Student Reporting Archive

Syracuse Stuns #1 Duke in Overtime

February 3, 2019

Story by Trevor Kriley Photos by Casey Buscher Durham, NC– The last time the Orange came to Cameron Indoor Stadium, they fell to Duke 60-44. In 2019, they looked to flip the script and shock the top ranked team in the nation. Going into the game, defense was the key for Duke, according to Coach […]

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Story by Trevor Kriley

Photos by Casey Buscher

Durham, NC– The last time the Orange came to Cameron Indoor Stadium, they fell to Duke 60-44. In 2019, they looked to flip the script and shock the top ranked team in the nation.

Going into the game, defense was the key for Duke, according to Coach Krzyzewski. He stressed a high paced game and to apply a lot of pressure on the Syracuse guards. Duke’s Cam Reddish was out due to an illness so the young team had to make due.

 

Tough Start for Orange

From the tip, the Orange trailed 11-0 with 17:18 in the first. Elijah Hughes made his way to the free throw line to score Syracuse’s first points four minutes into the game. Leading them to battle, Tyus Battle put up a quick 12 points 9 minutes into the game and added another dunk with 9:34 left in the 1st. He proved to be the force Syracuse needed at the start of the game to compete with the Blue Devils.

Then Duke’s Tre Jones collided with Frank Howard, injuring his shoulder, causing him to miss the rest of the game. From this, Zion Williamson showed his leadership abilities, earning multiple shots at the free throw line through aggressive attack play. Syracuse soon found four players with three fouls at the end of the first half.

Elijah Hughes continued to provide for the Orange in the first as he hit a three-quarter court shot that swished through the net at the sound of the buzzer beater. The momentum was now in Syracuse’s hands as the Duke crowd sighed at the sight.

The momentum of that shot carried over to the second half for the Orange.

Game of Two Halves

The 2nd half could be summed up as physical and aggressive. Duke came in fired up from the 9,000 fans, but Syracuse, unwavered, was determined to put up a fight. The Orange were locked in. With the zone, it was harder for Duke to box out Paschal Chukwu, who finished the night with 18 boards. Chukwu proved to be the key component of this game, bodying with Zion Williamson down low.

Battle continued to lead the Orange in the second half as he hit an outside jumper on the wing to bring Syracuse up 85-84 with 1:13 left.

With the clock winding down and Duke fans starting to get impatient, Zion drove down to the other end of the court, drawing a much-needed foul, and earning two shots. The noise of the crowd resonated from the first shot made, before Williamson missed the second, sending the game to overtime.

Extra Time

Syracuse continued to bring the pressure in overtime, as the Orange’s offense remained dominate kicking off the five minutes.

The 17-point underdogs were up by four with 30 seconds to go in overtime. Duke’s offense seemed to be crumbling with every stumbled pass and anxious move. The Orange held the Blue Devils to 2-of-8 shooting.

At the sound of the final buzzer, the Syracuse began cheering in elation as the team topped the nation’s best, Duke, 95-91 to earn their second victory in Durham since 2016.

Offensively, Syracuse was on with five players finishing with double figures, including Tyus Battle, who has a season high of 32 points. Paschal Chukwu dominated the boards with 18 rebounds. Coach Boeheim said at the of the game that when Chukwu plays like he did tonight, the Orange are a different team.

 

 

The Anthology of Awesome Games Done Quick

February 3, 2019

  Story and Photo by Keir Chapman Rockville, MD — Approximately 2,000 gaming enthusiasts have packed the conference center of the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel in Rockville, Maryland for Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019. The event is a staple of the speed running community. Like any good success story, however, AGDQ comes from humble beginnings. […]

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Story and Photo by Keir Chapman

Rockville, MD — Approximately 2,000 gaming enthusiasts have packed the conference center of the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel in Rockville, Maryland for Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019. The event is a staple of the speed running community. Like any good success story, however, AGDQ comes from humble beginnings.

We Could Do Better

In 2009, there were two main charity gaming marathons: Desert Bus for Hope and TheSpeedGamers. Despite having speed in the name, TheSpeedGamers’ marathon did not include speed running at all. This gave Michael Uyama, AGDQ’s co-founder, an idea.

“The fact that TheSpeedGamers didn’t speed run, actually really angered a lot of us,” Uyama said. “As a result, we thought we could do better.”

The central hub for speed running at the time was Speed Demos Archive. There, gamers could post times for various speed runs and talk to one another in a forum. This is where the idea for Games Done Quick (GDQ) was born.

When the idea of a speed running charity marathon was floated, members of the forum posted any game they could think of to be featured. Uyama, in search of focus, narrowed the event to classic games. Thus, the first ever GDQ event was dubbed, Classic Games Done Quick (CGDQ).

“The name was a nod to the classic games we were playing,” Uyama said, “and a nod to the old Quake Done Quick videos that Speed Demos Archive was known for.”

Location, Location, Location

With the name and games settled, a date and location were all that were left to find. The former was easy; January 1, 2010, at 6 p.m. The latter appeared to be a no-brainer as well. The Music and Gaming Festival (MAGFest) was taking place at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia, during that time and seemed like the perfect place to host CGDQ.

