The Cortland Crush bounced back from a first-game whipping to earn a New York Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader split with the visiting Rome Generals Thursday.
The Generals, who were the home team, put up five runs in each of the first two innings en route to a 14-6 romp in the nine-inning opener on Greg’s Field, a makeup from a rainout earlier in the season.
The Crush were the home team in the seven-inning second game and rebounded for a 7-2 win.
The Generals banged out 19 hits in the opener and got off to a fast start as Marcus Begg hit a three-run home run and Peter Pena cracked a two-run dinger in the first inning. The visitors scored five more runs in the second before Cortland did all of its scoring in the third without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of five walks and four hit batters.
Patrick Messinger was hit by a pitch and later scored the first run as Derek Martin drew a bases-loaded walk. Evan Moore then walked to bring home the second run before three batters in a row — Greg Mula, Andrew Taft and Messinger (for the second time in the inning) were all plunked by Generals starter Nick Porretto to score runs. Joey Assenza then coaxed a bases-loaded walk to finish out the hosts’ scoring.
Sean Trenholm went 4-for-4 with a double, triple, two RBIs and three runs scored for Rome while Pena was 3-for-4 with a double, homer, three RBIs and a run. Begg (triple, homer, five RBIs, three runs) and James Parks (RBI, two runs) both went 3-for-5; Ricky Sisto (double, RBI) and Sergio Osorio (two runs) both went 2-for-4 and Marc DiLeo went 2-for-5 and scored two runs.
Porretto, who got the win, and a pair of relievers limited Cortland to four hits, Greg Mula going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run for the hosts. Crush starter Tom Cockill took the loss.
It was Cortland’s turn to score early in the nightcap as Broderick Santilli led off the bottom of the first with a walk and later scored on a wild pitch before an RBI single by David Murphy made it 2-0. Rome equalized in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Fay and a run-scoring single by Osorio.
The eventual winning run came home in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Mula. Martin slammed a solo home run in to lead off the fifth and singled home another run in the sixth before Paul Ludden’s two-run single finished the scoring.
T.J. Wegmann went 2-for-2 with a run for the Crush, who totaled 11 hits in the contest. Martin (homer, two RBIs, run), Ludden (two RBIs) and Murphy (RBI) all went 2-for-4. Tommy Seaver, the third Cortland pitcher in the game, earned the win, holding the Generals scoreless with one hit over 3 1/3 innings. Martin came in from right field to close things out, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings to earn the save.
No one had more than one hit for Rome.
The split kept the Crush, now 20-9 atop the Eastern Division, three games ahead of the idle second-place Syracuse Junior Chiefs (18-13). The Generals are now 13-17.
The Syracuse Salt Cats beat Sherrill 8-6 in another Eastern Division game while in the Western Division Hornell downed Rochester 8-3 and Wellsville walloped Genesee 18-5.
Cortland was slated to host the Salt Cats at 6 p.m. today on Greg’s Field before the same two teams meet Friday at Onondaga CC, the first pitch slated for 7 p.m. The Crush then visits Genesee Saturday and the Junior Chiefs Sunday, both games starting at 7 p.m.