By Andrew Carey
SHERRILL, NEW YROK—The Syracuse Spartans (18-23) kept their playoff hopes and dreams alive, coming out with another win at Noyes Park against the Sherrill Silversmiths (19-22).
The Spartans now trail the Silervsmiths by one game for the third playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Syracuse hosts the Salt Cats tomorrow at Blink Fitness Field but will need some help from the Rome Generals when they play Sherrill tomorrow in Rome. The Spartans can only advance to the NYCBL Playoffs with a win tomorrow against the Salt Cats and a Sherrill loss.
On Saturday, Doug Willey and the Syracuse staff throw the kitchen sink at the Silversmiths, knowing it was a win or go home game.
All-star reliever David Redfield got the start for Syracuse, going three innings, giving up just two hits and two runs, while striking out two. He gave way to Nate Seprosky who did his job in two innings of work, allowing just two runs. Michael Paciocco came into close out the game over four innings, allowing just four hits and one run.
“Not even just the score, but those guys just stepping up and taking the ball,” said manager Brian Burns on his three pitchers that toes the rubber Saturday. “Red (David Redfield) threw two innings against Rome two days ago. Seprosky threw 100 pitches earlier in the week. Paciocco has thrown all throughout the week, so we got guys right now that are showing heart and toughness. They are going out there taking the ball strictly, for their teammates not just to add a win to their record.”
The Syracuse offense was much more loose today, and the results followed. After the umps didn’t show up quite on time, Tim Lombardi, an ump in his free time, put on the gear and had some fun with teammates.
A three run ninth inning, sparked by a Ray Zincone two-run single, propelled the Spartans to take the lead.
“We don’t play well when we’re tight,” said Brian Burns on the pregame antics. “The Rome game two days ago we were loose, today we were very loose, and got two wins. It was just an effort to keep the guys minds off the playoff race and stay loose.”
Nick Spinella sparked the Syracuse offense in the first inning, hitting a three-run home run off Connor VanDreason. In addition to Spinella’s three RBI’s, Ray Zincone went 2-5 with three RBIs. Josh Loeffler also chipped in with a 2-5 day and two runs.
“We executed well in the first and the ninth innings,” said Burns on his offense. “Spinella had a great at bat then hit the big three-run home run. We did a great job in both innings just getting guys on base. We were very selective at the plate, we just executed well. VanDreason threw a great game, from the second to the eighth inning, he was almost unhittable, but we did just enough to win.”
“We can’t worry about what Rome and Sherrill are doing tomorrow, we can’t scoreboard watch,” said Burns on the team’s approach into tomorrow. “None of it will matter if we don’t do our job, we just got to execute and take care of business.”