Disappointing home opener for the Cortland Crush

Cortland Crush’s Stephen Bennett getting ready to hit the ball. (Camilo Fredes/Cortland Voice).

The Cortland Crush suffered two losses during their double-header home opener Saturday against the Mansfield Destroyers.

With the loss, the Crush fall to 1-2 on the season, with their sole victory coming off a 13-8 road win against the Rome Generals on Friday.

Game 1: Recap

Going into the top of the first inning of the first game, the Crush made a double play that brought cheers from the crowd.

Michael Viveiros (Salve Regina University) started at pitching for the first four innings, throwing a total of four strikeouts for the Crush.

The Crush would then come into the bottom of the first and open up the score 1-0, with Brandon Shirley getting an RBI after hitting a single, allowing Bennett to run it home.

It was an ongoing war from there. Mansfield came back in the second with two runs for themselves and Cortland was able to then tie it up 2-2.

By the end of the top of the seventh, Mansfield had a comfortable 9-3 lead, but the Crush were not giving up. They were able to add on four more runs before the game ended in a 9-7 loss.

Fans were still enjoying themselves.

“This is our first year being fans, with our family member, Stephen Bennett, being part of the team,” said Tom Hansen, of Auburn. “Our expectations throughout the season is to watch the players grow, win games and prepare them for their next year of college.”

“We want to finish a successful season and get the kids to develop their game for the upcoming college season,” added Francis Bell.

Cortland Crush players gather after a double-header home opener loss to Mansfield at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex. (Camilo Fredes/Cortland Voice)

Game 2: Recap

Cortland started off the second game on the wrong foot, as Mansfield was able to jump out to a 3-0 early lead in the top of the second inning.

The Crush took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Mansfield charged back in the top of the 7th inning to go up 7-4.

“We just can’t give up,” said Cortland Crush Assistant Coach, Mike Harrington. “When you get punched in the mouth like that, especially at the top of the seventh, giving up the lead, you can’t give up, especially this early in the season.”

Cortland was slowly pulling it off. With them filling up all bases and putting Mansfield’s pitchers on the spot.

In the bottom of the seventh and final inning, the Cortland Crush scored two straight runs off of walks on balls thrown, but Mansfield held off any remaining attackers, securing a 7-6 lead.

“We wanted to come out and compete, not only in the first game, but both games” said Cortland Crush Assistant Coach Tyler Phillips. “Coming off a victory against Rome, we came in with some confidence and really wanted to come out and compete in all 14 innings today.”

“We did a very good job at hitting the ball today,” he added. “We outhit them both games. So we just need to work on some communication things. Pitching is going to get a little better. Everything is going to come along with time.”