The Syracuse Spartans defeated the Cortland Crush 3-2 in a wild, ten inning, come from behind affair that knocked the Crush out of playoff conention. The Spartans could feel the tension in air. Playing at Onondaga Community College in a one-game playoff against a team they had not seen in over three weeks. It is a tall task for anyone to complete.
The Spartans are no strangers to pitching duels, and thats exactly what they got. Joe Westerman got the start for the Spartans and was incredible. The right hander out of Merimack College went six and two thirds innings, only allowing four hits and two unearned runs. The Spartan defense got into a little bit of trouble, paving the way for the come-from-behind victory.
On the other side of the mound, starter Steven Boscia did his thing. He went five full innings, allowing five hits and no runs while striking out four.
Things were intense from the start, as leadoff man Hunter Tralli drew a walk and then went down with an injury sliding into third base. He would not return to the ball game.
The Crush took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an overthrow to second base by catcher Edison Mercado. Corttland would tack on another run in the bottom of the sixth to lead 2-0.
Cortland stifiled the Spartans through the next two innings, heading into the top of the ninth frame. After allowing walks to both right fielder Robert Ballinger and second baseman Rocco Leone, Cortland relief pitcher Jake Kinney was pulled for Ledwin Nunez.
Nunez came in and was one out away from victory. He faced Chris Schad in the batters box, and with his first swing, tied the ballgame up. Schad singled down the left-field line, scoring Ballinger and Leone from second base. The Spartans were not ready to leave just yet, so they decided to play extra baseball.
Spartan relief pitcher Nick Borek came in for the bottom of the ninth inning. Tensions were running high as Borek allowed back to back singles with one out. He then intentionally walked Charles Edwards to load the bases with one out.
That's nothing the 19 year old can't handle, as he struck out the side to end the game in extra innings.
The top of the tenth inning rolled around and Micah Riddick stepped into the batter's box. With one swing, he sent the ball sailing over the center field fence, eclipsing 400 feet, to take the 3-2 lead three hours into the contest.
Rich Marshall came on to close it out for the Spartans in the bottom of the frame. Suring the regular season, Marshall made 16 appearances, going 3-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 0.84 ERA. The Johnson and Wales player did his job, setting the side down in order to complete his first save of the playoffs, and send the Syracuse Spartans into the NYCBL Eastern Division Finals.
SPARTAN(s) OF THE GAME: Micah Riddick and Chris Schad
(See above about how Schad tied the contest in the top of the ninth and Riddick tatooed a homerun to take the lead).
The Spartans take on the Syracuse Salt Cats in game one of a three game series in the NYCBL Eastern Division Finals. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 at Onodaga Community College.