MAGFest agreed to let CGDQ set up in their main gaming room. All Uyama had to pay was $100 for use of one of the many wireless modems MAGFest had purchased.

But problems became apparent the day before CGDQ was set to begin, when Uyama and other members of GDQ arrived for check-in. Uyama was told that the wireless modems weren’t working because the provider had been bought out. The advice MAGFest staff gave was to try to get the hotel’s wireless internet to work. Uyama soon learned, however, that the hotel’s internet would not be suitable for streaming.

“I didn’t want people to panic, so I withheld this information for as long as possible,” Uyama said. “In the end, it was pointless because there was a very obvious truth, which was that we could not stream.”

Started From the Bottom

Success was looking increasingly out of reach, but then an alternative location revealed itself. Uyama’s mother lived just 10 minutes away and, if he paid for half of a bed and breakfast for his mother to stay in, Uyama could have the basement for the 50-hour marathon. After a test of the stream, the internet proved up to the task, and the GDQ members mobilized.

The marathon got underway three hours late, after lugging equipment and gamers from MAGFest to the basement. As Twitch had yet to be founded, CGDQ was streamed through Ustream, which offered its fair share of obstacles.

“We peaked at 1,500 viewers, but there was a problem,” Uyama said. “Ustream started messing up at this point, and it started booting people from the stream.”

Despite the streaming service’s halving the online audience, CGDQ was able to double its initial $5,000 goal. The marathon raised more than $10,500 for the foreign aid charity, CARE. Despite all the troubles, the group quickly began talking about the next event.

“It was such an elated and ecstatic feeling after the event was successful,” Uyama said. “We were like, ‘That was fun, let’s do it again.’”

Steady, Sustainable Growth

The next year, the event was rebranded as AGDQ, and took place in the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Matt Merkle, the Director of Operations for AGDQ, began getting involved in 2012. According to him, the event began to grow very naturally. Merkle credits GDQ for helping speed running grow as a whole.

“As we got more viewers, people realized what speed running was,” Merkle said. “They got interested and joined in the community and wanted to speed run themselves.”

Merkle said that GDQ has been able to sustain its growth despite not investing in large advertisement campaigns. Chip “Breakdown” Vogel, one of GDQ’s founding members, claimed that AGDQ 2014 was the last small marathon, drawing in around 400 people. This is also the first time the event raised $1 million, causing an explosion in attendance.

The large number of attendees has not come without backlash. According to Uyama, many longtime fans of AGDQ have felt the event is getting too big, almost like a convention. The critiques aren’t unfounded. The many side events, including an arcade room, panels, and smaller tournaments separate from the main room, can be seen as a distraction from the main reason why the event is held. Uyama doesn’t feel as though this is a problem.

“In a sense, it was always a convention,” Uyama said. “It was just a very, very small convention.”

To combat the controversy surrounding the size, the GDQ staff strives to maintain the casual feel that defined the first CGDQ. This includes placing a couch behind the person who is running a game. On the couch sits a panel of commentators picked by the gamer. This has become a major characteristic of the event.

Newcomers Welcome

According to Merkle, the North Bethesda Marriott is a holdover as the GDQ staff searches for a larger facility that can accommodate the ever-growing crowd. Both Merkle and Uyama said they are striving for slow, sustainable growth, that will allow the event to maintain the spirit it has had since the beginning.

A method Merkle has found effective in introducing more people to speed running is their original program, GDQ HOTFIX, which airs on twitch.tv/gamesdonequick. The show highlights major events and developments in the speed running community.

“That has been really key to try and get more people in the general public aware of speed running,” Merkle said. “That’s obviously been a big driver for growth.”

From Uyama’s mother’s basement, to packing hotels with thousands of people, AGDQ has surpassed every one of Uyama’s original goals. Aside from a fun and casual vibe, GDQ has been defined by its ability to overcome any obstacle it has faced.

“We beat all the odds and made a huge event out of one that looked pretty much destined to fail,” Uyama said of CGDQ. “We completely crushed our expectation

 

High Quality is the Name of the Game for Awesome Games Done Quick Production

February 3, 2019

Photo and Story by Keir Chapman Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the […]

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Photo and Story by Keir Chapman

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the stream goes on without a hitch.

How It’s Made

Next to the main stage sits a platform with a multitude of screens. This is where production resides. The crew members assume many of the same roles one finds at traditional sporting events. A producer runs the show; an audio technician ensures everything sounds crystal clear, and a video technician takes the live video feed and broadcasts it to Twitch.

According to Aharon Turpie, AGDQ’s technical director, the audio technician’s job is particularly difficult to train for. The audio technician is responsible for mixing game audio, the hosts’ audio, and audio from the players’ and commentators’ headsets. The ever-increasing audio elements are putting a strain on AGDQ’s existing soundboard.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we’ll get this digital mixer with 32 inputs and 16 outputs. We’ll never need to update this mixer again,’” Turpie said. “In two events, we maxed it out.”

