With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Dylan Ketch gathered himself in the batter’s box.
Down 4-3 with two outs against the Syracuse Salt Cats, the Salve Regina sophomore made hard contact with a Johnny Croley ball that flew into left-centerfield. After hanging in the air, the ball fell into the waiting glove of leftfielder Brandon Cornelius, halting the Crush’s win streak at six and dropping their record to 12-6 in the first Crush game played at SUNY Cortland’s Wallace Field Tuesday in New York Collegiate Baseball League action.
Both teams got off to quick starts offensively. The Salt Cats opened the scoring in the top of the second when Alexander Ferlanda tapped a ball was picked up by Crush pitcher Will Ginsberg, who overthrew first base, allowing Ferlanda to move all the way to third.
The next batter, Colton Eremian, hit an RBI single that put the Cats in the lead 1-0.
The Crush responded with a walk and double surrendered to Charles Edwards and Kyle Bouchard to lead off the bottom of the inning. Two batters later, Josh Reuter hit a single into shallow centerfield that brought home Edwards and tied the game up 1-1.
In the top of the third, Ginsberg had trouble containing Syracuse’s powerful hitters, allowing singles to both Adam Holland and Darian Blanks. After Cornelius was walked to load the bases with one out, Ferlanda hit a deep sacrifice fly that brought home Holland. Following that, Ginsberg walked both Eremian and Matthew Nerz, awarding another run through a walk with the bases loaded.
The Cats added to their lead in the top of the fifth, when Shannon Baker came home on a wild pitch to give Syracuse the two-run advantage.
The Crush chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the inning when Alex Flock was walked and advanced to third on an Edwards single. During the next at-bat, Flock stole home on a double steal while a throw was made to Edwards at second base, cutting the lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, two walks and a hit by pitch given up by Croley loaded the bases. A wild pitch gave pinch runner Anthony May the pathway home, trimming the deficit to 4-3.
That would be all the Crush could muster, however, as the flyout from Ketch sealed the deal and kept the Salt Cats undefeated on the year against Cortland.
Syracuse totaled 10 hits as a team, led by Shannon Baker, who had a 3-for-5 night. Both Blanks and Holland also had two hits.
The Crush only totaled four hits as a team to go along with one RBI.
Cortland heads on the road to take on the Sherrill Silversmiths at 5 p.m. today. The Crush will host the Silversmiths at Wallace Field Thursday at 5 p.m.