By Christian De Guzman
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Spartans (13-8-2) and Syracuse Salt Cats (9-13-2) battled closely throughout Friday’s game, but after 10 innings, a tie could not be broken between the two teams. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, the second tie for both teams this season.
The game started out as a pitching duel between Spartans starter Derek Jann and Salt Cats starter Julian Hernandez. Both right-handers combined to allow only four hits through the first five innings. Hernandez finished with four hits allowed through six innings, allowing no runs and striking out five.
The Salt Cats drew first blood after a rocky sixth inning for Jann. After allowing two runners via infield singles, Jann lost control of the strike zone and walked two Salt Cats. The second walk forced home a run to give the Salt Cats a 1-0 lead. Jann finished the day allowing three hits and a run through 5.2 innings with five walks and eight strikeouts.
The Spartans responded by taking the lead in the eighth inning. The Spartans took advantage of Salt Cats reliever Josian Ortiz who hit a batter and walked another. The Salt Cats brought in Sean Malamud to get out of the inning, but Kyle Hoog fired a two-run single on the ground into center field to give the Spartans their first lead of the ball game, 2-1.
However, the Salt Cats immediately responded in the bottom of the eighth as Zach Buck launched a double that one-hopped the left field fence. That hit brought home a run and tied the game at two. Neither team could score in the following two innings and per NYCBL by-laws, the game ended in a tie.
With the tie, the Spartans did enough to move into sole possession of first place with 28 points. The Spartans hold a one-point advantage over the Cortland Crush, who sit in second.
The Spartans next home game is on Saturday, July 3, with a doubleheader against the Dansville Gliders. First pitch for game one is set for 5:05 p.m. For tickets, email [email protected]