Setting the Stage

This epitomizes the ever-changing nature of Games Done Quick’s (GDQ) production setup. Turpie joined the team at a time when there was just a single camera and no interview stage. Today, there are seven cameras, four of which reside on the stage-show set.

The addition of a stage show that plays in between runs has created a new production team, completely independent of the crew that works on the gaming stage. By having an independent production setup, the stage shows can prep while games are going on, making transitions to interviews seamless.

The stage show utilizes a four-camera setup, and each camera takes different shots. When live, the producer makes the call for what shot to take next. The fourth camera is centered on a second, smaller set, used for announcing donation prizes. The latest camera is an addition everyone on the GDQ staff supports. The second set, not so much.

“They found that, overall, the second smaller set didn’t play very well with the natural flow of their skits,” Turpie said. “They like four cameras, but maybe for one set.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Speed running inherently creates a production problem. The genre features a wide variety of games, some of which are played on analog consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Atari.

To combat this challenge, the GDQ staff uses an open source scan converter (OSSC), which takes analog video, and converts it into HD quality. The OSSC does so with very little latency, allowing GDQ to stream old-school games to Twitch without any problems.

Another issue GDQ production faces is a small staff. A low budget means there are fewer hands to help out. There is a dashboard for video technicians, which contains a checklist of things needed to be done before each stream. The checklist also lets other team members know what has been accomplished, cutting down on needless communication.

AGDQ also uses a server produced by Support Class, called NodeCG. According to Turpie, this server takes in and manages all of the information the technical team uses. With this information, the server creates an automated system that ensures everyone knows what they need to know.

“It offloads a lot of work from the producer,” Turpie said.

Because the GDQ production staff is so small, they try to nip any potential problems in the bud. This includes meeting with runners before they are scheduled to go on and working through every possible thing that can go wrong during the  stream.

Even with contingency plans in place, unexpected errors do occur. When that happens, there is a chain of command that goes into effect, with Turpie’s generally being the team member most turn to when the problem is too large. A rung beneath him in the technical ladder sit the producers. Although they usually aren’t technicians, Turpie said they are often able to take care of the problem without involving him.

Ever Vigilant

As GDQ continues to grow, the demands on the production team grows alongside it. The crew uses every event to determine what can be changed in the future, so they are ready to meet new challenges created by a larger fanbase.

“We observe where there are problems, delays, and things that our crew and volunteers have trouble following,” Turpie said. “We find ways to not only increase production value, but to also improve the setup complexity, so people can go from run to run as quickly as possible.”

From the gamers to the production staff, it appears everything about GDQ is about accomplishing a task as quick and seamlessly as possible.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation Explores Esports

January 8, 2019

Story and Photo by: Keir Chapman Rockville, MD — Awesome Games Done Quick’s (AGDQ) mission is straightforward and clear: to raise money for charity through gaming. The style of gameplay, however, has some people scratching their heads in confusion. Speed running is a specific style of esports, one that pits players against the clock. Using precise movement […]

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Story and Photo by: Keir Chapman

Rockville, MD — Awesome Games Done Quick’s (AGDQ) mission is straightforward and clear: to raise money for charity through gaming. The style of gameplay, however, has some people scratching their heads in confusion.

Speed running is a specific style of esports, one that pits players against the clock. Using precise movement and manipulation of the game’s physics, a speed runner can beat games in times no one could predict. For example, the world record time for “Super Mario 64” for the Nintendo 64 game console, is 1:39.19 by Allan “Cheese” Alvarez.

AGDQ 2019 is a week-long marathon of speed runs of a variety of games. Money is primarily raised through donations to the Games Done Quick website. Viewers watching on twitch.tv/gamesdonequick can also donate by subscribing to the channel.

Lost in Translation

Don’t feel frustrated if the concept is befuddling at first. The Prevent Cancer Foundation®

(Foundation) had a hard time understanding it when Michael Uyama, founder of AGDQ, first contacted the organization about being a beneficiary.

“Mike called and got Linda Chastain, who was in charge of events at the time, and she was like ‘Wow, this is strange,” Janet Hudson, Managing Director at the Foundation, said. “They’re playing games, and they’re running fast. She really thought they were running.”

According to Uyama, the Foundation was one of three cancer foundations he had reached out to in 2011 and was the only organization to reply. Aside from uncertainty about what AGDQ was, the Foundation was further thrust out of its comfort zone when Uyama requested it make a PayPal account. In hindsight, Hudson believed PayPal was pivotal in showcasing the Foundation to a global audience.

A Little Trust Goes a Long Way

The Foundation’s trust in Uyama was immediately rewarded. Despite drawing a crowd of just 50 people at the first event, AGDQ raised nearly $53,000 for the Foundation. The number was staggering to both Chastain and Uyama, whose Classic Games Done Quick in 2010, raised more than $10,500 for CARE, a nonprofit organization that provides disaster relief and poverty solutions around the world.

