CORTLANDVILLE – Alexis Castillo and Dominic Perachi led the way for the Cortland Crush on Monday night against the Syracuse Salt Cats. After a road win over the Salt Cats on Sunday, the Crush got it done again at home last night with a 6-1 victory. A great team win on both sides of the ball, Castillo led the way at the plate going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and Perachi led the way on defense in another solid start on the mound.
“It was a great team win today,” Castillo said. “Dom (Perachi) pitched great, “My approach at the plate is always line drives away, and that’s what we all did today. You get guys on base, you’ve got to get a job done, get them in, and we did that well tonight.”
Through the first four innings of play, the game was a pitchers duel with Perachi and Salt Cats starting pitcher, Julien Hernandez, going at it until Cortland took a commanding lead in the bottom of the fifth. Perachi pitched six innings and earned eight strikeouts, while only giving up one run on three hits to pick up his fifth win of the summer. Hernandez earned the loss while giving up five runs, but also looked solid picking up eight strikeouts before getting into a jam in the fifth and being relieved.
Cortland jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first and never gave it up. Buzz Shirley got things started with a walk to get on base. Castillo then picked up his first hit of the day for an RBI double to score Shilrey from first base. After a scoreless inning in the second, the Crush scored another run in the third. With runners on first and third, Shilrey stole second base allowing Corey Stofko to advance home on the throw down.
Syracuse finally answered in the top of the fourth to cut the Crush’s lead to just one. After Michale DeStefano drew a walk, Arron Sisto knocked him in with an RBI single. The Salt Cats were then shut out from this point on and unable to get anything going at the plate as the Crush only allowed two more hits going forward.
The Crush then took control of the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to extend the lead. After Stofko led off the inning with a single, he scored on an RBI single from Shirley. Castillo then hit a two RBI double for his second hit to score Shirley and Javier Rosa who was hit by pitch. Castillo now sits at second place in the league for most RBIs and leads the team with 24.
The sixth inning was quiet for both ball clubs courtesy of Crush reliever Carter Kessinger and Salt Cats reliever Daniel Manente. Cortland then tacked one more run on to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and third again, this time Castillo would steal second after picking up his third hit of the night, allowing Rosa to score on the play. The Crush would win the game easily after this as Kevin Rosengren and Joel Ciccarelli shut down the Salt Cat’s bats in the final two innings of play respectively.
With their sixth straight win, the Crush are the hottest they have been this season in the final week of regular season play. With the NYCBL playoffs just one week away, the Crush look to stay hot at home today as they face the Syracuse Spartans for a 6:05 p.m. game against the Syracuse Spartans at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex.