Offense has been the staple for the Cortland Crush in 2019, but the team couldn’t find any Tuesday against the Syracuse Salt Cats.
The Crush were limited to just four hits, falling 1-0 to the Salt Cats in a nail biter.
Cortland (3-6-1) had its chances late in the ball game, putting runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth inning, but couldn’t capitalize.
“It’s a defensive game, you’ve got to keep your head in the game at all costs,” said second baseman, Anthony Cieszko. “We had four hits on the day, that’s not going to create much offensive production.”
Crush starter Dylan Fashempour had a strong day on the mound. After giving up three hits and a run in the first inning, the Crush starter was almost unhittable the remainder of the game.
Fashempour allowed only one base hit over the next five innings and allowed only two base runners.
In total, Fashempour went six full innings. Allowing one run on four hits, while recording eight strikeouts and walking only two.
His strong performance on the mound kept the Crush in the game, along with the relief pitching of Gregg Scherrer.
Scherrer, a high school senior, pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth; striking out a pair of batters and allowing only one hit.
It was Scherrer’s first outing of the season.
“I really just tried to keep it (coming in with it being a one run game) out of my mind, just go out there and pitch, play my game,” Scherrer said.
Cortland had multiple chances in the later innings to tie the game or take the lead.
In the seventh, Garret Callaghan and Cieszko strung together a pair of two-out singles. The first two hits of the game since the first inning for the Crush.
However, Cortland couldn’t do anything with the base runners.
The best chance for the Crush came up in the bottom of the eighth. After Jack Lynch was hit by a pitch to lead off the innings.
Alex Flock then slapped a single to center field, allowing Lynch to get the third. Flock got to second on the throw to the infield, putting a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs.
Cortland squandered the opportunity though. The Crush were unable to push either runner home, and left Lynch and Flock stranded.
The Crush went three up, three down in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
“Pitchers did a really nice job of keeping it to a low score,” said Cieszko. “Offense wasn’t there today but we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
The Crush have a quick turnaround, as the team will hosts the Olean Oilers in a doubleheader today.
First pitch is at 1 pm, with game two scheduled for 3 pm.