Cortland comes back to knock off Sherrill

(Scott Thomas/Cortland Crush).

Cortland entered Sunday's game against the Sherrill Silversmiths with a seven-game-winning streak.

However, the streak appeared to be in jeopardy early in the game.

The Crush found themselves down 6-2 heading into the seventh inning.

Things changed though in the top of the seventh. The Crush managed to bring it to a one run game and eventually took the lead in the eighth inning to comeback and beat the Silversmiths 11-6.

Cortland (18-9-1) put a final statement on the game when Nick Pastore hit a grand slam with two outs in the top of the ninth.

"We knew we were good; we can come back from anything," Pastore said, "once I did that (hit the grand slam) it killed their momentum."

Pastore finished the game 4-4, with five RBI's, a home run and two walks.

The offense took a while to heat up though. Sherrill starter Conner VanDreason allowed only two hits through the first six innings, stifling the Crush bats.

"The first inning was really rough, they threw a lefty that had a weird delivery and we were struggling a little bit," left fielder Alex Flock said.

A home run by Trey Brown in the bottom of the second inning off Crush starter Charlie Hammel made it 2-0 Silversmiths (7-21-1) and put Cortland in a hole.

The Crush tied the game up half an inning later. Nick Pastore recorded the first of his four base hits on the day with an RBI-single that scored Kam Holland. Cortland evened the game at 2-2 when Anthony Cieszko walked with the bases loaded.

The Silversmiths answered in the bottom of the third, making it 5-2 on Matthew Krause's three-run home run. It was his seventh of the season.

Brown made it 6-2 in the fourth with an RBI single.

Thanks to exceptional bullpen performances by Jonathan Triesler, Ridge Walker and Garrett Bell, the Crush kept the Silversmiths at six the remainder of the game. The trio allowed only two hits over the final five and two-thirds innings.

"My slider was really good today, that was probably the best my sliders been all year," Triesler said, "there were some struggles early in the year, myself included, but after the first few weeks we've been a lockdown pen."

The Crush mounted their comeback in the top of the seventh. After Alex Flock singled and Pastore walked with one out, Sean O'Malley smacked a double to score both runners and make it 6-4. Cieszko drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice-fly, scoring O'Malley to make it a one run game.

They brought in a new pitcher right before I got to the plate and I saw him the other day and I had a really good at-bat against him," O'Malley said, "first pitch he grooved me a fastball and I just tried to put it in play as well as I could."

Pastore then tied the game at 6-6 in the eighth with a bases-loaded single that scored Kam Holland. Cieszko followed that with a bases loaded walk to give the Crush their first lead of the game 7-6.

In the ninth, Pastore crushed his grand slam to ensure the win 11-6.

"I fouled off the first one (pitch), probably should have put it in play, I saw the next pitch coming in low and in, where I like it, and I took it for a drive," Pastore said.

The Crush finished with 11 base knocks on the day. Pastore, Flock, O'Malley and Jack Lynch all had multi-hit days.

"We're extremely tenacious, we're relentless, we're all working towards one common goal and that's the NYCBL championship," Flock said.

Cortland has now won eight games in a row and 15 of their last 18.

The win kept the Crush in first place in the East division over the Syracuse Salt Cats. Cortland sits at 37 points while the Salt Cats have 35.

Cortland has Monday and Tuesday off for the all-star break but return to the diamond on Wednesday to pay a visit to the Syracuse Spartans for a doubleheader.

The Crush are next at home on Thursday as the team hosts the Spartans for another doubleheader at 3 pm.