The Cortland Crush made the three-and-a-half-hour bus ride to Niagara Monday to play a doubleheader that was rained out from June 11th.
The journey to Niagara didn’t fair well for the Crush. Cortland dropped both games of the doubleheader, 7-2 and 9-8, to drop to 3-5-1 on the season.
Cortland found itself in a deep hole early in game one and couldn’t dig out of it. The Crush took the lead early, scoring a run in the first. Nick Pastore walked with the bases loaded, scoring Hayden Houts to make it 1-0.
However, the lead was short lived. Niagara used four base hits, two walks and a hit by pitch to score five runs off Cortland starting pitcher Charlie Hammel to take a 5-1 lead.
The Power added an insurance run in the fourth, thanks to an error and a wild pitch from the Crush to make it 6-1. Niagara then made it 7-1 in the sixth inning on another Cortland error. Pastore singled in the top of the seventh to scoring Houts to make it 7-2.
Pastore finished the game 1-3 with two RBI’s and a walk, while Brandon Shirley had a pair of base hits as well.
Game two saw the Crush emotions go from on end of the spectrum to the other.
Niagara jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, putting Cortland in another hole.
However, this time, the Crush were able to comeback. Pastore continued to swing a hot bat, leading off the top of the third inning with a ground-rule double. He was driven home on Brad Nowak’s single, cutting the Power lead to 1-0.
The Crush tied it up at 2-2 in the top of the fourth thanks to Anthony Cieszko. Cieszko worked a one-out walk and then got to second on Max Flock’s ground out. After stealing third, Cieszko scored on a passed ball.
Stephen Bennett gave Cortland the lead in the top of the fifth, smashing his first home run of the season to give the Crush a 3-2 lead.
It was the pitching of Crush starter Mike Viveiros that held the lead for the Crush though. After allowing two runs in the first, Viveiros settled into a rhythm and mowed down the Power lineup the rest of the game.
Viveiros went six strong innings, allowing no runs after the first. He allowed seven hits a struck out two while only walking one batter.
The Crush added five insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Two runs scored on Shirley’s single and then Dylan Nolan hit his third triple of the season that plated two more, making it 7-2. Cieszko drove in Nolan with a double to make it 8-2.
However, the six-run lead did not last. Niagara scored seven runs, five of them with two outs, in the bottom of the seventh inning to take game two from the Crush 9-8.
Cortland totaled 10 base hits in game two, four of which were for extra base hits.
Pastore ended the game going 2-3 with two runs and scored a double while Garrett Callaghan recorded a pair of base hits as well.
The Crush return to action on Tuesday when Cortland hosts the Syracuse Salt Cats at 6 pm.