Apr 22, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
About the only thing that’s gone wrong for the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team is ill-timed bad weather, which postponed two different attempts at a showdown between the Northstars and defending Section III Class AA champion Baldwinsville.
Just before it was first scheduled to go to B’ville last Tuesday, the Northstars again showed off its offensive prowess in last Monday’s game against Rome Free Academy, where it got to double digits in the first inning of a 15-0 shutout over the Black Knights.
It took a while to play the bottom of the first. Nearly batting twice around, C-NS did not let up until 11 runs had crossed the plate, Four more would follow in the second and fourth innings, giving the Northstars 64 runs in its three wins to start the season.
Eric Hamilton produced three of C-NS’s 14 hits, earning four RBIs and scoring twice. Paul Vinciguerra doubled, scored three runs and earned an RBI as Mike Mento, Paul Ludden, Vince Mallaro, Jake McArdell, Brandon Kapcinski and Owen Dziados drove in one run apiece.
All of this provided ample support for sophomore pitcher Stephen Theetge, who didn’t take his big lead for granted, striking out 12 in six innings of work while allowing just five hits.
And after the B’ville game got rained out, C-NS was idle until Thursday, when it passed its first real test of the spring by rallying late to beat West Genesee 4-3.
The Wildcats, who entered the game with a 2-1 mark, got to Austin Frawley for a pair of runs in the third inning and another run in the fourth, so the Northstars trailed 3-1.
Frawley settled down and worked until the sixth, only surrendering three hits. Then he got help when C-NS, having outlasted Wildcats starter Seamus Barry (he exited in the fifth), scored a pair of runs to tie it on Joe Bodnar’s clutch single.
Then, with two out in the bottom of the seventh and the winning run in scoring position, Ludden stepped up against WG reliever Evan Reichel (who had started the day before and shut out Central Square 7-0) and drilled the decisive hit, only the fourth for C-NS all day.
The timing of Friday’s rain caused a second postponement of the Northstars’ showdown with B’ville, but it cleared out in time for Saturday and a non-league game against Rochester McQuaid, where C-NS prevailed 5-2 to make it five wins in a row.
Ironically, McQuaid had played B’ville earlier in the day and won, 3-2, so C-NS knew it faced a real challenge, and promptly fell behind 1-0 in the first inning. But it scored twice in the bottom of the second and tacked on single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to build a winning margin.
C.J. Szczesny pitched four innings, allowing four hits, before Jesse Farabee took over in the fifth and held McQuaid without a hit the rest of the way, striking out three. At the plate, McArdell and Dziados each drove in two runs, with Hamilton adding an RBI. Ludden managed two hits, matching McArdell and Dziados, and scored twice.
As this went on, Liverpool’s early-season struggles continued as it fell, 6-1, to Fayetteville-Manlius.
Don Pauldine’s RBI single in the bottom of the third scored Mike Pauldine and tied the game, 1-1, but the Hornets used two runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to pull in front for good.
Nick Claver pitched five innings and took the loss, with Luke Gilbert seeing a relief stint. Pauldine was the only Warrior to pick up two hits, with Dom Pirro adding a double. And the Warriors didn’t help itself on the defensive side, committing five errors as the Hornets went error-free.
Friday’s wild weather not only postponed the rescheduled C-NS-Baldwinsville game, it also wiped out Liverpool’s trip to Utica Proctor.
The Warriors would have a pivotal week ahead, not only going to Gillette Field to face C-NS, but also hosting B’ville before a Friday meeting with Syracuse West. And right after it plays Liverpool, C-NS would try, for a third time, to get in that long-awaited game with B’ville on Thursday afternoon.
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