By Emily Adelman
The Syracuse Spartans are on a roll. Syracuse (16-10) swept another double header today against the Rome Generals (12-11) with a score of 5-0 and 8-4. While the Spartans had hit 13 homeruns in their last three games, it was small ball that did the job for Syracuse this time, as well as the spot starts by the pitchers.
Relief man Zach Soder got the start for the Spartans in game one. It was his second ever start in a Spartan uniform, and he absolutely dazzled. Because of the double header, the Spartans played two, seven inning games against the Generals. Soder went the distance, going all seven innings. The right-hander did not allow a run to cross the plate while only giving up three hits.
“My fastball and my change-up were really good,” Soder said. “They were good. Getting ahead early and then throwing off-speed late in the count.”
Soder sat down eight players en route to his third win of the season. While he did his part on the mound, the Spartan offense got jumpstarted early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Syracuse racked up eight hits throughout the shortened game, scoring one more run in the third inning and another in the fourth, making it 5-0.
The offense was paced by left fielder Julian Gutierrez. The left-handed hitter had his first three-hit game for the Spartans, hitting two doubles and a single, scoring two runs and recording a stolen base.
Another relief man in Chris LaLomia got the start in game two for the Spartans. He was as impressive as Soder in the spot start. LaLomia went six innings, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out six batters.
“It felt good, everything was working,” LaLomia said. “I had great defense behind me.” LaLomia also explained how his fastball and breaking ball were also working, getting ahead with his fastball and then throwing back-to-back changeups to catch hitters off guard.
LaLomia dominated the game mostly with a two run cushion, as runs were a little harder to come by in game two for the Spartans. Syracuse did jump out to 2-0 after a tough two innings for Rome pitcher Chris Keenan. Keenan allowed an RBI single in the first inning to designated hitter Nick Santoro, and allowed a single, back-to-back walks, and then an RBI single to Cyrus Senior in the second inning.
After completing the top of the sixth inning, LaLomia sat down with still only two runs on the board. That is when Syracuse took over, scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to jump out to an 8-0 lead. The inning was led by timely hitting from the entire lineup.
Second baseman Rocco Leone started the RBI with a double over the head of Rome left-fielder Victor Martin. Julian Gutierrez followed suit with a triple. Santoro got into the fun with an RBI sacrifice fly. First baseman Jay Perry and right-fielder Robert Ballinger went back-to-back with a single and double respectively.
Rome proved to have a little bit of life, as they scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning off of relief man Jack George. George proved to be clutch as he recorded the final out to give LaLomia his first win of the season.
The win was not the only reason the newest Syracuse NYCBL team was celebrating.
The Spartans, along with the entire New York College Baseball League has been in a fight against ALS, or Lou Gherig's Disease. Last night at Le Moyne College, the Spartans raised over $550 dollars for the ALS Foundation. They are continuing their fight in striking out ALS all week until July 9.
The ALS Foundation had a booth outside of the Spartans gate, and a representative from the foundation, Elizabeth Krisanda, threw out the first pitch. The entire Spartans ball club participated in the ice bucket challenge, a social media phenomenon that depicts what it is like for ALS patients everyday by pouring a bucket of ice water on top of the players head.
Please consider donating to the ALS foundation and helping the Spartans #StrikeOutALS. Donations can be made to tinyurl.com/SyracuseSpartans
SPARTAN(S) OF THE GAME: Zach Soder and Chris LaLomia
You guessed it. The spot starting pitchers in Zach Soder and Chris LaLomia totally earn the Spartan of the Game honor. Both allowed less than four hits to Rome in their outings, with neither of them allowing a run to cross the plate.
The Spartans continue their home grind with another double header tomorrow against the Sherril Silversmiths. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 2:00 pm with the next game beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.