CHITTENANGO — Jed Brazo pitched a complete-game five-hitter with 12 strikeouts, and the Homer Trojans offense came alive for five runs in the top of the fifth to come away with a 7-1 victory over the Chittenango Bears Tuesday at Bolivar Road Elementary.
The Bears had no answer for Brazo’s curveball, which he used to own the inside part of the plate and get eight of his strikeouts looking.
“I throw a combination of fastballs, curveballs and cutters, and today I was really mixing it up,” Brazo said. “My catcher, Richard (Lambrecht), did a good job of calling pitches back there, and Coach (Tim) Whalen did a good job as well. If I threw that curveball on the inside corner, they were kind of ducking out of the batter’s box.”
After Chittenango starter Maddox Garvey got through the first three innings allowing just one hit and facing the minimum number of batters, the Trojans offense woke up as Jake Atkins and Michael Grant collected back-to-back singles with one out. Garvey then struck out Lambrecht, but on a 1-2 count, Mitchell Earle smacked a single to right field, plating Atkins.
The Trojans would end up leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, but they were not done. Brazo struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth, then his offense returned the favor by sending nine batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, scoring five runs.
Small ball pushed across the first run of the inning, as Joey Case singled to lead off the inning, then Ian Gilbert reached on an error after attempting to sacrifice him over to second. Brazo stepped to the plate and laid down another bunt, beat it out for a single, and an overthrow by Garvey allowed Case to score, while Brazo and Gilbert advanced to second and third.
After an Atkins sacrifice fly plated Gilbert, Grant singled home Brazo and Lambrecht reached on an error, setting the stage for Earle.
He ripped the first pitch he saw over the right fielder’s head and all the way to the fence, resulting in a two-run triple that put the Trojans up 6-1.
“These guys do a great job of talking in the dugout, and Coach Whalen does a good job analyzing,” Trojans coach Robert Nasiatka said.
“We stayed completely off the high pitch after the third inning. We’ve been playing small ball for about 15 years, and we laid down some sacrifice bunts that turned into errors and turned into baserunners.”
Atkins scored the last Trojans run in the top of the seventh after drawing a leadoff walk and eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
The Trojans are now 3-2, with all their games on the road thus far. They finally get to play in front of their home crowd Thursday when they face Chittenango again.
It has been a challenging start to the season with games against Skaneateles, Phoenix, Solvay and Westhill, but all things considered, the Trojans have weathered the storm fairly well.
“I told these guys to keep their confidence, and they have,” Nasiatka said. “We need a little home cooking, and it’s going to be really nice to play at home on Thursday, where you can just go out and hit the cage. We’ve got some guys who are struggling, so we’ll hit the cage and do the things we need to do and we’ll be ready. We’ve got a tough stretch coming up, but our confidence is building… We laid an egg for two innings against Skaneateles, and since then we’ve played some really good ball.”
Waverly 7, Dryden 4
Waverly used a four-run bottom of the fifth to break a 3-3 tie and sink the Lions.
Mitch Shipman went 3-for-3 with a triple, RBI and run and Ryan Wiser went 1-for-2 with two walks and two RBI.
Homer 24, Solvay 13
Cat Apker went 3-for-4 with four runs and five RBI, including a grand slam in the bottom of the third.
After Solvay closed the gap to 9-7 in the fifth, the Trojans took advantage of seven hits and five Solvay errors to score 11 runs.
Cece Rappleyea went 3-for-5 with a triple, three runs and five RBI. Abby Villnave went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Morgan Brown went 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.
The Trojans visit Cazenovia today before a home-and-home with Phoenix Thursday and Friday.
DeRuyter 22, Madison 10
The Rockets scored in every inning, including eight runs in the top of the second. They visit McGraw Thursday.
Homer 17, Lafayette 3
The Trojans got out to a 12-0 halftime lead as they cruised to victory.
Kloey Roos had seven goals and three assists, Camryn Calabro had a hat trick and an assist, and Katlyn Sovocool had two goals and five assists.
Lafayette 17, Homer 7
Jake Calabro had three goals and two assists, but the Trojans had no answer for Lafayette’s Jameson Bucktooth (10 goals, three assists).
Marathon 204, Moravia 220
The Olympians improved to 4-3 and qualified for Sectionals.
Braeden Morrison was the top performer with a 48.