By Emily Adelman
The Syracuse Spartans gave it their all and came away with the 4-3 victory over the Rochester Ridgeman at Hopkins Road this evening.
Mike Bubniak got the nod for the Spartans tonight. In his last time out, Bubniak went six and two thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits. Pretty stellar stuff from the sophomore out of Clarkson University.
Not to be outdone by his last performance, Bubniak went the furthest he has ever gone in an NYCBL game this season. He finished his night after eight innings, only giving up two runs on three hits. Bubniak struck out eight batters and only walked two.
“Bubniak is a competitor,” Spartan Head Coach James Williamson said. “He likes to compete and when he has his pitches, he’s great.”
While Bubniak was superb, he was roughed up a little in the first inning, surrendering the only two runs he gave up to the Ridgemen. After that, Bubniak set down 13 batters in a row at one point, retiring 20 out of 21 batters from the second to the seventh inning.
The Spartans tried everything they could to get their bats moving in regulation. They clawed back in their half of the second inning, after back-to-back singles from the designated hitter Micah Riddick and left fielder Dan Frawley, center fielder Cyrus Senior sliced a single through the first and second base bag for an RBI single, scoring Riddick. Riddick ended his night 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
After a quick third inning, Riddick found himself at the plate again. This time he settled for more than a single as he watched his first homerun of the NYCBL season -- a solo shot -- sail over the right field fence.
That was all of the scoring the Spartans and Ridgemen did in the regular nine innings, as both teams could not get their bats moving. Bubniak came out of the game in the eighth inning, bringing in relief man Chris LaLomia. LaLomia surrendered the tiebreaking run in the top half of the tenth inning, but Syracuse got it right back in the bottom half of the frame.
After a leadoff single by shortstop Jack Paulson, right fielder Robert Ballinger followed suit with an infield single. First baseman Jay Perry knocked in the tying run with a sharp single into left field. Catcher Edison Mercado then came up and reached on an error.
Syracuse could not escape a bases-loaded, no-out situation with a victory. After a strikeout and a few miscues in the field, the score was tied 3-3 heading into the eleventh.
“We battled,” Williamson said. “I think we just wanted it more than they [Rochester] did, and believed we could win more than they did.”
Syracuse closer Rich Marshall came on to pitch a 1-2-3 top of the eleventh, keeping his 0.00 ERA intact.
The bottom of the eleventh proved to be the deciding factor. After a leadoff single from second baseman Rocco Leone, Paulson proved his bat was working. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh player was the hero in this one, as he lined a ground ball to the third base bag that was too much for the Ridgeman Andrew Bayard to handle as he threw it past the first base bag. A walk-off error gave the Spartans the 4-3 victory
SPARTAN OF THE GAME: Mike Bubniak
Like the stats show above, Bubniak was stellar in his fourth appearance for the Spartans. Although he didn’t come away with the win, he still pitched an incredible outing. After surrendering two hits and two runs in the first inning, he sat down 20 of the next 21 batters. He finished his night after 8 innings, his highest innings pitched of the season.
The Spartans have an off day on Thursday, June 29, but are back at it again on Friday when they got to Onondaga Community College to take on the Syracuse Salt Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm.