May 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Once their head-to-head regular-season showdown was behind them, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool baseball teams went after other opponents – mostly with successful results.
In particular, the Northstars faced a tough slate that began in earnest last Thursday when it hosted perennial Class AA contender Utica Proctor – and used a combination of timely hits and mistakes from the other side to beat the Raiders 12-4.
They were tied, 3-3, through three innings, though it nearly was more. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Riley Moonan hit a shot just inside the fence that, instead of a grand slam, was ruled a ground-rule double.
That hardly mattered, though, as CNS broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, all with two outs. Brian Hamilton brought in two of those runs with a ground-rule double, and as a whole the Northstars benefited from Proctor committing six errors.
As for CNS pitcher Kyano Cummings, he didn’t get much help, either, as his teammates made four errors. But he improved as the game went on, finishing with 11 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Just before that, the Northstars went to DeLutis Field and flattened Rome Free Academy 18-1. CNS achieved at least one run in all seven innings on its way to 17 hits in support of pitcher James Coleman, who struck out eight.
Jake Farabee scored four times and finished with two RBIs. Riley Moonan singled, doubled, tripled, scored twice and drove in two runs as Mark Centolella went three-for-three with three RBIs. Corey Burrows also drove in three runs, with Eric Hamilton and Geige Dziados earning two RBIs apiece.
All this led to Saturday’s John Ilacqua Jr. Memorial Tournament, a three-game round-robin that proved memorable in all kinds of ways.
It started with CNS dropping a 6-4, 10-inning decision to Fayetteville-Manlius, a team it had beat 3-1 a month earlier. And it looked like the same would happen here when ace Joe Pokrentowski retired 16 batters in a row and the Northstars scored twice in the bottom of the sixth.
F-M got to Pokrentowski, though, in the top of the seventh, loading the bases (aided by an intentional walk) and bringing them all home on Louis Testone’s two-run single, augmented by a pair of errors, that put the Hornets ahead 4-2.
One out from defeat in the bottom of the seventh, CNS loaded the bases for Mark Sherlock, whose slow grounder led to a bad throw – and two runs scored, tying it 4-4 and sending it to extra frames.
It stayed tied until the 10th, when lp*Coleman, in relief of Pokrentowski, surrendered a pair of runs on Mike Perry’s double and Jeremy Mapstone’s successful squeeze bunt, and this time the Northstars could not answer.
Yet even that was conventional compared to what happened in the nightcap, when CNS somehow rallied to beat Class A power Bishop Ludden 17-13.
For a long while, it looked like the Gaelic Knights, who beat F-M 11-1 earlier in the day, would romp here, too, taking a 13-1 lead into the fifth inning. And even though CNS scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, Ludden was in total control.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth, CNS erupted. Going twice around the order, the Northstars battered three Ludden pitchers and didn’t stop until 14 runs had crossed the plate, Burrows supplying the biggest blow with a grand slam.
Moonan, who scored three runs (as did Brian Hamilton), and Eric Hamilton had three RBIs apiece, while Mark Centolella drove in two runs.
Liverpool’s immediate aftermath of the CNS game featured nothing close to the wild adventures the Northstars went through, but it kept on winning anyway.
The Warriors first recorded an 11-5 win over Henninger. The game was close until the Warriors, up 2-1, scored five times in the top of the fourth inning.
Alex Caruso had three of Liverpool’s 12 hits, but the real story was the Warriors’ power. Five different players – Tyler Bliss, Mike Parsons, Pat Wright, Tyler Lamb and Corbin Gapski – hit home runs, with Lamb earning a team-best three RBIs. Jordan Leedom pitched six innings to earn the win, striking out four.
Two days later, the Warriors went to Falcon Park and blanked Auburn 7-0, a far cry from the loss the Warriors took to the Maroons in last year’s Section III Class AA final.
All of Liverpool’s runs came in the first two innings, including a five-run second as Shawn Peake doubled and finished with four RBIs. Andrew Schreyack added three hits and two RBIs as, on the mound, Caruso went six innings, holding Auburn to three hits and striking out eight before Ryan Contegni closed it out.
The Warriors’ perfect week culminated in Saturday’s 13-4 win over RFA. Steadily, Liverpool built a 6-1 lead, and then used a seven-run outburst in the top of the fifth to put it away.
Wright again dominated at the plate with a double, triple and four RBIs. Parsons doubled and drove in three runs as Caruso and Peake each had two RBis. Parsons pitched four innings and earned the win, with Wright taking over late in relief.