July 9, 2016
Crush conquer Salt Cats ... again
SYRACUSE — Another quick start helped the Cortland Crush extend their New York Collegiate Baseball League dominance over the Syracuse Salt Cats Friday night.
One night removed from a seven-run first inning on Greg’s Field in an 11-4 win over the visitors from the north on Thursday, the Crush put up three runs in the first inning Friday, added two each in the second and third and cruised to a 10-4 win at Onondaga Community College over the same Syracuse club.
Cortland has beaten the Salt Cats in six of the teams’ seven meetings this season.
The Crush improved to 22-9 on the season and are now atop the league’s Eastern Division standings by four games after the second-place Syracuse Junior Chiefs lost 11-5 at Sherrill Friday to fall to 19-14. The Salt Cats are in third place at 16-16.
Cortland’s Joey Assenza and Luke Gilbert both drew walks off Syracuse starter and loser Thomas Burke (1-2) to lead off the game before Derek Martin doubled them both home. Broderick Santilli then walked and, after a double steal, Burke walked George Haaland to load the bases and issued a pass to Patrick Messinger that brought Martin home. All told, Cortland sent nine men to the plate in the frame and scored its three runs on one hit and five walks.
Assenza led off the second with another walk and scored on a triple by Gilbert, who came home two outs later when Burke uncorked a wild pitch. George Haaland reached base on a dropped third strike with one out in the third before Messinger singled, an error on the play putting runners on second and third. Haaland scored on a squeeze bunt to Paul Ludden, who reached base on another error as Messinger went to third. At that point Kyle Boarman came on in relief of Burke and, after Ludden stole second, Assenza singled to score Messinger and make it 7-0.
Gilbert cracked his second triple of the game with one out in the sixth and came home on a groundout by David Murphy to up the visitors’ advantage to 8-0. Crush starter Cody Shelton, meanwhile, threw two hitless and scoreless innings with two strikeouts before Shae Edmonds relieved him, earning the win to up his record to 2-1 by keeping Syracuse off the scoreboard for five innings on five hits with six strikeouts.
The Salt Cats finally broke through with four runs in the eighth off relievers Andrew Cartier and Clayton Jeffries. The first two runs scored on errors before Adam Thoryk had an RBI single and James Thomas closed things out with a sacrifice fly.
Gilbert was hit by a pitch to lead by Matthew Colon, the fifth Salt Cats pitcher on the night, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by David Murphy, who was thrown out trying for a double. Martin then tripled and scored seconds later on a single by T.J. Wegmann to close out the scoring.
Gilbert went 2-for-3 on the night with the two triples, an RBI and four runs scored while Martin was 2-for-5 with a double, triple, two RBIs and two runs. Anthony Galanoudis (run) and Shannon Baker (double) both went 2-for-4 for the Salt Cats.
The Crush are on the road for the next week, visiting the Genesee Rapids today and the Junior Chiefs Sunday in 7 p.m. starts. After an off day Monday, Cortland travels to Sherrill Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game against the Silversmiths and visits Rome Wednesday for a doubleheader against the Generals starting at 1 p.m. The league’s all-star game takes place Thursday at Onondaga CC starting at 7 p.m. After visiting the Junior Chiefs Friday at 7 p.m., the Crush returns home a week from today against Rome in a 3 p.m. start.
In NYCBL Western Division games Friday Olean, which clinched the divisional title Thursday night, improved to 31-4 with a 7-5 win over Rochester while Wellsville trounced Genesee 14-6.
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