By Emily Adelman
Whatever is in the water that the Syracuse Spartans (14-10) are drinking, pour me a cup. The newest NYCBL ball club won its third game in a row, a 11-10 decision over the Cortland Crush (14-10) in 11 innings. It was a tough back and forth battle, but was ultimately won by the timely hitting and powerful bats of catcher Edison Mercado, first baseman Jay Perry and designated hitter Chris Schad.
“I think they are excited in the moment. It was definitely an emotional game,” Head Spartan Coach James Williamson explained. “We tried things to win the ballgame and we had a good homerun to end the game.”
The first baseman and catcher led Syracuse to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning against the Crush. Mercado hammered a three-run homerun out of the ballpark with Jay Perry following suit with a solo blast. Both Mercado and Perry have each homered in the past two days, a first for the Spartans. Mercado now leads the team with 19 RBIs.
On the mound for the Spartans was left-hander Mike Bubniak. Bubniak had an uncharacteristic start as he gave up eight runs on ten hits in six innings. Luckily, his team was able to keep the score at bay.
Syracuse trailed 5-4 heading into the top of the fifth inning. Another four run inning had the Spartans up 8-5 after a few miscues by the Cortland defense. The Crush did not seem fazed at all, as they came back and tied the game at eight-all in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Both teams scored twice in the last two innings, leaving the Spartans to enter their fourth extra-inning contest in their last eight games. Syracuse scored off another Mercado RBI and a miscue by the Cortland defense
Richard Marshall Jr. came in and relieved Nick Borek on the mound in the ninth inning. He came out the victor after pitching three solid innings, only allowing two hits and striking out three.
On the other side of the mound, Tyler Howard got the start for the Crush. He went four innings, allowing seven runs, five earned, on six hits. He struck out three and walked two.
The top of the eleventh inning proved to be the turning point as Chris Schad took over the game. With one swing of the bat, he had his third homerun of the season and the Spartans up 11-10. That run would prove to be the winning run, as Syracuse climbs the standings to only a half a game out of first place in the Eastern Division of the NYCBL.
SPARTAN(S) OF THE GAME: Chris Schad & Edison Mercado
First baseman Chris Schad had the game-winning homerun in the top of the eleventh inning. It was Schad’s second homerun in his last two games. His 2-5 performance raised his average to .317. He also had two RBI and two runs scored in the contest.
Edison Mercado is on a hot streak. The man behind the dish had another four-hit performance, his second in two days. Today was complete with a three-run homerun in the first inning, along with three singles. He scored two runs and scored for in today’s contest. His recent hot streak has raised his average to .324, and over the last three games, he has gone 11-14 with three homeruns, nine RBIs and has not struck out once.
Coach Williamson has been pretty high on his power hitters as of late. “I think a lot of it is showing confidence in them. Letting them know we want them to hit and they are capable of hitting the ball. We try to keep it simple.”
Syracuse continues its grind as it heads home for a doubleheader tomorrow. The Spartans face the Rome Generals twice tomorrow at Dick Rockwell field. First pitch of the first game is slated for 2pm, while the next game will immediately follow. Come out and support the Spartans as they fight ALS!