“Our initial goal was $20,000, because we wanted to double what we did the last time,” Uyama said. “By the time we beat $40,000, Linda Chastain was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing. This is so crazy.’ She said that was enough to fund half of a grant study that the Prevent Cancer Foundation® funds.”

The union between the two organizations has remained in place ever since. As AGDQ has grown, the Foundation has been able to secure more funding to award grants for cancer prevention research for low resource countries. AGDQ 2018 raised nearly $2.3 million for the Foundation and garnered more than $100,000 on the first day of the 2019 event.

Where the Funds Go

The Foundation hosted a panel at the start of this year’s AGDQ that went into detail about how the funds were dispersed. Among the panelists were Dr. Kathleen Schmeler, who works at the Department of Gynecology Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.

Dr. Schmeler detailed how cervical cancer is the most frequent type of cancer among women in Mozambique. She went on to describe how funds from AGDQ have helped create courses in Mozambique aimed at teaching that nation’s doctors how to determine if a patient has human papillomavirus, the virus that causes cervical cancer, and treating it before it develops into cancer.

According to Carolyn Aldigé, the Foundation’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, the Foundation does its due diligence when determining who will receive grants made possible by the money raised at AGDQ. After researchers submit proposals to the Foundation, another panel of experts reviews the proposals and determines whether or not they will receive support.

“Even if we know and like the people who submit, they don’t all get approved,” Aldigé said. “If the experts say it’s missing this, that, or the other, we don’t recommend it for funding.”

A Happy Marriage

There appears to be mutual interest from AGDQ and the Foundation to keep the partnership going into the foreseeable future. Uyama is pleased with the pace at which the alliance has developed and wants to see it continue. The financial support AGDQ provides for the Foundation is not lost on Aldigé.

“I want Mike, his colleagues, and all of the people that come to this event, to know just how grateful we are to have these funds,” Aldigé said. “They enable us to do so much amazing work around the world.”

 

Irish Keep Perfect Season in Tact, Steamroll Orange 36-3

November 22, 2018

Story by Dominick Muccilo Photos by Sam Carter BRONX, N.Y. – Once dubbed “New York’s College team” on signs in Yankee Stadium, Syracuse couldn’t have felt less at home on Saturday afternoon. This time, the end zones read, “Notre Dame” in a Yankees style script, the Irish’s logo was on both 20 yard lines, and Notre […]

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Story by Dominick Muccilo

Photos by Sam Carter

BRONX, N.Y. – Once dubbed “New York’s College team” on signs in Yankee Stadium, Syracuse couldn’t have felt less at home on Saturday afternoon. This time, the end zones read, “Notre Dame” in a Yankees style script, the Irish’s logo was on both 20 yard lines, and Notre Dame players had pinstripe pants on. Justin Tuck, a Super Bowl champion and Notre Dame alum, came onto the big screen at the start of the game to a roar from the sellout crowd, which mainly consisted of fans in green and gold. The small percentage of the 48,104 that were draped in Orange made up most of the left field section of the Stadium, and by the middle of the 4th quarter, most had filed out.

 

Looking Grim

Dreams of a New Year’s Six Bowl game were squashed for the Syracuse Orange on national television. In fact, by the end of the first quarter, things were already looking grim. After winning the toss and going three-and-out on their first possession, it didn’t take long for Ian Book and the Irish offense to find their tempo. Book, the junior quarterback, lead a 55 yard drive down the field that ended with a Dexter Williams touchdown for the first score of the game. With a chance for Syracuse to answer, Eric Dungey was intercepted by Notre Dame Safety Jalen Elliot when looking for Taj Harris over the middle. Just like that, Notre Dame held a 10-0 lead 8 minutes into the contest. However, that would prove to be the least of the Orange’s problems.

Dungey Down

 On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Eric Dungey rushed up the middle for a gain of four yards. He popped up and as he was getting ready for the next play, Dungey grabbed his back and fell over in pain. For several minutes the medical staff tended to him and eventually helped him off the field, which meant the New Jersey native Tommy DeVito’s number would be called on yet again. No stranger to coming off the bench, Head Coach Dino Babers didn’t hesitate to draw up a play. DeVito launched a 42-yard strike to Nykiem Johnson who appeared to come up with it in the end zone, then had it narrowly slip through his grasp once he hit the ground. This chance for the Orange would be the only time they came close to making it a ballgame.

All Irish

Ian Book, the 3-star recruit who came into today leading country in completion percentage (74.5) showed no signs of rust after being sidelined last week with a rib injury. By halftime, the Irish lead 20-0 and the junior had 253 passing yards and a touchdown. Book said Dexter Williams, Notre Dame’s running back who had two scores on the day, was a huge part of their game plan.

“Getting the ball to Dexter any way we can is what we want to do,” Book said.

Book was able to find him once through the air, and leaned on him to open up the pass, as the NFL prospect ran for 5.7 yards per carry. If the Irish hadn’t settled for field goals in Syracuse territory three different times, the score would have been even more lopsided.

 Missing Offense

The whole afternoon the Orange couldn’t get anything going on offense, something Head Coach Dino Babers doesn’t necessarily attribute to being without Eric Dungey.

“I don’t know if that was that big of a blow,” Babers said. “There were a lot of mistakes, missed tackles, dropped balls, dropped touchdowns in the end zone.”

As for Eric Dungey, his coach said that he was unsure of the severity of Dungey’s injury and his status for next week at Boston College is unknown. Redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito did the best he could to fill the void, but it wasn’t enough. DeVito was 14 for 31 with no touchdowns and two interceptions on the day.

“Their defense played really well, you’ve got to give them props,” DeVito said. “It’s just a bunch of little things, we need put things together and get drives going to help the defense out.”

Notre Dame hung 36 points on the Syracuse defense, but perhaps it was because they were exhausted. The Irish held possession for 32 minutes in the game and the Orange had four three-and-out drives.

Next week, the Orange travel to Boston College to face the 20th ranked Eagles in a noon matchup on ESPN. For Coach Babers, he thinks the team needs to shape up in a hurry.

“We need to get back and regroup,” Babers said. “Get back to playing the football we’re used to playing.”

 

From Jersey to Dress

November 22, 2018

Story By Kendra Sheehan Photos by Ashtyn Hiron Syracuse, NY- At 4:56pm graduate student Isis Young was still on the basketball court. The Syracuse women’s basketball team had just finished a dominating opening match against North Dakota. By 6:00pm, instead of basketball shoes and her number 23 jersey, Young had transitioned to a red dress […]

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Story By Kendra Sheehan

Photos by Ashtyn Hiron

Syracuse, NY- At 4:56pm graduate student Isis Young was still on the basketball court. The Syracuse women’s basketball team had just finished a dominating opening match against North Dakota.

By 6:00pm, instead of basketball shoes and her number 23 jersey, Young had transitioned to a red dress and heels and was seated at the anchor desk in Newhouse Studio. She was ready for a new role, this time, basketball analyst for the ACC Network pregame and half time report for the men’s basketball opener against Eastern Washington.

 

Keeping Up

It was a hectic day as I followed Young through the quick transition from student athlete to broadcaster. While her schedule is jam packed, Young says the time and effort she puts in to be successful at both, is completely worth it.

“I tell people that I really love what I do,” Young said. “I love basketball. I love broadcasting. You know I don’t mind putting the time in to be able to do it when I truly enjoy what I’m doing.”

From a 3-point score, to a steal, Young acted as the 6thman on the court, bringing energy and speed into the game. After a great home opener it seemed effortless as she transitioned to providing a thoughtful analysis of the Syracuse men’s basketball matchup for the ACC Network.

Double Duty for Both

Young wasn’t the only one running from the Dome to the desk last night. ACC Network studio host and Syracuse University senior, Drew Carter, called play-by-play for the women’s game before hosting the shows for the men’s game. With both students pulling double duty on the ACC Network, Carter notes that Young’s transition from the Dome to the desk might have been a little more complex.

“It’s not just about the day of. Obviously this has to be crazy hectic for her but it’s more about the day to day grind, “ Carter said. “I feel like I work a full time job as a student and doing all this stuff, and this is basically doing that two  fold and I can’t even imagine doing that, it’s crazy.”

When I asked if there was ever any concern that she would make it in time for the show to go on-air, Carter said there was never a doubt in his mind.

“I’ve hosted with former athletes and it wasn’t nearly as smooth,“ Carter said. “She is super, super talented and very smart. I always tend to think that the quality of work ethic off the air translates on the air.”

Secret to Success

Young attributes her success, to the strong support system she has at home. Her family was at the game showing their support with a warm embrace before she had to rush off the court. As a concerned parent, Young’s mother, Denise Young, wonders how she can manage it all.

“We absolutely get worried when she’s gone to work and we wonder how she’s really doing it all but I think it’s a tribute to her time and skills and her dedication to both,”  she said. “One thing I like to say is that we’re extremely proud of Isis and we wish her the best of luck in everything she does.”

Overtime Interception Costs Syracuse

November 6, 2018

Story by Dakota Palmer Photos by Tamar Turner PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Mother Nature couldn’t make up her mind on Saturday, and neither could the Orange. Saturday afternoon, Pitt (3-3, 2-1) came back from a two-game losing streak to overtake Syracuse (4-2, 1-2) by a touchdown in overtime. “I was saying all week Pitt’s a dangerous […]

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Story by Dakota Palmer

Photos by Tamar Turner

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Mother Nature couldn’t make up her mind on Saturday, and neither could the Orange.

Saturday afternoon, Pitt (3-3, 2-1) came back from a two-game losing streak to overtake Syracuse (4-2, 1-2) by a touchdown in overtime.

“I was saying all week Pitt’s a dangerous team,” Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey said in a press conference following the game. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t on the same page…but we’ll get it fixed.”

 

The Orange started strong: within two minutes, Dungey made a quick one-yard pass to tight end Aaron Hackett for a touchdown.

