By Andrew Carey
LIVERPOOL, NEW YORK—The Syracuse Spartans (16-21) fell to the Onondaga Flames (23-13) at Blink Fitness Field Wednesday night by a score of 11-1.
For the injury ridden Spartans, it was one of the final hopes of making a run at the NYCBL playoffs, which the top three teams in the Division make. With five games left, Syracuse sits two games back of Sherrill for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division.
On Wednesday, Nate Seprosky toed the rubber for the Spartans. In four innings of work, Seprosky gave up three hits and three earned runs, walking seven and striking out four. Seprosky was solid all night, not allowing a very good Onondaga lineup to grab control the game.
Michael Bubniak took over from Seprosky later in the game, doing a solid job himself. The Clarkson lefty went three innings, giving up two earned on three hits, giving up no walks, while striking out three. Bubniak worked very efficiently in his relief appearances.
After Bubniak, David Marsell, one of the two new Spartans made his debut. Marsell got little hit from his fielders, as the Spartans once again committed a high number, today five. Three of the errors occurred during Marsell’s outing. His final line read, two innings on the mound, giving up five hits, three earned runs, and striking out one.
Marsell’s debut comes just a day after Jake Bianchi made his Spartans debut on the road against the Salt Cats.
“They’re doing us a huge service here coming in, and filling in for our injured players,” said manager Brian Burns on the two newest Spartans. “It’s usually pretty tough when you lose four guys in one single week, them coming in and stepping up for us in huge. Even if it’s late in the game like Dave did today, or it’s a fairly close game like Bianchi did last night.”
The Spartans struggled to get much going on the offensive side of the ball, missing Eddie Pietschmann today, on top of the Andrew Pedone and Lou Miceli injuries. The Spartans pieced together just three hits, but they did walk eight times.
Michael Netzel, the righty from the Sunshine State was keeping Spartans batters off balance all night. In his five innings of work, he gave up just two hits and struck out 10 batters.
The lone RBI on the night for Syracuse came on an infield single by Josh Loeffler. Brandon “Buzz” Shirley and Raimiel Rodriguez were the other two Spartans that recorded hits on the night.
With the offense struggling, Michael Paciocco saw two at bats, and in the ninth inning, Joe Guerette and David Redfield, two bullpen pitchers recorded an at bat. Both batters struck out on three pitches, but it was when Syracuse already trailed by 10.
“Oh, what did I see out of them?” questioned Burns in a funny manner on his pitchers’ at bats. “I saw a lot of hopes and dreams out there.”
The Spartans return to the diamond tomorrow at Delutis Field when they take on the Rome Generals at 5:30 pm.