Apr 23, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Going into the April school break, the West Genesee baseball team was 2-2, looking for a series of wins to build some early-season confidence. And it would prevail twice — though it nearly proved to be better.
In the middle of this was Wednesday’s trip to Falcon Park to face Auburn, a team the Wildcats tied, 3-3, in a game called due to darkness on April 6.
The rematch 15 days later proved equally thrilling — and even more frustrating, as a late lead got away and WG lost in nine innings by a score of 8-7.
Things really began to stir in the fourth inning. Trailing 2-1, WG tagged Auburn ace Steve Komanecky for three runs. A fifth-inning exchange followed, and when the Wildcats got two more runs in the top of the seventh, it led 7-3 and appeared to be safe.
Auburn thought otherwise, stunning the Wildcats by rallying for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it, including a call so disputed that head coach Kevin Krause got ejected. Mike Ferlenda’s two-run double was the key blow.
Shaken, WG managed to get through the eighth inning. But with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Kris Catino laced a single off Shawn Schiltz that allowed Brian Roe to race home with the winning run.
Schiltz, appearing in relief after Turner Parry and Tyler Carr, took the loss. Erik Krohl produced a double and two RBIs as Eric Spencer tripled and drove in two runs. Carr also had a triple as he, along with Greg Wadach and Justin Capella, earned single RBIs. Erik Krohl got a double.
Now the Wildcats had to regroup for Thursday’s game with Baldwinsville, a team that had started 4-1 before notching back-to-back losses to Rome Free Academy and Utica Proctor.
Here, WG nearly made things worse, but recovered at the last moment to edge past the Bees by that same 8-7 margin.
The Wildcats touched up B’ville pitcher Eric Riley for single runs in the third and fourth innings, then knocked him out with a five-run outburst in the fifth, capped when Capella got a two-run single off reliever Terry Engels.
B’ville, down 7-0, didn’t panic, instead answering with three runs with the fifth and four more runs in the sixth to forge a 7-7 tie. Freshman Gabe Levanti had two run-scoring hits, including the game-tying single in the sixth.
Facing another painful defeat, WG put two runners on base in the top of the seventh, then watched Capella (a .500 hitter so far this year) drill a single up the middle, bringing home the go-ahead run.
Spencer entered to get the final three outs. He allowed a one-out single to Dan Dubiel, but with the dangerous Bo Watson on deck, Spencer coaxed Connor Martin into a game-ending double play.
Up against Henninger to start the week, the Wildcats mostly relied on one big inning to beat the Black Knights in a 9-5 decision.
Henninger actually held a 2-1 lead when, in the bottom of the second inning, WG caught fire. It batted around against Black Knights pitcher Jeremy Mathers and didn’t stop until it had six runs and a permanent advantage.
Carr, with two RBIs, led the charge as Spencer, Wadach,
Capella and Josh Phillips each drove in one run. Henninger had more hits — eight, to WG’s six — but Spencer constantly escaped jams, pitching his way to the victory as Tom Anthony pitched in relief.
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