RAIDERS RULE IN THE RAIN-BEAT WHITESBORO 10-3 AT STOP DWI TOURNEY
JON NAPOLI MONSTER ENERGY DRINK PLAYER OF THE GAME
Photos: Jeff Robinson
If you know anything about pressure, you know that too much can cause a pipe to burst. On a windy, rainy day at Murnane Field in Utica, hence the water reference, the Utica Proctor Raiders (3-4) kept the pressure on early and often to pull away for a 10-3 win over the Whitesboro Warriors (2-6), in a highly anticipated matchup at the Oneida County Stop DWI Baseball Classic.
Proctor, a Class AA school, resides in the CNYCL National, where they constantly tangle with the likes of Baldwinsville, CNS and Liverpool.
Coach Dave Guido has built a program based on one thing only, winning. Their opponent on Saturday was the Whitesboro Warriors, another of the top baseball programs in Central New York.
The Warriors are a Class A team and live and die in the always tough Tri-Valley League.
New head coach Tom Maggiolino is looking to build on the legacy that is Whitesboro Warrior baseball.
With that said, we got to enjoy these two perennial powers go at it in this tournament test.
The starting nod for Proctor went to Jon Napoli and for Whitesboro the assignment went to southpaw Jared Muraca, a junior.
A gritty performance, especially when you consider the batting order that Whitesboro can throw at you.
Catcher Dan Cecilia entered the fray sporting a batting average of .409, Adam Broski .385, Mike Bunal .333 and senior Adam Pexton .304.
With the way Napoli handled this lineup you can see why Jon was awarded the Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game award.
Like the previous three games that were played in the Classic, the winning team put together a big inning to help pull away for the win.
Proctor put up a five spot up on the board at Donovan Stadium, sending 9 men to the plate to give the Warriors a lot to think about.
This, after Muraca had cruised through the first inning by setting down the Raiders 1-2-3.
Muraca struck out lead off hitter Nick Wilsey and then induced short stop Tyler DeMarco and catcher Jordan Treen to ground out to slick fielding second basemen Adam Pexton.
The next at bat would not be so kind for the blue and white. In Whitesboro’s first ups Adam Pexton flied out to center and then sophomore Michael Jardieu caught the Raiders napping when he laid down a perfect bunt up the third base line, that stopped dead in its tracks in the wet grass.
That brought Mike Bunal to the plate, who hit into an inning ending double play, as Bunal drilled one to Tyler DeMarco who started the the twin kill.
Connor Passalacqua doubled with one out in the visitors half of the second inning, but did not advance, as Napoli got Devin Lebuis to ground out to short and then struck out Brent Sloma to end the inning.
You can turn away now Whitesboro fans. Proctor’s Lawrence Ellliot took one for the team, as he was hit by a pitch, and just like that the Raiders were on the run.
The plate started to move around a bit for starter Jared Muraca, as he walked Nick Bruzzese and Rocco Grande to load the bases.
Matt Haddad broke the ice, when he lined a single to the right side, to pick up the first of two runs batted in on the day, scoring Elliot and the Raiders were up 1-0.
Nick Wilsey got in to the act, as he drove in a pair of runs with a two RBI single, as Bruzzese and Grande raced home with runs 3 and 4.
Before the damage was done, Haddad and Wilsey scored with two outs when a pitch by Muraca sailed past catcher Dan Cecilia allowing the pair to race home, as the Raiders ended the inning leading 5-0.
If you know anything about the Whitesboro Warriors, you know that they would take umbrage to to the five run outburst by the Raiders.
They did just that, as they got right back in it, scoring two runs of their own in the top of inning three. Jordan Crossley came on in relief for Whitesboro.
Sophomore Justin White singled with one out and then Adam Pexton worked out a walk to put the Warriors in business.
White went with the pitch and ripped one to the right side. The second hit of the game for the Warriors.
Micheal Jardieu picked up an RBI, as White scored when he reached on a fielders choice.
Speaking of an RBI, Mike Bunal picked one up when he grounded sharply to third and chased Adam Pexton home with run number two for Whitesboro.
The Raiders now led (5-2).
Problem is, just as fast as Whitesboro lit up the scoreboard, Proctor did the same in the home half, plating three more runs to start to break this one open.
Matt Haddad worked out a walk and later scored his second run of the game, the sixth for the Raiders.
Tyler DeMarco and Jordan Treen both singled and scored runs number 7 and 8 for the home team.
Tyler DeMarco and Lawrence Elliot scored their third runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth, as the Raiders added all the insurance they would need to put this one in the win column.
Mike Saporito was responsible for their trip to the plate as he singled, his second of the game, to go along with his two runs batted in.
The Raiders get back at it on Tuesday when they travel to Oswego and Whitesboro looks to get back in the win column when they take on the VVS Red Devils also on Tuesday.
Proctor 10 Whitesboro 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Whitesboro 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 4 5
Proctor 0 5 0 3 0 2 X 10 9 5