Later, the Orange defensive tackle Alton Robinson forced a Pitt fumble, which was recovered by linebacker Andrew Armstrong. Running back Jarveon Howard rushed two yards for another Syracuse touchdown, giving ‘Cuse a 14-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Panthers came back with a 69-yard rush from running back Qadree Ollison and didn’t let up. Pitt linebacker Quintin Wirginis forced a Syracuse fumble, which was recovered by Pitt defensive back Dane Jackson — who then ran the ball 35 yards for a touchdown toward the end of the first quarter.

Pitt went on to score 20 points without a comeback from Syracuse until Andre Szmyt kicked a 33-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the half.

“Obviously, we are really disappointed that we couldn’t come home with a victory, but we didn’t give it away,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said in a post-game press conference. “This was really a hard-fought contest between two teams who really wanted to win.”

With 0:17 left in the half, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett threw an interception to Syracuse defensive back Christopher Fredrick, but the Orange were unable to score again before the end of the half.

The Panthers started the second half with a 68-yard running touchdown from Rafael Araujo-Lopes, and the flood gates opened — literally. A downpour had spectators and players running for shelter, and the game was delayed at 2:16 p.m.

Weather Delay and Comeback

After an hour and nine-minute weather delay, the Orange came to play. With 8:12 left in the third, Howard rushed five yards for his second touchdown, barreling through each and every player in his way.

“I was just in the moment, just taking [it] play by play,” Howard said in a post-game interview. “I was just doing it to help the team. I know they needed me, [so] I just did what I could.”

In a third-and-10 situation, Dungey saw no passing options and ran the ball himself 21 yards through a wide-open space and dove into the end zone for a Syracuse touchdown, giving the Orange the lead once again. Szmyt added a field goal a few minutes later, increasing the score to 34-27.

Later, Pitt running back Darrin Hall called for the snap, faked a hand-off and ran the ball in 7 yards for a touchdown, tying the game with almost 8 minutes left.

Szmyt would help the Orange regain the lead once again after a 54-yard field goal to bring the game to 37-34.

Syracuse’s defensive line kept the Panthers away from the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter, but with a 45-yard field goal, Kessman tied the game with 8 seconds left.

It’s Not Over Yet

Syracuse won the coin toss and elected to go on defense first.

On the third down, Hall rushed three yards to get his elbow about two inches in the end zone for a touchdown.

On the first down of Syracuse’s offensive drive, Dungey threw a long pass intended for wide receiver Nykeim Johnson, who was in the end zone, but it was picked off by Pitt’s Therran Coleman.

“We had a one on one with Nykeim, so I had pressure on me and I wasn’t able to really run into the throw — just throwing it to Nykeim and hoping he was going to make a play,” Dungey said. “Unfortunately, the defender made a good play on the ball.”

“I didn’t perform the way I wanted to, but I know no matter what that they trust me and, we’re going to get it moving forward,” Dungey said.

“As he goes, we go,” Babers said about Dungey. “We like the things he does, and he’s our guy and we aren’t going to trade him.”

Orange Doesn’t Survive Death Valley

October 6, 2018

Story by Ramon Hernandez Photos by Keanu Haghighi CLEMSON, S.C. – The Orange suffered it’s first first loss of the season today, as the Clemson Tigers took the close 27-23 win at Memorial Stadium. Perfect Storm There seemed to be a perfect storm brewing for the Orange in Death Valley. Syracuse was just minutes away […]

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Story by Ramon Hernandez

Photos by Keanu Haghighi

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Orange suffered it’s first first loss of the season today, as the Clemson Tigers took the close 27-23 win at Memorial Stadium.

Perfect Storm

There seemed to be a perfect storm brewing for the Orange in Death Valley. Syracuse was just minutes away from moving to 5-0 and becoming the first school, since Florida State in 2013 and 2014, to beat Clemson in back-to-back seasons. Clemson running back, sophomore Travis Entienne, however, was having none of that.

Entienne rushed for 203 yards on 27 carries, and punched in three touchdowns en route to a 27-23 victory over the 25-point underdog Syracuse. The Orange had no answer for Entienne and Clemson’s run heavy offense in the second half. The Tigers had to keep the ball on the ground after losing their newly named starting quarterback, freshman Trevor Lawrence following a big hit from Syracuse’s Evan Foster. They played backup quarterback Chase Brice, who only had eight pass attempts in his career, in his place, and put the offensive burden on Entienne’s shoulders. He delivered.

“They just kept handing him the ball. We knew what the were gonna do but we couldn’t slow him down,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said.

Coming up Orange?

There were several times it seemed things were falling Syracuse’s way. The first was early in the third quarter, when Trill Williams picked off a pass from Brice. The second was a punt fumble, recovered by Jamal Custis. Unfortunately for the Orange, neither play led to much of anything.

Things may have ended quite differently if not for an ineligible player downfield call on Aaron Hackett, on a crucial fourth – and – one. It seemed as though he picked up the 1st- down, it was all Clemson from there.

Tigers finish Fierce

The Tigers would put up a quick seven points, courtesy of Entienne shortly after, and hold strong on the Orange’s last drive, sacking Senior quarterback Eric Dungey three times in the final minutes of the game.

