Editor's Note: This article was written by Skyler Lebron for the Cortland Crush.
After overcoming a two run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cortland Crush couldn't spark any more runs, falling in 11 innings to the Syracuse Spartans, 11-10.
The Spartans came out of the gates with explosive bats, with Edison Mercado and Jay Perry both slamming home runs out of Wallace Field in the top of the first.
While Perry's was a solo shot, Mercado's came after Cyrus Senior hit a single and Julian Gutierrez worked a walk, making it a three-run homer that put the Spartans up 4-0 by the end of the inning.
Cortland refused to lie down early, bringing across three scores. Joseph Tevlin and Tyler Schmidt slapped singles in the top of the inning and David White opened up Cortland's scoring with a sacrifice fly. Joe Aseenza had another sacrifice hit to bring a run across but reached safely on a throwing error on Spartan second baseman Rocco Leone.
One more sacrifice bunt from Josh Reuter that brought Charles Edwards home brought the Crush within one run.
Cortland took the lead in the bottom of the third inning when Dylan Ott advanced to second on a single and stolen base. Tevlin smacked his second hit on the day that got Ott 90 feet to the bag, and the UW-Oshkosh junior tied the game up after stealing home.
David White lofted a single to bring Tevlin across and take the early 5-4 lead.
In the fifth, the Spartans had another four-run inning, batting around the entire order in the process.
Cortland starting hurler Tyler Howard allowed three straight base hits before being relieved by Brett Wilkes with the bases loaded.
Wilkes allowed a walk that tied the game to Chris Schad and a base hit to Jay Perry that brought two more home. Finally, a sacrifice fly from Bradley Dietz closed the scoring on the inning and gave Syracuse a healthy 8-5 advantage.
Cortland slowly chipped away at that lead, starting in the fifth when Edwards knocked in an RBI single that brought the lead to 8-6.
Two more came across in the seventh when Dylan Ketch and Ott raced home on a catching error from the Spartan outfield off the bat of Tevlin.
However, the Spartans had a reply to every Crush score. Mercado put Syracuse up 9-8 with an RBI single that scored Cyrus Senior. Then, Mercado set up a decoy, getting caught between first and second to distract the defense from Leone and bring him home.
Trying to force extra innings, the Crush led off the ninth with a single by Ketch. Ott followed that with a bunt, which was grabbed by the third baseman Britton Lawrence and misfired to first, rolling into foul territory long enough for Ketch to get home, bringing Cortland within one run.
After that, Tevlin hit yet another RBI single to bring Ott home and tie the game up.
While both teams fought hard in the two extra periods, Chris Schad generated the game-winning run with a solo home run in the top of the 11th, taking the final lead, 11-10.
The Crush had a solid hitting night, totaling 15 hits. Dylan Ketch, Dylan Ott and Joseph Tevlin all had three-hit nights, with Tevlin also earning two RBI.
The Spartans had slightly less hits with 13, but also had three home runs. Edison Mercado led the way with a 4-5 night with four RBI.
The Crush take on the Sherrill Silvermsmiths on the road Wednesday at 5 p.m. before taking on the Syracuse Salt Cats at Wallace Field Thursday at 5 p.m.