By Emily Adelman
The Syracuse Spartans (10-10) needed three hours and fifty minutes to finish their 14-inning affair against the Rochester Ridgemen (5-18). The Spartans had a different outcome than their 4-3 victory over the Rochester squad, as they won their second game in their last four with a 3-2 decision in 14 innings.
Scoring began early for both teams, with Syracuse and Rochester both scoring a run in the first inning. The Spartans struck first in the top of the frame, with first baseman Chris Schad ripping a double to score shortstop Jack Paulson. It was Paulson’s 13th run scored this season, leading the team.
The Ridgeman did not let that lead sit for long, scoring one of their own in the bottom of the first. Rochester’s Ethan Luna knocked a base hit that scored Sean Rooney.
After surrendering an opening inning run, starting Spartan pitcher Sam Spadifore settled down and went to work. The newest addition to the Spartans went seven strong innings, only giving up that one run on four hits and striking out seven.
Syracuse regained their lead in the top of the sixth inning with Schad scoring on an RBI groundout by catcher Edison Mercado.
After a shutdown inning from relief man Nick Borek, Syracuse faced a tough lineup in the bottom of the ninth inning. To Rochester’s avail, the Ridgemen scored the tying run in the last frame with a Jonathan Sabino groundout to bring the tying run home. The Spartans headed into the top of the tenth.
And the next inning. And the next inning. (Repeat 5x)
For the visiting Spartans, the time spent in extra innings was almost equal to the time spent travelling to Basket Road Field in Rochester, NY.
The bonus baseball proved to be competitive Micah Riddick’s leadoff single in the top of the fourteenth inning proved to be the spark the Spartans desperately needed. After another single and a walk, it was center fielder Cyrus Senior who scored the game-winning run for the Spartans with a sacrifice fly, scoring Riddick.
SPARTAN PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Cyrus Senior + Zach Soder
Cyrus Senior made a diving catch in the 2nd inning to save at least 1 run, and he was also responsible for the game winning RBI with 1 out in the 14th!
But the most impressive and outright dominant performance of the night goes to relief pitcher Zach Soder. Soder came on in relief for Rich Marshall in the bottom of the tenth and notched the win. He pitched a lights out four innings (which is almost half of a regulation game!). He gave up only one hit, while facing 15 batters. He struck out five of them.
The Spartans continue their road trip with a game at Rome tomorrow night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.