It was a 4-1 loss as the Spartans were ice cold at the plate in their first rivalry matchup against the Syracuse SaltCats at home for the Father’s day 2pm first pitch. Seth Zurbruegg took the rock for the Spartans – playing as the home team against their OCC combatants – with his father Mark in attendance. And although Zurbruegg was charged with the loss, a great Father’s day it must have been for Mark, who watched his son throw 5 scoreless innings, only after a rough 3 run first inning though. Zurbruegg finished the ballgame with 6 IP, 3 ER, on only 4 hits allowed, with 3 walks to his name as well.
During the solid outing, run support continued to be the question mark, from what seemed to be an unusually quiet Spartans lineup. The Spartans didn’t score until the 8th inning, putting two runners on with no outs. But after Matthew Alexander’s lone RBI, the Spartans once again fell cold, as Pruitt Spritzer regained his rhythm, finishing the eighth, with a scoreline of 4 IP, with 3 walks and 2 hits to his credit.
Pruitt finished the game, throwing 4 innings of 1 run baseball to earn an extended save worth player of the game recognition. Alongside Pruitt’s relief, his starter Scott Scheppy were the only two pitchers needed in this Father’s day matchup for the 4-1 SaltCats win. Scheppy preceded Sprtizer’s relief efforts with a solid 5 scoreless innings.
So by the end of it all, Zurbruegg’s deviant 3-run first inning, paired with a sleepy Spartans lineup, were the causes of a tough Father’s Day loss for Paul Ludden’s ballclub at OCC. For the few batters alive at the dish, Martthew Alexander’s 2-4 day, and Pat May’s lone triple stood out as the best performances offensively.
Nonetheless, the Spartans have now lost 3 of their last 4, falling to 7-6, standing still at 2nd place in the Eastern division a quarter of the way through the NYCBL regular season. As for the Saltcats, they inch closer to playoff territory, at 4-6-1, a couple of points behind Rochester for the 3rd place spot in the East.