By Katie Musacchio
SYRACUSE, NY- The Syracuse Spartans fell short to the Syracuse Salt Cats on Friday night, June 7, losing 5-6.
This was the second game of the season for the Spartans, coming off a win Thursday night against the Cortland Crush for opening day. Both the Spartans and the Salt Cats are Syracuse teams in the NYCBL using OCC for home games, so one might say there’s a bit of a rivalry between the two.
The first inning ended quickly, with neither team earning a run. In the top of the second, Jackson Geisler started the Spartans off with a single. After one out, Geisler had advanced to second base and Corey McMann sent him home with a triple for the first run of the game. The Salt Cats also scored in the bottom of the first, setting the tone for a competitive game.
“It was a really tough and fun game to be a part of. Our guys battled the whole way through. I don’t believe we lost the game, but gave it away. We had our chances to put them away early but things didn’t go the way we wanted them to,” said manager Matt Michalski. “Costly errors and walks proved to be fatal for us as they scored six runs on four hits. I’m really proud of my guys for competing all game and staying behind each other all day.”
Again in the third inning, both the Spartans and the Salt Cats each earned a run, keeping the game even. Both Zac Legarretta and player of the game, Kevin Lo, hit singles in the top of the third, with Legarretta scoring for the Spartans.
The fifth inning proved tough for the Spartans, as the Salt Cats scored two runs off a total of zero hits. This put the Salt Cats ahead on the board, showcasing a score of 2-4. The Spartans stayed in the game, with Anthony May putting another run on the board in the top of the seventh. The Salt Cats’ solid bottom of the seventh pushed them further ahead (2-6), after two singles and a double helped the Salt Cats make it home for two runs. The Spartans kept the energy up, scoring one run in both the eighth and ninth innings to try and win back the game.
Kevin Lo, playing with the Spartans from Abilene Christian University, ended the game with two RBI’s. Awarded with the “Player of the Game” title, Lo not only helped the Spartans offensively with a game batting average of .429, but he also contributed to team efforts through solid defensive plays.
Manager Michalski and pitching coach Rigo Rodriguez sent two pitchers, Brock Weirather and Parker Caston, to the mound during Friday’s game. The Spartans stayed ready and unwavering after falling behind on the board. Michalski stated, “Down four runs in the eighth, we continued to battle and strung together two nice innings where we had them on their heels. Today’s game and yesterday’s game were two exciting games that came down to the end. We’re back at it tomorrow, which is a very good thing. My guys are ready to go and are having fun while playing well.”
Friday night leaves the Syracuse Spartans with one win and one loss as they head into Saturday’s game against the Rome Generals.