Dungey said his confidence is not rattled, however, and that some of his teammates believe they should have won the game.

“There’s kind of a sick feeling in my stomach right now. We really wanted this one, but luckily we’ve got a whole season ahead of us,” Dungey said.

The Orange will look to bounce back on the road next week against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Syracuse Dismantles Connecticut to Remain Undefeated

September 23, 2018

Story by Jonathan LaRowe Photos by Sunny Tsai SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With a 51-21 win over the Connecticut Huskies, the Orange reached 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 1991. “I’m just really proud of those young men,” head coach Dino Babers said. The Orange struck early and often against a Husky […]

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Story by Jonathan LaRowe

Photos by Sunny Tsai

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With a 51-21 win over the Connecticut Huskies, the Orange reached 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 1991.

“I’m just really proud of those young men,” head coach Dino Babers said.

The Orange struck early and often against a Husky defense that has struggled mightily all season. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey accounted for three touchdowns in the first quarter to propel the Orange to an early 21-0 lead. Dungey showed off his trademark running ability with his first two scores coming on the ground.

“I try to be the best leader that I can,” Dungey said. “I think a lot of these guys are starting to buy in and it’s awesome to see.”

Connecticut quarterback David Pindell answered with a rushing score of his own, a 75-yard scamper in the first quarter that put the Huskies on the board. Syracuse quickly responded with a field goal that extended the lead to three scores again.

Connecticut started the second quarter with another touchdown to cut the Syracuse lead to 10 and put a temporary halt on the Syracuse blowout. However, the Orange slammed the door on the Husky comeback attempt by the third quarter, scoring three more times, to increase the lead to 41-14.

Two Breakout Performances

While Eric Dungey continued his record-setting pace for the Syracuse offense totaling five touchdowns in the game, the win showcased a breakout performance from junior wide receiver Sean Riley. Riley electrified the Carrier Dome crowd with two highlight-reel plays in the second half.

Riley started the scoring in the third quarter with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. He found the end zone again in the fourth quarter with a 49-yard touchdown reception to answer a Husky touchdown.

“He’s a really exciting player,” Babers said. “I’m really excited for him. Now I need to challenge him to see if we can bring that same type of explosiveness into some ACC games because we sure do need it.”

The Syracuse offense amassed over 600 yards of total offense on the day, but another one of the standout performers for the Orange was on the other side of the ball. Junior defensive end Alton Robinson led the defense with three sacks, a career high.

“Alton is playing at a very, very high level,” Babers said.

Syracuse will face a major challenge next week on the road against ACC powerhouse Clemson.

 

Syracuse Dominates Florida State in the Dome

September 22, 2018

Story by Daniel Booth Photos by Kendra Sheehan   SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Syracuse Orange opened ACC play with a 30 to 7 win over the Florida State Seminoles.The combination of defensive dominance and offensive firepower paved the way for a colossal upset. “It was not trickery, it was just lining up and whooping the guy in front of them”, head coach Dino Babers said. […]

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Story by Daniel Booth

Photos by Kendra Sheehan  

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Syracuse Orange opened ACC play with a 30 to 7 win over the Florida State Seminoles.The combination of defensive dominance and offensive firepower paved the way for a colossal upset.

“It was not trickery, it was just lining up and whooping the guy in front of them”, head coach Dino Babers said. This is the first time Syracuse has defeated Florida State since 1966.

 

Defensive Dominance

The Orange defense held the Seminoles to 1 for 14 on third down conversions, and sacked Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois four times.

“I was most proud about the way the D-line played”, coach Babers said. “Defensive ends and defensive tackles were winning their one on one battles, and as a coach that’s what gets you fired up.”

Defensive end Kendall Coleman is responsible for two of the four sacks, and was in the backfield all afternoon. Coach Babers praised his defensive coaching staff led by coordinator Brian Ward, for their ability to execute their game plan at an exceptionally high level.

Ready or Not.

Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey suffered an injury late in the second quarter after being struck in the eye. Due to Dungey’s impaired vision, coach Babers decided to bring in redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy DeVito. DeVito piloted the Orange offense to five scoring drives, four of which came in the second half. At the 6:55 mark in the third quarter, DeVito scored Syracuse’s first touchdown of the contest with a three yard run. About three minutes later, DeVito connected with senior tight end Ravian Pierce for a three yard touchdown pass. “The guys were locked in and they didn’t lose any focus, the effort was continuous throughout all four quarters”, coach Babers said. An explosive 14 point third quarter gave Syracuse a commanding 20-0 lead heading into the fourth. A solid 20 point lead proved to be more than enough to bury the Seminoles.

A Win Feels Good.

This high-profile win on national television bodes well for the persona of Syracuse’s program moving forward. Coach Babers hopes a win of this magnitude will shine a spotlight on his program, and raise expectations for years to come. The Orange defense only allowed Florida State to score seven points, and the offense tallied up 441 yards of total offense.

