the sectional Class A title after it took out Whitesboro 10-2 in the quarterfinals and, on Saturday, worked past no 8 seed Oneida 12-5 in the semifinal round.
Oneida had opened up the Class A bracket when it knocked out top seed Chittenango in its quarterfinal, 10-4, but the Red Rams made sure the playoff run stopped there. As with Whitesboro (where an eight-run inning put the Rams in charge), J-D hurt the Indians with one big rally.
Already up 2-0 in the bottom of the third, J-D batted around in that frame and picked up six runs. Eric Thompson and John Werbowcky would both hit home runs, both score three times and finish with three RBIs apiece, while Chris Lenish doubled and also drove in three runs.
Matt Yonta matched Thompson’s three-hit output, while Chris McGee added two hits. McGee pitched and went five innings, striking out seven, and Kyle Naugle worked the last two innings in relief.
In the title game, J-D plays New Hartford, who has won twice on the road in the playoffs, edging past no. 2 seed CBA 6-5 in eight innings before a 3-2 semifinal win over Bishop Ludden.
Moving to Class C-2, Bishop Grimes, unheralded as a no. 7 seed when the sectional tournament began, turned that around with a 6-1 victory at no. 2 seed Cooperstown in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
Then, in the semifinals on Saturday, Grimes won again on the road, this time at no. 3 seed West Canada Valley, where the Cobras beat the Indians 6-3.
West Canada gained a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and it stayed in front for a while, even though the Cobras got a run in the third to pull within one.
All of that changed in the fifth inning, though. Grimes got to the Indians for four runs to move in front for good, Billy Blasland leading the way with three hits, two of them doubles, and three runs scored. Josh Allan had a pair of RBIs as Chris Grassman also drove in a run.
Ryan Martin pitched a complete game. Other than a sixth-inning run, Martin kept West Canada off the board following his first-inning struggles, amassing nine strikeouts while giving up seven hits.
In Monday’s Class C-2 final at Rome’s DeLutis Field, Grimes meets no. 1 seed Fabius-Pompey, who has knocked off Port Byron and Cato-Meridian by a combined 27-5 margin. In two regular-season meetings, the Falcons beat the Cobras by margins of 9-5 and 13-3. The winner plays Little Falls or South Lewis in the overall Class C final.