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Crush rally falls short in loss to Rome

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

The Cortland Crush's Dylan Ott hits a single in the first inning Tuesday against the Rome Generals.

The Cortland Crush used a late game-rally to bring themselves within striking distance Tuesday night, but came up short in a 12-8 New York Collegiate Baseball League loss to the Rome Generals on Wallace Field.

The game started in unusual fashion when Crush starting pitcher Jake Kinney didn’t allow any hits in the top of the first but gave up two runs on two hit-by-pitches and three walks.

In the second the Gens had a strong offensive inning, pushing across four runs. Caleb Kerbs led the frame off with a walk, followed by a Christian Aybar single that put Kerbs in scoring position. Each runners moved up a base on a Joseph Castellanos sacrifice hit and the bases were loaded one batter later on a walk to Devin Springfield.

Jameson Carey brought a run across with an RBI single into right center field. An errant throw from Crush centerfielder Charles Edwards allowed both Kerbs and Aybar to come home. Over the next two at-bats, reliever Chris Munro tossed two wild pitches that brought Springfield and Carey home and widen the gap to 6-0.

The Crush trailed 7-0 in the bottom of the third after a Kerbs RBI single before getting the offense going. Josh Reuter reached second off a throwing error. Reuter took third on a groundout by Edwards and came around to score on a Tyler Schmidt sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, Reuter scored again for Cortland after leading off the inning with a triple and coming home on a double from Schmidt to cut the lead to 7-2. Rome responded with a five-run sixth to make the margin too wide to overcome. Five straight singles were allowed by Crush pitcher Ryan Hammond, all five hits to center field. Three of the five hits pushed across runs, RBIs going to Castellanos, Springfield and Carmine Giordano. Branden Hance came in to relieve Hammond, and two more sacrifice flies brought across two more runs and made the lead 12-2 over Cortland.

The Crush had a strong response, scoring six runs over the following two innings.

After Joe Tevlin was walked in the bottom of the sixth, Tyler Ault came in as a pinch runner and scored off another sac fly from Kyle Bouchard. Jimmy Murray followed that with an infield single that brought home Alex Flock.

In the seventh, both David White and Ethan Moore banged home runs, resulting in three more runs for the Crush. With the deficit down to 12-7, Justin Valentino singled and Flock was hit by a pitch. Valentino was caught stealing third, but a throwing error on a grounder by Murray brought Flock home for the game’s final run.

The Crush, who had a 12-8 advantage in hits, are now 2-4 on the season against the Generals, who have won the last four games between the teams.

Springfield, Carey and Aybar all had multi-hit games against the Crush. Aybar went 3-5, Springfield went 2-3 with three runs and two walks and Carey went 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

The Crush rode hot performances from Dylan Ott and Flock. Ott went 2-3 and is still the top hitetr in the league (.429) and Flock went 3-3 with two runs scored.

The Crush now enjoy the three-day NYCBL All-Star Break before a Saturday road matchup with the Sherrill Silversmiths at 1 p.m., followed by a Sunday road game with the Syracuse Salt Cats at 7 p.m.