July 28, 2016
Junior Chiefs humble Crush in 18-4 romp
Joe McIntyre staff photographer
Cortland Crush shortstop David Murphy (8) throws to first for an out in the first inning against the Syracuse Junior Chiefs Wednesday at Greg’s Field.
It was a tough opening night in the New York Collegiate Baseball League Eastern Division Championship Series as the Cortland Crush struggled from the get-go.
The Eastern Division regular season champs had early pitching and fielding woes, while the Syracuse Junior Chiefs bats were hot. That resulted in a lopsided 18-4 victory for the second seeded visitors over the Crush to get this best-of-three series underway Wednesday night at Greg’s Field.
Cortland (29-18) will fight to stay alive in game two this evening at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, with first pitch slated for seven o’clock. If game three is needed, it will take place Friday back at Greg’s Field starting at 6 p.m.
The Syracuse Junior Chiefs (28-20) scored five runs in the top of the first inning as four hits, two walks by Crush starting pitcher Stephan Witkowski and an error contributed to that damage.
Joe DeLuca’s RBI single started the Junior Chiefs’ scoring. With bases loads, a Zach Smith single and an outfield error helped clear the bases for a 4-0 advantage. Nicholas Roy followed with an RBI double, but he was thrown out at third base trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Cortland got a run back in the bottom of that opening inning when David Murphy singled home Paul Ludden, but then the roof caved in when the second inning rolled around.
A single, a hit batter and two-run double by Webb Little to start the top of the inning ended starter Witkowski’s day, as the right-hander from UMass-Boston suffered his first mound loss of the season.
Clayton Jeffries came on in relief and struck out Sam Little, but a dropped third strike allowed him to reach base. After a walk, Conner Lafferty singled home two runs and a Smith single pushed the Syracuse lead to 10-0.
The Crush appeared to be out of the inning with two quick outs, but the third out would have to wait a while. A walk to John Militano, who made his second plate appearance of the inning, loaded the bases again and Anthony Seminaris drew a walk to force in the 11th run.
That ended Jeffries’ mound stint and Tommy Seaver took over. Webb Little greeted him with his second two-run double of the inning for a 13-0 Syracuse lead. Seaver got a ground ball for the final out of the inning, but the damage had been done.
Seaver was a bright spot as he went four and one-third innings, scattering seven hits and only allowed one run until the seventh inning. That’s when the right-hander surrendered three more runs, but only two of those were earned.
Pitcher Tommy Hyland worked the remainder of the seventh inning and into the eighth before Danny Hayden went the remainder of the game for the Crush.
Matt Sandoval went four and two-third innings as the Syracuse starter, allowing just one run. Sandoval gave up three hits, with six walks and six strikeouts, and pushed his pitch count to 103 so he couldn’t get the final out of the fifth inning to pick up the win. That honor went to Brian Markowski who pitched the next three and one-third innings, also allowing just a sixth inning run on Ludden’s RBI double.
Seminaris hit a lead-off home run in the top of the eighth inning, followed by a bases loaded walk to give the Junior Chiefs their final two runs.
Joe DiNizio came on the pitch in the bottom of the ninth for the visitors. A lead-off walk, fielder’s choice and two bloop singles loaded the bases. Andrew Taft got an RBI single with one out and Brody Santilli drew a bases-loaded walk that forced in a run with two outs to complete the Crush scoring.
DiNizio got a strikeout to end the game.
Olean 22, Hornell 6: Olean left little doubt who is the power team in the NYCBL as the Western Division regular season champs and defending NYCBL champion Oilers collected their 40th win of the season with a 22-6 rout of Hornell (22-26) in game one of the division championship best-of-three series. Game two is scheduled for tonight in Hornell at 7 p.m.
Aaron Phillips (7-0) went five innings for the Oilers as he allowed just four hits and two unearned runs before being relieved.
The Oilers led 6-0 after two innings, but scored three runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings before scoring four runs in the seventh to open up a 22-2 cushion.
David Hollins led the 19-hit Olean attack. Hollins was 3-for-4 with two doubles, five RBIs and four runs scored. Phillips helped his own cause going 3-for-5 with a double, triple, four RBIs and two ruins scored. Six Oiler batters added two hits each in the rout.
Tyler Burns paced the Hornell offense by going 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Adam Fitzgibbon added a 3-for-4 bat with a double and two RBIs.
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