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ORTLANDVILLE – The Cortland Crush took game one of the 2021 NYCBL Championship on Friday night in a 5-2 victory over the Hornell Dodgers. A hard fought battle on both sides of the ball, a solo blast from Nick Pastore and solid relief pitching from Kevin Rosengren would get it done for Cortland in a crucial win at home in the first game of this series.
“Just got to stay focused now,” Pastore said. “We still have to win one more game and Hornell is a good team so you never know what will happen.”
Despite giving up the Dodger’s only two runs, Dominic Perachi looked solid once again in his seventh start of the season for the Crush. Perachi earned the win, picking up 10 strikeouts and only walking two batters through six innings of work. Hornell starter Danny Sullivan would earn the loss, giving up three runs on six hits.
Cortland struck first in the bottom of the first. Javier Rosa led off the inning with a single up the middle of the field. After advancing to third, Rosa scored on a wild pitch to put Cortland out in front early in the game.
After two scoreless innings from both ball clubs, the Crush added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Pastore (2-for-3, HR, 2RBI, 3SB) got the frame started with a lead-off solo shot over the right field fence. Then Michael Breen hit an RBI infield single to score Colt Harris, who also singled to get on base.
The Dodgers finally answered in the top of the fifth and sixth, cutting the lead to just one. In the fifth, Brendon O’Donnell hit an RBI single to score Jack McDonald who walked. Then In the sixth, Matteo Avallone led the inning off with a big triple out to right. Avallone scored on the next at bat on an RBI single from Jordyn Smith.
The Crush were shutout in the fifth, sixth, and seventh due to some solid pitching out of the bullpen from Hornell pitcher Richard Albrecht. Albrecht only gave up one hit over these two frames, picking up four of his five total strikeouts in his four innings of work.
The Crush also received some solid pitching from the bullpen though as Kevin Rosengren entered to pitch in the seventh . Rosengren shut the Dodgers out the rest of the game, earning the save and picking up six strikeouts along the way.
“Everything was working for me today,” Rosengren said. “I got into a couple rough spots when I let up a double and let some guys on base, but I found a way to get out of it and I feel really good right now.”
The Crush were finally able to get some insurance in the bottom of the eighth as they found their rhythm at the plate against Albrecht. After a lead-off double from Alexis Castillo (3-for-4, 2B), Pastore picked up his second RBI of the night on a single to score Castillo. Pastore then stole two bases to get to third and scored on an RBI single from Zach Marriott.
The Dodgers were unable to rally in the top of the ninth and Cortland would go on to pick up a huge first win at home in this series. Playing the best of three, the Crush will look to sweep on the road today playing game two of the championship at Maple City Park in Hornell. Game two begins at 3 p.m. and game three will follow immediately after if needed.