ONONDAGA, N.Y. - The Onondaga Flames (18-22) topped the Geneva Red Wings (26-17) 8-6 in a game between playoff contenders at the Onondaga Community College Baseball Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The teams combined to score all 14 runs in the game between innings three and seven while engaging in two ties before Onondaga took the lead for good in the sixth inning.
Geneva got things going in the third when they scored four runs off Onondaga starter Justin Beyer (Niagara County CC). Singles from TJ Byrd (Rend Lake College) and Mikey Arman (Kenyon College) combined with a Will Simoneit (Cornell University) walk to load the bases. Joseph Tassin (Bossier Parish CC) then knocked in the first two runs of the game with a single. After Simoneit scored on a fielder’s choice Tassin scored the fourth run with a steal of home.
Onondaga responded in the fourth with four runs of their own. Sam Little (Ithaca College) led off the inning with a ground rule double to right field. Gage Lanning (Canisius College) was hit by a pitch and Camillo Spinoso (Le Moyne College) singled to load the bases for Alex Canty (Southeast Missouri State). Canty followed that up with a ground rule double to plate the first two runs of the game for Onondaga. Two batters later Stephen Bennett (Canisius College) hit a two-run single to tie the game at four.
In the fifth inning, the teams traded runs on an RBI double from Tassin and a sacrifice fly from Spinoso.
The Flames broke the tie in the ninth when Kyle Gallagher (Cornell University) drove in Bennett with an RBI single. Onondaga tacked on two more with a single by Little and a sacrifice fly from Lanning to take an 8-5 lead.
Little finished the day 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored to complement several great defensive plays.
Geneva scored a run on a wild pitch in the seventh to pull within two before Brandon Shirley (Wells) came on in relief and got the final out of the inning.
The game was Shirley’s first of the season as he joined the team following a season at Virginia Beach this summer.
“I’ve known Buzz [Shirley] for many years and he’s a very good arm, he’s got a lot of upside,” said head coach Ryan Stevens. “We were able to make an addition with some pitchers getting shut down.”
In the ninth the Flames brought out closer Matt Bowman (Ithaca College). Bowman hit the leadoff man with a pitch and gave up a Tassin single with two outs to put the tying run on base. Bowman was then called for a balk to put both runners in scoring position with two outs. The right-hander then settled in to strikeout Jake Evans (Alabama Southern CC) to end the game.
Tyler Rourke (Alabama A&M) earned the victory with one and two thirds innings of relief to improve his record to 3-1. Bowman earned his sixth save of the season. The loss was given to Garrett Uhl (UT Dallas) after he allowed two runs across the fifth and sixth innings.
Onondga travels to Jamestown (28-13) on Sunday as they try to increase their lead in the playoff standings. The Flames currently stand three and a half games over Newark (15-26) with the Pilots playing later tonight. Geneva’s next game will be on Monday as they host those Newark Pilots at McDonough Park.