If there was any degree of comfort that the West Genesee baseball team felt after taking two of three in its first-place showdown with Baldwinsville on April 30-May 3, Cicero-North Syracuse took that away.
Riding its own five-game win streak, the Northstars opened its series with the Wildcats last Monday at the Gillette Road complex by using a big third inning to turn things around, handing WG a 9-3 defeat.
All looked fine when the Wildcats got a run in the second and extended its lead to 3-0 an inning later on Timmy Winn’s two-run double. But Dylan Steinman got roughed up in the bottom of the third, C-NS earning five runs, three of them racing home on D’ante Zapanta’s bases-clearing double.
Try as it could, WG could not answer it against Northstars pitcher Mason White, who in a complete-game effort got eight strikeouts and limited the Wildcats to seven hits. C-NS then broke it open with four runs off Ryan Paige in the bottom of the sixth as Joe Mallaro matched Zapanta’s three-RBI total.
The second game in Camillus 24 hours later allowed Liam Barry a chance to dazzle again.
In less than 90 minutes, Barry put away the Northstars 2-0, taking less than five seconds between pitches at times as he limited C-NS to four hits and walked two while striking out nine.
All the offense the Wildcats needed came in the bottom of the second. Winn singled, and Purcell’s double to the gap allowed Winn to race home, the throw allowing Purcell to reach third and then score on Tyler Gould’s bloop single.
From there, C-NS left-hander Joe DeGroot kept WG off the board, waiting for offensive help that never arrived as the Wildcats evened the series and awaited the third game Thursday at Gillette.
In the meantime, WG faced Liverpool on Wednesday afternoon and, unlike their May 5 meeting, got humbled in an 8-1 defeat to the Warriors.
Nick Chemotti’s RBI single in the bottom of the third gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead, but Liverpool pitcher Nick Harder, with last-inning relief help from Gerard Mouton, didn’t allow anything more as Harder struck out six and limited WG to six hits.
Liverpool took the lead with two runs in the fourth off James Randall, added a run in the third and got away with a five-run seventh as Mike DeStefano (three hits) and Jake Wheeler (three RBIs) did most of the damage.
A day later, in the series finale against C-NS at Gillette, two big blows cost the Wildcats in a 5-2 defeat.
For four innings, the two pitchers – WG’s Brian Hartnett and C-NS’s Justin DelVecchio – kept it 0-0 before the Wildcats struck for a run in the top of the fifth.
This didn’t faze the Northstars, who got to Hartnett for three runs in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on two more in the sixth, the big blows coming from Jared Lonergan’s two-run home run and Mallaro’s two-run triple.
DelVecchio managed to get the complete game, despite giving up 11 hits to the Wildcats, three each by Gould and Bonacci as Kot added two hits and earned an RBI.
Jordan-Elbridge won last Monday at Cazenovia, prevailing 6-2 as Jordan Osborne (five innings) and Zach Fabrize (two innings) gave up just two hits between them, striking out 10.
Osborne, Fabrize and Geoff Lippa had two hits apiece. Alex Pond and Sean Dristle added hits as Lippa also walked twice and got two RBIs. Matt Sheldon, Jon Lakota and Ryan Rivenburg each had one RBI.
J-E then met Skaneateles on Thursday, losing 14-4 to the Lakers, who scored in every inning except the third. Osborne and Lakota got credit for RBIs, but the Eagles only had four hits overall.
The Eagles then took a 4-3 defeat to Hannibal on Friday, the key blows coming when the Warriors hit for three runs in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie.
A pair of J-E runs in the fourth closed the gap, but the Eagles could not catch up as Osborne (who pitched four innings) had two hits, with Lippa, Tyler Waldron and C.J. Green getting one RBI apiece.
Bishop Ludden saw its struggles continue last Tuesday as it fell 13-2 to Pulaski, managing just single runs in the second and seventh innings.
Michael Gaughan and Jacob Duffy got one RBI apiece for the Gaelic Knights. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils had 15 hits, three each by Ryan Morrisssette, Darren Hunter and Steve Monnat as Monnat and Walter Novak each drove in three runs.