UTICA — A light, misty rain fell at the start of Lyme’s sectional baseball game on Saturday afternoon.
Yet ultimately, the Indians couldn’t weather the storm on the field early on and beyond, which proved costly.
Morrisville-Eaton scored five runs over the first two innings, with four of them unearned, and went to beat Lyme 7-2 in a Section 3 Class D semifinal at Donovan Stadium at Murnane Field.
The top-seeded Indians, who committed six errors, including four over the first two innings, finished their season at 17-3.
“I made a few mistakes myself, it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect,” said Lyme starting pitcher Mike Flyzik, who received the loss, his first of the season in five decisions. “Sure it was a tough one, but that’s baseball.”
Lyme was bidding to reach a sectional title game for the second time in three seasons.
“I’m a little bit disappointed, but we went 17-3 on the season, there’s nothing to be disappointed about that,” Flyzik, a senior, said.
The Indians played in a Section 3 final back in 2019, but squandered the opportunity by committing several errors in a 4-3 loss to McGraw.
“It was the same start as two years ago when the rain hit and it paused and started again, it was a bad feeling from the start,” Lyme coach Rob Goutremout said. “Déjà vu again. You can’t have more errors than you have hits, that happened, I think, and we had a lot of errors today.”
Sophomore Evan Stewart pitched four innings of shutout ball to earn the win for fourth-seeded Morrisville-Eaton (15-3), and senior Nick Brady tossed three innings of relief to finish off the victory.
“Evan did exactly what he had to do,” Morrisville-Eaton coach Coby Merkle said. “He knew that he was not going to overpower anybody. But they’re going to put the ball in play, he had trust in his defense and that’s what mattered. The defense came through for him.”
Stewart outdueled Flyzik, who allowed five runs, with only one of them earned, in four innings, while striking out seven and walking only one.
“He was tough, but he was hittable,” Flyzik said of Stewart. “But the ball had eyes today and that was unfortunate.”
The Warriors jumped on Flyzik by scoring twice in the first inning as catcher James Dapson tripled with one out and Evan Baker followed with an RBI single to left field. Dapson later scored as Cale Mariano reached on an outfield error for a 2-0 lead.
Things got worse for Lyme in the top of the second with three errors in the frame as the first two Morrisville-Eaton batters reached on miscues. After Lincoln Dapson scored on a wild pitch, Jesse Soden came home when Baker reached on a fielder’s choice and Brady followed with a two-out RBI single for a 5-0 advantage.
“He pitched OK, but we had to make plays behind him,” Goutremout said of Flyzik, who will attend St. Lawrence University in the fall. “Quite a few of those out in the outfield should have been caught. So when that happens, it adds pitches, it gets in his head, he does things he might not normally do. So we have to make plays behind him and we didn’t do that in the first two innings.”
The Indians’ first inning epitomized their day at the plate as their first four batters reached on hits, but they still came away empty. Leadoff batter Evan Froelich singled, but was picked off first base on a throw from Dapson, to set the tone early.
Lyme left 10 runners on base, including stranding three in the first inning and two more in the second.
“The first two innings were pretty rough,” Goutremout said. “You can look back and say we could have done things different all the way around. We had bases loaded a couple times; we left a lot of kids on base. We were hitting the ball, but they made plays and we didn’t and that’s the difference in the game.”
The Warriors led 6-0 in the fourth inning as Soden reached on a bunt single and scored with two outs when James Dapson reached on a fielder’s choice.
Lyme finally broke through by scoring twice in the fifth inning as Derrike Goutremout reached on an error and Flyzik singled. Matt Kimball followed with an RBI single and Alex Radley walked with the bases loaded to plate the second run.
But the Indians left three runners on base in the inning and one more in the sixth before being retired in order in the seventh.
“It was just a rough start for us on both sides,” said Lyme senior Derrike Goutremout, who will attend Utica College in the fall. “We tried to come back, we’re a good hitting team, we just couldn’t get it done today.”
Froelich, a sophomore, relieved Flyzik in the fifth inning and allowed one run, striking out nine, as he struck out the side in the fifth and seventh innings, while walking one.
Morrisville-Eaton advances to the Class D title game where it will play second-seeded Oriskany at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Onondaga Community College.
“It’s a great win,” Merkle said. “We played exactly how way we needed to, we made plays when it mattered, we got on them early like we wanted to and just put the ball in play. We took advantage of errors, we just kept the energy up all game, which is exactly what we wanted to do all the time.”
The Indians, who have won the past two “D” Division titles in the Frontier League, reached Saturday’s semifinal with a 3-2 home victory against Hamilton on Thursday.
While this was the final game for Lyme’s four seniors — Flyzik, Goutremout, Kimball and Dominick Sanford — it was also the finale for Rob Goutremout, who is stepping down after eight seasons as head coach.
“I told them I’m proud of each and every one of them,” Rob Goutremout said. “We didn’t give up, our teams in the past never gave up and we never gave up, they were positive all the way through. It was a tough way to end it, though.”
SANDY CREEK-PULASKI POSTPONED
Sandy Creek’s Section 3 Class C semifinal game against Pulaski on Saturday at Onondaga CC in Syracuse was postponed due to rain and wet grounds.
The game was rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. today at the same site. The winner advances to the Class C championship game Wednesday.