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Crush Mercy Salt Cats, Hartman Picks Up Final Win

By Cam Woodard, 07/14/21, 5:45PM EDT

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CORTLANDVILLE - The Cortland Crush took on the Syracuse Salt Cats at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon. The Crush took this matchup easily, mercy ruling the Salt Cats 13-2 after just six and a half innings of play. Cortland heated up on offense quickly as each batter in the starting lineup picked up at least one hit by the end of the third inning. On defense, Lucas Hartman shined again on the mound for the Crush picking up his fourth and final win of the season.

Hartman will be a freshman attending Western Carolina University in the fall and has reached his set number of innings by his coaches. In his final appearance, Hartman earned nine strikeouts through six innings of work, only allowing two runs. He wraps up his first season in the NYCBL as one of the league's top pitchers; currently tied for most wins (4-1), and leading the league in both strikeouts (48) and ERA (0.92) through 29.1 total innings pitched. 

“It’s been really great here,” Hartman said. “I always knew that every time I went out there I was going to get the support I needed. My guys were always going to hit and make plays for me in the field. It's just been a really great experience with the Cortland Crush, it feels like family.”

As Hartman went on to dominate the Salt Cats lineup through the first three innings, Cortland scored all 12 of their runs unanswered until the top of the fourth. The Crush took an early lead in the bottom of the first courtesy of Nick Pastore who finished the game going 4-for4 with five RBIs. Pastore hit a two RBI double for his first hit of the day and to put Cortland on the board.

In the bottom of the second, the Crush’s offense exploded for eight more runs. Mathew Ward got the scoring frenzy started with an RBI single and then Javier Rosa picked up a two RBI single. After Alexis Castillo drew a bases loaded walk to score Mike Breen, Pastore picked up his second hit on an RBI single. Corey Stofko then hit a ground rule double to score Castillo and Zach Marriot hit a sacrifice fly to score Pastore, giving the Crush a commanding 10-0 lead.

Scoring their final runs of the night in the bottom of the third, Cortland tacked on three more runs to their score. Rosa (2-for-3, 3 RBI) earned his second hit of the night on an RBI triple scoring Breen who previously singled. Buzz Shirley then hit an RBI double to score Rosa and Shirley scored on an RBI single from Pastore for his third hit of the game. 

“The first person to get hot today just correlated down the rest of the order,” Pastore said. “Once a few people find success in the lineup it just keeps going.”

With the score 13-0 Crush, Hartman gave up just his second hit through four innings which also happened to be a homerun. The Salt Cats were finally able to score off of the solo shot from Mikey Edelman in the bottom of the fourth, however the rest of the lineup was unable to produce anything on offense until Edelman stepped up again in the sixth. After hitting a double to get on base, Edelman later scored on a sacrifice fly from Eddy Garcia.

Cortland did not score a run for the rest of the game but it did not matter as they were still up by 10 runs going into the seventh inning. Hartman was relieved by Dylan Schafer for the final inning of play, and he shut the Salt Cats down with a one, two, three, inning to end the game by mercy rule.

The pitching staff takes a small blow with the loss of Hartman, however the Crush still have plenty of dominant arms to keep opposing batters off the base paths with the playoffs closely approaching. Cortland will look to keep things rolling at home tonight at Gutchess in a 6pm contest against the other ball club from Syracuse, the Spartans.