By Christian De Guzman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Spartans (15-11-4) and Syracuse Salt Cats (13-14-3) fought to a draw for the second time this season. The Spartans have yet to lose a game this year to the Salt Cats in eight meetings.

The Salt Cats drew first blood with a run in the first. Nolan Giblin drove in Luke Smith with a groundout to take an early lead. Almost immediately, the Spartans responded in the top of the second. Teague Conder drove in Caleb Millikan with a single back up the middle. Conder made his way to third base and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Salt Cats starter Adam Douglas to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last for long as the Salt Cats tied the game in the fourth. An error by Anthony May put Eddy Garcia on first base. He found third base eventually and then scored on a double-steal to tie the game at two.

The teams traded runs in the sixth to keep the game tied. With runners on second and third, Conder grounded a ball to third base. Kyle Hoog broke for home but the throw from Giblin sailed wide of the plate. The Salt Cats responded with an RBI single from Matt Rinaldi to tie the game at three after six innings of play.

The Spartans took the lead once again in the seventh with Grant Shepherd at the plate. He launched a ball into right field that Rinaldi overran. He couldn’t catch the ball and Jackson Geisler scored from first. Shepherd settled on third base with a triple and his team-leading 20th RBI of the season.

However, the Salt Cats only needed one swing to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Garcia launched his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence to tie the game at four. Neither team could break the tie in the 10th and the game ended in a draw.

The Spartans sit with 34 points in the NYCBL East Division, eight points behind the Cortland Crush for first place.

The Syracuse Spartans are back in action at home tomorrow against the Sherrill Silversmiths. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm at OCC’s Baseball Complex. Spartans home tickets are now free for the rest of the season.