Strong at the start, and just as strong at the conclusion of the regular season, the Baldwinsville baseball team emerged as champions of the Salt City Athletic Conference Metro division.
The title got clinched in last Friday’s doubleheader against Fayetteville-Manlius, where the Bees earned a sweep and allowed just a single run in those two games.
B’ville had to win both games against F-M to finish 9-3 in league play, one game ahead of Cicero-North Syracuse (8-4 league), who had swept Liverpool to put pressure on the Bees.
In a 5-1 decision, the Hornets actually went in front in the first inning as Isaac Blanford drove home Mitch Seabury, but from there Jack Andres blanked F-M, only allowing three hits overall while accumulating nine strikeouts.
Patient at the plate, B’ville broke through against Peter Miller with four runs in the bottom of the third and added a run in the sixth. Matt Mercurio had two hits as he, along with Jason Savocool, Jacob Marshall and Lucas Robinson, earned RBIs.
The Bees didn’t even let F-M get on the board in the second game, a 7-0 decision where Marshall got the pitching nod and, over six innings, limited the Hornets to four hits before Savocool worked the last inning in relief.
Savocool did far more damage at the plate, earning three hits and four RBIs as B’ville used two runs in the first inning and three more in the third to take charge. Pat May also had an RBI as Frank Levanti and Nate Ray each scored twice, Ray and Mercurio getting two hits apiece.
Before this, a particular test for B’ville came last Monday against Rochester McQuaid (Section V), who led early and pushed the Bees to nine innings before the hosts, with two different comebacks, squeezed out a 5-4 victory over the Knights.
B’ville surrendered three runs in the top of the first inning, answering with a run in the bottom of the first and then, with single tallies in the third and sixth inning, pulling back even, 3-3.
It stayed that way until the eighth, when McQuaid seized a 4-3 lead, only to again have B’ville answer, tying it 4-4 and then, in the bottom of the ninth, getting the winning run.
Andres pitched quite well after his rough start, going seven innings before relief stints from Nate Johns, Matt Starczewski and Chris Dwyer.
Marshall had two RBIs, with Savocool and Cam Williams getting two hits apiece. Andres and Michael Carni drove in single runs as Williams got an RBI and scored twice.
The league title translated into a top seed for B’ville in the Section III Class AA playoffs. In the quarterfinals, it would face no. 8 seed F-M or no. 9 seed Central Square, with the winner getting to the semifinals at Onondaga Community College against no. 4 seed Utica Proctor or no. 5 seed Auburn.