In recent years, the Westhill and Solvay baseball teams have waged some memorable battles, each of them making Section III Class B and regional championship runs.
Their latest neighborhood duel took place last Monday afternoon, and the Warriors controlled it, both with its bats and with the stellar pitching of John Geer as it shut out the Bearcats 10-0.
Geer was dominant on the mound, holding Solvay to two hits, one each by Jordan Goldman and Blaine Franklin, plus three walks, while striking out six in his complete-game effort.
Westhill tagged Solvay starter Mason Sands for single runs in the first two innings and then notched five runs in the top of the fourth to force the Bearcats to use its bullpen, with stints from Josh Florczyk and Justin Rutkowski.
Ben Coates, in particular, stood out, going four-for-four with a home run, double, two singles, three runs scored and four RBIs. Philip Zollo had two hits and drove in a pair of runs as Andrew O’Connor also got two RBIs. Geer doubled and drove in a run.
Three days later, Westhill beat another local neighbor, topping Marcellus 8-3 in a game where the Mustangs got a pair of first-inning runs, but saw the Warriors catch up an inning later and then score three times in the fourth and sixth to take charge.
O’Connor, with three hits and three RBIs, led Westhill as Nate King held Marcellus to four hits in his complete-game pitching effort. Matt Spicer, Ben McFall and Ryan Pierce each drove in a run for Marcellus.
Yet with a chance to gain its biggest win so far Friday at Skaneateles, the Warriors could not pull it off, taking a 5-1 defeat to the Lakers.
Skaneateles struck for all of its runs in the first two innings against O’Connor. That was enough for Lakers ace Cregg Scherrer, who tossed six scoreless innings as the Warriors could not take advantage of several chances to catch up.
Westhill loaded the bases in the sixth, but King lined out as shortstop Josh McCabe made a leaping grab. Then, in the seventh, with the bases loaded against reliever Kenny Peterson and two outs, Coates singled home a run, but Scherrer, now in center field, threw out the possible second run to end the game.
After meeting each other, Westhill and Solvay both won on Wednesday, with the Warriors topping Mexico 9-4 and the Bearcats getting past Jordan-Elbridge 9-1.
Solvay scored in each of the first six innings against J-E, with Antonio Gonzalez’s pair of hits leading to three RBIs as Robby Clark doubled and drove in two runs.
Combined, Gonzalez (four innings) and Rutkowski (three innings) allowed 10 hits – three by Zach Fabrize, two each by Sean Dristle, C.J. Green and Keegan Ferris – but kept the Eagles off the board until Tyler Waldron drove home Geoff Lippa in the sixth.
Westhill actually trailed Mexico 1-0 before a four-run fourth inning sent the Warriors on its way, the cause aided by five Tigers errors. Zollo and Ryan Bennett each scored twice as Coates struck out 11 in his five-inning mound stint.
Marcellus also had a good start to its week, going to Chittenango and jumping all over the Bears with five runs in the first inning and three more runs in the second, cruising to a 10-3 victory.
Spicer doubled, tripled and drove in two runs, with McFall adding two RBIs. Mike Licamele also drove in two runs as Max McAullif scored three times. In 5 2/3 innings on the mound, Ben Beratta held the Bears to five hits and struck out eight.
But with a chance to get a signature win on Wednesday against visiting Christian Brothers Academy, the Mustangs could not hold on as it fell 12-10 to the Brothers.
With six runs in the bottom of the second, Marcellus moved out in front, but CBA rallied, moving within 9-8 before the Mustangs scored again in the sixth to double the margin.
That didn’t hold, either, as with four runs in the top of the seventh the Brothers moved ahead for good, negating an 11-hit Mustangs effort where Spicer doubled twice and scored three runs, with Aidan Shea getting three RBIs and Jacob Walters scoring twice.
Marcellus closed out its week on Saturday with an 8-5 defeat to Bishop Grimes, its record falling to 7-7 overall.
Solvay had played May 6 against Bishop Grimes, prevailing 7-1 over the Cobras on the strength of a two-run second inning and a five-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth
In the Bearcats 5-0 defeat to Homer on Thursday, only Clark and Owen Lansing got hits against pitcher Casey Hayes, who got all the help he needed when the Trojans struck for four runs in the fourth off Mason Sands.