In its six-decade evolution from an intimate gathering to a nationally televised spectacle, the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., has never seen a team based in the Syracuse area grace its diamonds.
Cicero’s 11-12 All-Stars tried to break through that wall, but could not make it past the New York State tournament, contested at North Shore on Long Island.
Playing in last Wednesday’s opening round against Ozone/Howard from New York City, Cicero earned a 5-2 victory, pushed there by Joel Farabee’s terrific all-around effort.
Not only did Farabee pitch a six-inning complete game, he also hit a home run, as did teammate Logan Persse. Jared Lonergan also drove in a run.
From here, Cicero directly advanced to Friday’s semifinal against Stony Point, from Rockland County, just north of New York City, who had beaten North Bellmore/North Berrick 9-6 to get this far.
Even in this situation, Cicero could not afford a slip – but it did so, falling to Stony Point 9-3. Now, to win the title, Cicero would have to beat Colonie (Albany area) on Saturday, and then return to beat Stony Point twice on Sunday in the double-elimination format.
Colonie put an end to Cicero’s title dreams, though, prevailing by a 5-3 margin after a brief rain delay on Saturday afternoon.
During that elimination game, Colonie scored twice in the first inning, added a run in the second and got two more runs in the third inning. Even with Cicero generating some offense in the game’s middle stages, Colonie stretched the margin to 5-1, and Cicero’s comeback attempt fell short.