The following is a republished press release…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at email@example.com. (Above: photo by Scott Thomas)
CORTLAND, N.Y. — Things are tightening up at the top of the Eastern Division.
A walk off suicide squeeze scored the winning run for the Cortland Crush in the tenth inning as the second-place Crush moved to within one game of the first-place Syracuse Salt Cats with a 3-2 win in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Beaudry Park on Monday night.
Luke Gilbert suicide squeeze to win it! pic.twitter.com/qQ4Wj9KDeD
— Cortland Crush (@crushball) July 21, 2015
Salt Cats closer Matthew Colon (Cumberland County College) worked his team out of a jam in the ninth by coming in and striking out the side, then he struck out another to start the tenth, but singles by Sean Getman (SUNY Cortland) and Hank Pellicciotti (Binghamton) were followed by Nicholas Panissidi (Neumann) getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.
The Crush then put the suicide squeeze in motion, with Luke Gilbert (SUNY Brockport) dropping the bunt, and pinch runner Terrell Barringer (Lincoln) crossing the plate as a winning run.
The Crush piled on Gilbert down the first base line to celebrate taking three of four on the weekend from the Salt Cats.
The game started as a tense duel between the starting pitchers.
Cortland’s Chris Rupprecht (Neumann) lasted seven innings giving up two earned runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one.
“He stepped up to the plate big time,” Crush manager Bill McConnell said. “We asked him to give us seven innings, two runs or less, and he did exactly that.”
Syracuse’s Cameron Jack (Mt. Hood CC) lasted six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits, striking out two and walking one.
“He’s a tremendous college pitcher,” Salt Cats manager Mike Martinez said. “He went as deep as he could go, we played well behind him.”
All runs scored in regulation came in the seventh inning.
Lucas Tevlin (Binghamton) started the top half with a double, and he was knocked home by Adam Thoryk (Alma) on an RBI single to make it 1-0 Syracuse.
Thoryk became the second Salt Cats run when he was knocked in on a Julian Bilodeau (Palm Beach Atlantic) RBI double.
The Crush responded in the bottom frame, with Matthew Alberino (Northland) advancing to first on an error to get things started.
The pinch-hitting Panissidi knocked him in on an RBI triple.
Gilbert then singled him home to tie the game and bring an end to the day for Jack on the mound.
Kyle Kuhr (Siena Heights) kept the Crush scoreless through two innings of relief.
The Crush got one and two thirds innings of scoreless relief from Joseph Jones (Maryville), and one and one third scoreless from Adam Holowienka (Neumann).
Holowienka picked up the win, while Colon was charged with the loss.
Julian Gallup (Niagara), Zephan Kash (Mansfield), and Wesley Burghardt (SUNY Brockport) each got two hits for Cortland, with one of Burghardt’s hits being a double.
Gilbert went 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Tevlin and Bilodeau each had two doubles on the day for Syracuse.
Tevlin also added a noteworthy defensive play in the bottom of the sixth.Kash was on first with no outs, and William George Haaland (Trinity) hit a sharp grounder up the middle.Tevlin dove for the ball and retrieved it, flipping it to Tim Hunter (Tyler JC) at second to prevent Kash from reaching scoring position.
Both teams now have a day off before they start their final series of the regular season on Wednesday.
The Crush (26-17) will start a three game series against the Oneonta Outlaws on the road at Damaschke Field.
The Salt Cats (27-16) will finish their season with three games at Onondaga Community College against the Jr. Chiefs, the first two as the home team, and the last one as the away team.