Winners of its first six games in 2018, the West Genesee baseball team faced its most important series of the season when it clashed with Baldwinsville, but claimed two of three to boost its confidence for the rest of the spring.
Like the Wildcats, the Bees were undefeated, having started 7-0, and would stay that way after last Monday’s season opener, defending its home field and defeating WG 5-2.
All of the damage was done in the bottom of the second inning. The Bees got to Wildcats starter Brian Hartnett for four runs, chasing him from the mound, and tacked on another run in the fourth against reliever Jack Gordon.
Meanwhile, Jason Savocool again pitched well, striking out nine and limiting WG to six hits, three of them by Chris Bonacci. Matt Kot had two other hits, earning an RBI as Dan Purcell also drove in a run and Dylan Steinman scored.
The second game in Camillus 24 hours later offered the Wildcats a chance to get even – and it did, with a combined one-hitter from Steinman and Ryan Paige, plus clutch hits to help defeat the Bees 4-1.
Steinman surrendered a single infield hit to Cam Williams in the top of the second, after WG went up 1-0 on Nick Chemotti’s triple and Kot’s run-scoring grounder.
Yet Williams turned that into the tying run by stealing second, then stealing third with two outs before a Steinman wild pitch allowed Williams to race home.
With two out in the top of the fifth, back-to-back walks provoked WG to replace Steinman with Paige, but the sophomore coaxed leadoff hitter Matt Mercurio to pop out.
So it was still 1-1 when Bonacci, redeeming himself for getting picked off twice by B’ville left-hander Jack Andres, legged out a leadoff triple and scored on Chemotti’s single. A stolen base and two more run-scoring hits by Timmy Winn and Joe Comins provided a cushion.
Not only was WG confident after this win, it had ace Liam Barry going in Thursday’s series finale, and he was good again, but got plenty of help as the Wildcats shut out B’ville 9-0.
Having left the bases loaded in the first two innings, WG chased Bees starter Jacob Marshall with three runs in the top of the third, two of them driven home on Comins’ double.
Comins returned in the fifth to produce a two-run single as Dan Purcell also drove in a pair of runs during that decisive five-run rally. Meanwhile, Barry allowed five hits and three walks, but struck out seven and kept B’ville off the board.
All of this was preceded by WG’s game with Utica Proctor April 27 where Barry got to the brink of a no-hitter as the Wildcats shut out Utica Proctor 6-0.
Barry was perfect through five innings, and only gave up a walk and error until, with two out in the bottom of the seventh, Robert Conley’s single prevented the no-hitter.
WG went up 4-0 through two innings to give Barry plenty of cushion, and it finished with 16 hits overall. Bonacci had four of those hits as Nick Chemotti, Dan Purcell, Joe Comins, Gavin Leahy and Tyler Kinsey had two hits apiece, with Kot driving in a pair of runs.
Not having a letdown on Saturday, WG cruised past Liverpool 12-3 to move its record to 9-1 overall. In five of the first six innings, the Wildcats scored at least twice, accumulating 13 hits as Brian Hartnett pitched 4 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Purcell was four-for-four, doubling twice and driving in a run. Winn, Chemotti and Tyler Gould each had two hits as Gould’s pair of doubles led to two RBIs. Kot, Comins and Chemotti also drove in runs.
Bishop Ludden broke out of an early-season slide last Tuesday by defeating Tully 7-1, scoring five of those runs in the first two innings to support pitcher Jacob Fink, who in a complete game held the Black Knights to two hits, striking out five.
David House, with two hits and three RBIs, paced the Gaelic Knights at the plate. Tom Westers and Axel Rivera also had two hits, each driving in a run as Pat McGarvey scored three times and Zach Cadderi added an RBI.
The Gaelic Knights made it back-to-back wins on Wednesday by outscoring Fabius-Pompey 11-7, propelled by a six-run second inning, though it needed five more runs over the next four frames to withstand the Falcons’ rally.
Ludden had Rivera, House, Ian Tills and Patrick Towsley get two RBIs apiece, with Steve Anderson also driving in a run. Westers pitched six innings, striking out six before Tills worked the last inning in relief.
This brief win streak ended Thursday as Ludden fell to Weedsport 8-4, the Warriors jumping out in front with four runs in the first inning and using single runs in every inning from the fourth to seventh to withstand the Gaelic Knights’ charge.
Westers and Rivera each had two hits as Rivera, Pat Anson and Jacob Duffy had one RBI apiece. Then Ludden lost, 6-1, to Bishop Grimes on Saturday afternoon to finish its week with a 2-2 mark.