July 16, 2016
Crush adds to lead by routing Junior Chiefs
SYRACUSE — The Cortland Crush solidified their hold on the top spot in the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s Eastern Division Friday night with an 8-1 road win over the second-place Syracuse Junior Chiefs at Onondaga Community College.
Four pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter as the Crush improved to 24-12 on the season, four games ahead of the Junior Chiefs.
Cortland’s magic number to clinch the division is five, and it needs one more win — or a loss by the fourth-place Rome Generals — to wrap up a playoff berth. Rome visits Greg’s Field for a doubleheader today starting at 3 p.m., and returns on Sunday for a single game starting at 3 p.m.
Starter Dylan Crossley (2-1) got the win Friday night, allowing three hits and an earned run with six strikeouts over six innings. Tom Taplin (one hit, two strikeouts), Clayton Jeffries and Matthew McCuen (two strikeouts) each threw an inning of scoreless relief.
Junior Chiefs starter Deaven Phillips took the loss despite giving up only four hits and three runs — none of them earned — over five innings with six strikeouts.
The Crush opened the scoring with a run in the second inning. Derek Martin led off with a walk and went to second one out later as Andrew Taft was hit by a pitch. He went to third as Ethan Moore hit into a fielder’s choice and scored on a subsequent error.
Cortland added two more runs in the third. Luke Gilbert reached on an error to lead things off, went to second on a passed ball before Broderick Santilli walked and advanced to third as Paul Ludden walked to load the bases. The next two batters struck out before Greg Mula singled to bring Gilbert and Santilli home.
The Junior Chiefs scored their only run in the sixth as Nicholas Roy led off with a double and eventually scored on a double by Joe DeLuca. Both teams had threats go by the boards in the seventh, the Crush loading the bases with two outs before a strikeout and Anthony Seminaris cracking a one-out triple before Taplin fanned the next two batters to strand him at third.
Andrew Taft was hit by a pitch to lead off the Cortland eighth and went to third on a double by Moore before scoring on a squeeze bunt by Anthony Searles. Moore went to third on the play and scored on a single by Gilbert to give the visitors a 5-1 lead.
Cortland closed out the scoring with three more runs in the ninth. David Murphy and Mula singled and both scored on a triple by George Haaland, who then came home on a wild pitch to close out the scoring.
Gilbert went 3-for-5 on the night with an RBI and a run while Murphy went 2-for-4 and scored once, Moore (two doubles, run) and Mula (RBI, run) both swinging 2-for-5 bats. Roy went 2-for-3 with a double and a run for Syracuse.
The night’s other Eastern Division games saw the Syracuse Salts Cats and Rome split a doubleheader. Rome won the first game 1-0 and Syracuse took the second game 5-1, the Salt Cats now 20-18 and four games up on Rome (16-22) for third place and the final playoff spot
In Western Division games, Olean, which has already clinched the regular-season crown, improved to 35-5 by drubbing second-place Wellsville 17-6 and Genesee romped past third-place Hornell 12-3. The Dodgers (19-20) are still five and a half games ahead of Genesee (13-25) for third place and just a game and a half behind Wellsville (20-18).
After this weekend’s gams with Rome, the Crush hosts the Salt Cats at 6 p.m. Monday on Greg’s Field.
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