CORTLANDVILLE - The NYCBL Jamboree was this past weekend and the Cortland Crush pitchers showed out on the mound as the Crush picked up two wins against the Mansfield Destroyers 2-1 and Dansville Gliders 2-0. Hosted in part by Prep Baseball Report, the Jamboree was a scouting event replacing the 2021 NYCBL All-Star game due to COVID-19. Every team in the league came to Cortland to play several seven inning games. Both Wallace Field at SUNY Cortland and Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex were used to host the event.
Game one of the Jamboree saw the top team in the East Division, Cortland Crush, take on the leader in the West Division, Mansfield Destroyers, at Wallace Field in a 10am start on Saturday. With Mansfield as the home team and Cortland away, the pitchers battled on the mound, as Dominic Perachi came out on top, continuing his impressive season for the Crush pitching a complete game and only allowing one run on four hits. Picking up his third win of the season, Perachi also earned six strikeouts and now sits at second place for most strikeouts in the league with 44; only one K behind the current leader.
“It feels great to beat the top team in the West,” said Perachi. “I was able to throw my curveball and change-up in any count for a strike and I trusted my team behind me as always. And I loved playing at Wallace Field, it was beautiful.”
After two scoreless innings, courtesy of Perachi and Mansfield starting pitcher Hunter Kendall, Cortland struck first in the top of the third. After Javier Rosa hit a single to left field to get on base, Buzz Shirley hit an RBI single to right to score Rosa and the Crush jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Lucas Costello tied up the game for the Destroyers in the bottom half of the frame on a sacrifice fly to score John Wheeler who previously walked.
The pitcher’s duel then continued and Cortland did not score until the top of the seventh. Perachi dominated from that point on, allowing only one hit and giving the Destroyers no chance to rally. Mansfield made two pitching changes as Nico Ryder relieved Kendall after four innings of work and Cody Shimp came in for the final inning. Shimp earned the loss as Colt Harris led off the seventh with a single, then scored the winning run from third on a passed ball. Perachi finished off the Destroyers in the bottom half of the frame and the Crush took a 2-1 victory.
Game two was another pitcher’s duel and this time it was Crush starter David Keller's turn to shine. Facing the Dansville Gliders in the nightcap at 7pm, the Crush were back at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex playing as the home team. Keller was phenomenal on the hill pitching a one hit complete game shutout to earn his fourth win of the season. Keller picked up 10 strikeouts along the way and walked just one. He was dialed in, filling up the zone with strikes all game.
“Jake Anderson behind the dish called a fantastic game and gave me the best opportunity for success,” said Keller. This was the first game where I felt 100% confident with my changeup which was a positive, so I’m happy about that and excited to bring it back to school. Hopefully the rain can stay away so we can continue this winning momentum into the playoffs. Go Crush!”
Dansville starting pitcher Jack Nielsen also pitched a complete game, but only saw six innings of work with no need to come out for the bottom of the seventh, earning the loss. He only picked up three strikeouts along the way, but was still able to generate some big outs for the Gliders early on and did not walk a single batter as he filled up the zone as well.
Nielsen and Keller shut down both teams' bats respectively as the first two innings went scoreless. Keller gave up his only hit of the day in the top of the first on a single from Tyler Ross. Nielsen gave up a single to Javier Rosa in the bottom of the first, and another to Lawrence Hamilton in the second. This was Hamilton's last hit of the season as he played his final game with the Crush Saturday night and is now off to medical school. The Gliders defense was able to back up Nielsen with a couple of nice double plays to get him out of each inning with no runs.
After Keller shut down the Gliders offense in the top of the third, Cortland struck first again, this time in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Zach Marriott stepped up to the plate and launched his second home run of the season to give the Crush a 1-0 lead. The pitchers duel continued as both lineups were quiet at the plate until the bottom of the sixth. Alexis Castillo hit an RBI double to score Rosa who was hit by a pitch. Dansville was unable to rally, and the Crush won their second contest of the day 2-0 on a perfect ending when Hamilton made a diving catch in right field for the final out.
The Crush were slated to play the Rochester Ridgeman at 3pm on Sunday for game three of the Jamboree, but unfortunately the game was rained out. Missing out on game three, the Crush came out of the Jamboree undefeated, moving their record to 18-8-4. Looking good heading into the final two weeks of the season, Cortland is back out at Gutchess today for a 6:05pm game against the Sherrill Silversmiths.
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