January 20, 2022

Crush have seven stars

SYRACUSE — A total of seven players from the Cortland Crush have been named to the Eastern Division squad for Thursday’s New York Collegiate League All-Star Game at Onondaga Community College.

Representing the division’s first-place squad will be outfielders Derek Martin and Broderick Santilli, infielders David Murphy and George Haaland (also a designated hitter) and pitchers Steve Witkowski, Dylan Leahy and Jake Kinney.

Martin is currently sixth in the league in hitting with a .366 average and is tied for fourth in home runs with six. He leads the Crush in doubles with 10 and RBIs with 36, and is tied for the team lead in triples with three.

Santilli is is hitting .286 with three doubles, two triples and 13 RBIs. Murphy is batting .319 with seven doubles, four homers and 35 RBIs and Haaland carries a .256 average with six doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs.

Witkowski is 3-0 so far this season with a 1.74 ERA — third-best in the league — along with a save and 25 strikeouts in 31 innings, in which he has allowed 26 hits. Leahy is 3-1 with a 4.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 27 innings with 17 strikeouts and 26 hits allowed. Kinney has a save and has pitched nine scoreless innings this season, giving up two hits with 17 strikeouts.

The Eastern Division squad, which will be managed by the Syracuse Junior Chiefs’ Nate Martin, also includes pitchers Joseph DiTorrice II, Matthew Sandoval and Jimmy Skiff, catcher Joe DeLuca, infielder Webb Little and outfielders Nicholas Roy and Anthony Seminaris from the Junior Chiefs; pitchers Matthew Colon and Sean Pisik, catcher Shannon Baker, infielder Josh Rodriguez and outfielder Anthony Galanoudis from the Syracuse Salt Cats; pitchers Richard Edwards and Colby Smith, infielders Ricky Sisto and Marc DiLeo and outfielders Ryan Quinn and Sean Trenholm from the Rome Generals and, from the Sherrill Silversmiths, pitcher Alexander Varaska, infielders Ryan Coulon, Skyler Mercado and Dylan Pounds and outfielder Mike Villa.

Bobby Bell, the manager of the defending league champion Olean Oilers, will lead the Western Division squad, which includes a league-record 14 players from his own team. That list includes pitchers Austin Bizzle, Kaden Darrow, Shawn Dubin, Billy Griffin, David Lyskawa, Aaron Phillips and Adam Rigney, catcher Alex Griffith, infielders David Hollins, Cole Peterson and David Yanni and outfielder Samuel Kysor.

Also on the Western Division squad are catcher Jacob Sims and infielders Max Franzone, Harry Montero Jr. and Jacob Means from the Wellsville Nitros; catcher Tyler Burns, infielders Dylan May and John Ricotta and outfielders Connor Brandon, Adam Fitzgibbon and Mike Wick from the Hornell Dodgers; pitchers Wesley Brown and Breton LaRose, infielder Judah Wollenburg and outfielder Mark McKenna from the Genesee Rapids and pitchers Reagan Lucia and Luke Chevalier, infielder Ethan Luna and outfielder Joe Done from the Rochester Ridgemen.

The two-day All-Star event, hosted by the Salt Cats, gets underway Wednesday with the league’s first-ever Little League camp. The rest of the events — the annual All-Star luncheon, Major League Baseball scout day (skills competition), Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game — take place on Thursday.
The Little League Camp, for players 10-12 years old, will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday. With a fee involved, the event will give registrants the opportunity to receive individualized instruction from NYCBL players.

On Thursday, events get underway with the All-Star luncheon at OCC for all-star players, coaches, league personnel and media. The Skills Competition, coordinated by Major League Baseball, will have players take part in a 60-yard dash, infield/outfield components and a batting practice session. MLB scouts will evaluate these events, as well as catchers and bullpen work.

The Home Run Derby will begin at 6 p.m., with each hitter getting 10 swings or two and a half minutes, whichever comes first. The top performers will move on to the next round. The first pitch for the All-Star Game itself is slated for 7 p.m.


CRUSH HELPED: The first-place Crush gained ground on second-place Junior Chiefs without playing Monday night. The Junior Chiefs are now 21-15, three and a half games behind the Crush (23-10) after falling to the third-place Salt Cats 8-4. Rome beat Sherrill 8-4 in the night’s other Eastern Division game.

In the Western Division, Wellsville shaded Olean 6-5, handing the Oilers just their fifth loss in 38 games, while Hornell edged Rochester 5-4.