Crush handle Salt Cats in 11-5 win

(Scott Thomas/Cortland Crush).

After falling to the Syracuse Salt Cats on a 1-0 nail bitter at their previous encounter, the Crush came back to win this Sunday's game 11-5.

The Crush came out firing on all cylinders in their second outing with the Salt Cats, using strong starting pitching from Zach Kemp and an 11-hit performance from the bats to pick up the win over Syracuse.

"Kemp shoved all day and we really feed off the momentum of the pitching," shortstop Jack Lynch said. "We gave him a lot of runs today to work with and going into the games this week it'll be big riding this momentum."

The Cortland starting pitcher delivered a strong outing for the Crush, allowing no runs and only one hit over five innings of work. Kemp also struck out five batters and walked none.

"I was locked in, just trying to throw strikes, not do too much and use our defense that's pretty good," said Kemp.

At the plate, the Crush (8-6-1) continued to swing hot bats, pummeling the Salt Cats (11-4-1) pitching early and often.

The Crush jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first two innings. Stephen Bennett and Alex Flock scored in the first on Brandon Shirley's ground ball to short to make it 2-0.

Three more runs were added in the second on a two-run single by Lynch that scored Anthony Cieszko and Garrett Callaghan and a sacrifice fly from Flock that brought Lynch home.

Runs scored in the third and fourth on Salt Cats mistakes, pushing the lead to 7-0.

After a Syracuse run in the top of the fifth, the Crush made it 8-1. Sean O'Malley singled to lead off the frame and scored on Jack Lynch's ground out to short.

It was Lynch's third RBI of the game, giving him an NYCBL best 19 on the season.
The Salt Cats tightened the game up with three runs in the sixth inning, cutting the lead to 8-5.

However, Cortland would not let Syracuse get any closer. The Crush added a run in the top of the seventh after Nick Pastore tripled to lead off the inning and O'Malley drove him in with a base hit to center field.

Two more runs scored for the Crush in the eighth. Flock doubled to lead off the frame and scored on Dylan Nolan's NYCBL best fourth triple of the season to make it 10-5. Nolan then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field from Pastore, making it 11-5.

Lynch, Bennett and Callaghan all recorded two base hits on the day to lead the Crush at the plate.

"I've been trying to attack pitches earlier in the count, just because I know I'm a nine-hole hitter, I know I'm going to get fastballs early," Lynch said.

Cortland has a day off on Monday before heading to Syracuse to battle the Spartans on Tuesday night. The Crush return home on Thursday to battle the Rome Generals.

"This weekend is huge momentum for us," Nolan said, "but we're going to take the day off tomorrow, relax, and definitely get after it on Tuesday."