October 18, 2021

Big innings key as Crush wins again

SYRACUSE — The Cortland Crush made it a club-record 10 New York Collegiate Baseball League wins in a row Tuesday night with a 12-4 romp over the host Syracuse Salt Cats at Onondaga CC.

The Crush, now 10-1 atop the league’s Eastern Division, broke open a 1-1 game with four runs in the fourth inning, all with two outs, and five more in the fifth. Catcher Anthony Searles singled with two outs in the fourth and stole second before designated hitter George Haaland was hit by a pitch. Centerfielder Luke Gilbert then walked to load the bases before first baseman Andrew Taft cracked a three-run triple. Second baseman Greg Mula then singled to score Taft before being retired at second on a fielder’s choice.

Cortland third baseman Paul Ludden walked to lead off the fifth, which chased Salt Cats starter Joseph Cominsky in favor of reliever Sean Pisik. Shortstop David Murphy then singled before rightfielder Derek Martin plated both runners with a triple. After holding on an infield single by Searles, Martin came home on a wild pitch. walks to Gilbert and Mula sandwiched around a single by Taft loaded the bases before a leftfielder Broderick Santilli walked to score Gilbert and Ludden was hit by a pitch to bring Taft home.

Each team had scored a run in the first. Santilli doubled to lead off the game and, after Ludden singled him to third, scored on a double steal. Salt Cats shortstop James Thomas singled with one out in the home half of the first. After first baseman Dustin Clark and third baseman Adam Thoryk both walked to load the bases, centerfielder Matthew Hardy’s sacrifice fly scored Thomas.

The Salt Cats made it 10-2 in the sixth as Josh Anselmi led of with a single and later scored on a wild pitch by Crush starter Tom Cockill. After a walk loaded the bases, Tommy Seaver relieved Cockill and struck out the next two batters to end the inning. With Tyler Saundry on the mound in place of Seaver to start the eighth for the visitors, Syracuse’s Johnny Knight IV reached on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored on a groundout to make it a 10-3 game.

The Crush closed out its scoring in the top of the ninth. Third baseman Patrick Messinger singled home Tom Taplin, who pinch-ran after centerfielder Joey Assenza was hit by a pitch, and Martin singled to score Taft, who had previously singled. In the bottom of the inning, the Salt Cats leftfielder Brandon Cornelius singled and scored on a double by rightfielder Chris McGee.

Taft went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored for the crush, while Martin went 3-for-6 with the triple, three RBIs and a run and Searles went 2-for-5 with a run. Cockill was the winning pitcher, improving to 2-0 after allowing seven hits and two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts.

Joshua Rodriguez went 2-for-2 for the Salt Cats, starter Sean Pisik taking the loss.

The same two teams were to play again tonight at OCC starting at 7 p.m. before the Crush hosts the Syracuse Junior Chiefs Thursday in a 6 p.m. start on Greg’s Field for Cortland Regional Medical Center Night.

Elsewhere in the NYCBL on Tuesday, the Junior Chiefs moved into second place in the Eastern Division at 7-5 as they hammered the Sherrill Silversmiths 18-5; the defending champion Olean Oilers walloped the Wellsville Nitros 10-1 for their league-record 14th straight win and are now 15-1 on the season and in first place in the Western Division, and the Rochester Ridgemen were 4-2 winners over the Genesee Rapids.