By Donny Chiarel
SYRACUSE, NY – The Eastern Division Wildcard matchup ensued at OCC on Monday evening. The 11th edition of the Salt City Rivalry between the Syracuse Salt Cats and Syracuse Spartans ended in a 2-1 Salt Cat victory.
In a win or go home matchup, incoming UAlbany freshman Nick Jessen took the mound for the Spartans. The Salt Cats threw their ace, Tom Reisinger from East Stroudsburg. Both began their outings with one-two-three innings. The intensity was felt as soon as this game started.
Zach Buck singled to begin the second for the Salt Cats. Peyton Harding then hit a bloop single to right, and David Bedrosian tried to fire to first, but it got past Dickson. With Buck on third, a passed ball allowed him to score to make it 1-0 Salt Cats.
Moments later, Nolan Giblin grounded into a fielder’s choice. The throw home by Anthony May was bobbled by Jake Sisto, giving way for Peyton Harding to touch home. Just like that, it was 2-0, Salt Cats.
Despite the runs, it was a pitchers duel. Reisinger went on to retire the first nine batters he faced. Nick Jessen had a three strikeout frame in the fourth to keep the game within reach, while also retiring 10 straight at one point in his outing.
The Spartans got their first hit in the fourth with a Jordan Dickson single. Caleb Millikan followed by lacing a double into right, putting two into scoring position.
On a groundout to first, Millikan was off the bag and was thrown out to put an end to the frame. This left two on, a costly mistake for Syracuse.
Jessen’s night came to an end in the eighth, relieved by Finn Doherty. His final line was seven innings, four hits, two runs and six strikeouts. The one blemish was having two runs come across, even though they were unearned.
The Spartans put two on base again in the eighth, with a base hit from Jake Sisto and a walk drawn by Matt Alexander. With two outs, Reisinger forced a groundout, eclipsing 100 pitches in that instance, as well.
Daniel Manente was called on to close for the Salt Cats in the ninth. Caleb Millikan, Kyle Hoog and David Bedrosian were the batters to start the frame.
Kyle Hoog walked with one out to put the tying run at the plate in Bedrosian. Manente proceeded to hit Bedrosian to put two on base.
Grant Shepherd reached on an infield single to load the bases. Jackson Geisler grounded out to short, and David Bedrosian was caught in a pickle between third and home, with Manente slapping the tag to end the Spartans season.
Tom Reisinger collected the win, with Nick Jessen collecting the loss. Daniel Manente earned his second save of the summer.
The Spartans thank all the players, coaches, staff, sponsors, and most importantly fans for joining us for the 2021 NYCBL season.