EAST SYRACUSE — The Cortland Purple Tigers completed their gauntlet of four games in five days with an emphatic 21-2 skunking of the East Syracuse-Minoa Spartans Friday at ES-M.
With the win, the Purple Tigers finished the grueling stretch at 4-0, improved to 8-0 on the season and qualified for the NYSPHSAA Section III tournament.
“(Qualifying for sectionals) was a goal of ours, and I can’t believe we did it in eight games,” Purple Tigers coach Ben Albright said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
First baseman Tyler Blake, whom the Purple Tigers had been hoping to get going offensively all season, broke out in a big way by going 5-for-5 with a double, home run, walk, five runs and six RBI.
Blake said the reason he hadn’t been getting as many good swings as he would have liked to this point was having to get used to the slower pitches he was facing.
“I’m trying not to drop my shoulder as much,” Blake said. “I’ve been trying to wait back, but every time I drop my shoulder. Tonight I just kept through the baseball.”
After Blake homered to right center in the fifth, he had two opportunities to complete a cycle with a triple. Despite the Purple Tiger dugout’s anticipation for the potential historic moment, he was walked on four pitches in the sixth and hit a 3-1 pitch to right for a single in the seventh.
Adam Minnard also had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk, hit by pitch, three runs and two RBI. Caden Albright went 4-for-5 with a stolen base, two runs and three RBI. Max Gambitta went 4-for-6 with a double, two runs and one RBI.
Joel Carr got the win, pitching six innings and scattering seven hits. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with three walks and four runs.
The Purple Tigers scored in every inning but the seventh, scoring five runs in each of the first, fifth and sixth innings and two more in each of the second, third and fourth. Handing Carr a five-run cushion before he threw his first pitch seemed like a good omen, but Carr struggled through the bottom of the first. He threw 29 pitches, only 14 of which were strikes, and allowed three walks, two hits and two runs.
After all the slugfests the Purple Tigers had played this season, including a 15-10 marathon win over ES-M Thursday, there was fear in the visitors’ dugout that this would be the same song, different verse.
But Carr settled down and allowed no more runs and just five more hits over his next five innings, striking out five batters along the way, and the offense kept padding the lead so he could keep throwing strikes.
“We made a few miscues,” Albright said. “I think we could have been a little cleaner to help Joel out early, and that was a little worrisome. But Joel settled in nicely and kept getting guys off balance.We talked about getting down the hill. It’s a different mound than we’re used to. He did a nice job making the adjustment and we settled in. Offensively, gosh, what a great day for everybody, and that really helps a pitcher out.”
The Purple Tigers are off until Wednesday when they visit Central Square.
Moravia 2, Marathon 1
Moravia spoiled a complete game three-hitter with 15 strikeouts by Marathon starter Ian Gacek by scoring two runs in the top of the seventh to steal the victory.
The Olympians are back in action Wednesday when they visit Groton.
McGraw 18, Madison 17
The Eagles soared out of a 14-4 fourth-inning hole to stun Madison for the eight-inning home victory.
The Eagles scored one run in the fourth, one in the fifth and eight in the sixth to tie the game. After falling behind again, 17-16, in the top of the eighth, Hannah Wilson stole home to tie the game, then Ella Fish singled home Emily Fish to complete the comeback.
Madison will have their chance for revenge Monday when the teams face off again, this time at Madison.
Jordan-Elbridge 12, Homer 3
Catherine Apker and Abby Villnave both went 2-for-3, with Apker picking up a double, run and RBI and Villnave hitting a double and solo home run.
The Trojans are in the midst of a stretch of seven games in eight days, which includes the Mudville Tournament today in Herkimer with games against South Lewis and Waverly.
Brookfield 11, DeRuyter 10
The Rockets were down 11-4 with six outs to go, but clawed back with three runs in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh before their comeback fell just short.
DeRuyter 201, McGraw 262
Lane Adams (33) and Garrett Wood (39) led a strong outing by the Rockets, who were all at 48 or better.
Homer 5, Pulaski 0
The Trojans improved to 4-0 and did not drop a game across their five matches.