November 28, 2021

First place Crush salvage weekend split

It was a mixed weekend for the Cortland Crush in a pair of New York Collegiate Baseball League outings.

After the Crush dropped a 10-1 decision at Olean Saturday in a match-up of division leaders, the team snapped their first two-game losing streak of the season behind a 3-for-4 day at the plate by George Haaland that produced a 6-4 Sunday victory over visiting Sherrill at Greg’s Field.

Cortland is 16-6 and enjoys a two-game lead in the Eastern Division over the second place Syracuse Junior Chiefs who were idle Sunday. Sherrill falls to 6-13 in last place in the Eastern Division.

Olean ran its winning streak to 24 games to continue dominating the Western Division standings with Saturday’s win, only to see the streak end Sunday with a 12-3 loss to the Rome Generals. The Oilers are now 25-2.

Olean 10, Cortland 1: Cortland took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Brody Santilli had a lead-off triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Murphy. The Crush enjoyed that lead until Olean scored twice in the bottom of the third inning as the Oilers started to face Crush starter Shae Edmonds (1-1) the second time.

Olean began pulling away in the fourth inning with five more runs. In all, Olean pounded out 17 hits including five doubles, one triple and one home run to help Aaron Phillips notch his fifth win of the season and went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, home run and four RBIs. David Yanni was 4-for-5 with a double and one RBI.

Murphy went 2-for-3 as the Crush managed just five hits in the loss.

Cortland 6, Sherrill 4: Cortland took advantage of two hit batters and four hits in the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead Sunday.

The highlight of that early rally was Santilli (2-for-3) who was hit by a pitch, stole second and went to third on a single by Paul Ludden (2-for-4). With one out, Santilli noticed Silversmith catcher Phillips Jasak was lobbing the ball back to pitcher Zach Durant so he took off and stole home for the first run while Greg Mula was at the plate. The other two runners moved up on stolen bases later and a throwing error plated Ludden as Murphy went to third. Andrew Taft stroked a two-out double and Haaland scored him on a single for the 4-0 cushion.

The Crush added two insurance runs on RBI singles. The first by Haaland in the third which would be the game-winner and the second from Santilli in the sixth. Santilli finished the day with three stolen bases.

Starting pitcher Dylan Leahy improved to 3-0 on the season with five innings of work. He allowed five hits, two runs (one earned) with two walks and four strikeouts. Cody Shelton pitched the sixth, seventh and eight innings allowing two unearned runs as the Silversmiths did close to within 6-4. Shelton allowed three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.

William Ginsberg got the save with a ninth inning that saw outstanding plays made by the Crush infield securing the victory.

Zach Durant took the loss to fall to 1-4. Mackey Willams led the Silversmiths with his 2-for-3 bat and Christian Aybar was 2-for-4.

Cortland will travel to Rome tonight for a 7:05 p.m. game before heading to Sherrill Tuesday for a 5 p.m. clash with the Silversmiths. The Crush return to Greg’s Field Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game with the Syracuse Salt Cats. This is the only home game the rest of the week for Cortland.