Coach Babers led the well deserved locker room celebration after the game. “We need to enjoy this and then we need to get back to work, because we want to be consistent, and not occasional”, coach Babers said. This win improves the Orange to 3-0 on the young season. Next Saturday, Syracuse will look to stay unbeaten against the University of Connecticut, at 4:00pmEST in the Carrier Dome.

 

Syracuse Football’s Defense Makes Strides Against Wagner

September 22, 2018

Story by Trevor Kriley Photos by Isis Young Syracuse, N.Y. – Walking into the Carrier Dome is an electric feeling. The architecture itself screams that this place is different from any other venue in the country, and the fans back that up. So many spectators, absolutely draped in orange, pumped life into the great, indoor arena. […]

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Story by Trevor Kriley

Photos by Isis Young

Syracuse, N.Y. – Walking into the Carrier Dome is an electric feeling. The architecture itself screams that this place is different from any other venue in the country, and the fans back that up. So many spectators, absolutely draped in orange, pumped life into the great, indoor arena. Certainly, there was a story in the fact that the Syracuse offense scored 62 points, 45 of which came in the first half. However, the life that the Dome atmosphere and its fans instilled into the Orange defense was even more impressive. After allowing 42 points to the Western Michigan Broncos on August 31st, something appeared to shift in the defense’s mindset.

 

 

Wagner’s opening drive told the story of what encompassed the next three and half hours of their visit to upstate New York. Following a delay of game penalty and a couple of pass attempts, a raucous third down ensued in which Andre Cisco whipped across the field to intercept a pass from quarterback Luke Massei. This ultimately led to an acrobatic diving catch by wide receiver Sean Riley that only served to propel the Syracuse defense into even greater play. This cycle of Orange energy continued into Wagner’s next drive where Cisco was once again in the right place at the right time, allowing him to pick off T.J. Linta this time.

This marked the first time since 2012 that an Orange player recorded multiple interceptions in a single game when Keon Lyn did so against Temple. The impressive thing here: Cisco managed this feat in under five minutes of game time.

Dominant Force

From here on out, it was more of the same. The Syracuse defense was a dominant force on the field rarely allowing the Seahawks into Orange territory. Wagner was facing a monster that was hungry for interceptions and fumble recoveries every time its offense trotted out onto the field. “Turnovers are everything. They’re such momentum changers,” head coach Dino Babers said. Though there were few such swings of momentum in this game, the Orange defense made sure Wagner did not have the chance to gain any kind of traction.

After last week’s games at Western Michigan, fans witnessed the Syracuse offense’s ability to put up big numbers. Surely though, many were concerned about the team’s play on the other side of the ball. While Wagner may not be a top tier opponent, the mere ten points the Orange defense allowed is a promising step in the right direction.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr: The Person behind the Superstar

September 21, 2018

Story by: Jose Lara Photo by:Matthew Gutierrez It was March 27thof 2018, just a regular Tuesday night for most of the baseball players and fans. The Blue Jays were playing a meaningless preseason game against the Cardinals in Montreal. For a certain player on that field, it wasn’t just another regular preseason game, it would be a night he […]

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Story by: Jose Lara

Photo by:Matthew Gutierrez

It was March 27thof 2018, just a regular Tuesday night for most of the baseball players and fans. The Blue Jays were playing a meaningless preseason game against the Cardinals in Montreal. For a certain player on that field, it wasn’t just another regular preseason game, it would be a night he always remembered.

That player was 19-year old, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. It had just been announced that his father was becoming a Hall of Famer a couple of months before. His dad who started his legendary career on the same stadium the Blue Jays were playing that night, the Olympic Stadium, as a member of the Montreal Expos. His dad who brought him onto the field on his last game as an Expos player, when he was just 3 years old.

“It was really weird, I didn’t know what was going on, all I remember is that it was his last game in Montreal and he told to go with him and lift my helmet, and that is what I did” Vladimir Guerrero Jr said.

That night in March of 2018, was the bottom of the 9th, two outs, nobody on, the score was 0-0. Vlad Jr had entered the game in the top of the 6th and had grounded out in his first at bat. He was wearing the number 27, his father’s number. The jersey number was just one of the many things he inherited from his father.

“I was born for this, seeing your family playing baseball forever, I have always felt really comfortable with this. What my dad has told me is to stay humble and keep working hard.”

The pitcher was Jack Flaherty, and on a 1 and 0 count he threw the pitch and Guerrero hit  the ball out of the park for the walk-off win.

“I felt really good, 1st because my father played there, 2nd because I was born there in Montreal. The story of my dad started there, and I went to the plate and it felt really good.”

Five months later, Guerrero is now the number one prospect according to the MLB.com. But Guerrero is still the same he was before that day in March when he became an Superstar.

He still says his favorite music is reggaetón, he still listens to Caribbean singers like Bad Bunny and Alfa. His 2nd favorite sport continues to be basketball. He even still has his same pre-game routine, and still gets exited talking about his similar style to other MLB players.

“My routine is pretty simple, not many swings in the cage, and I field around 20 ground balls” Guerrero said. “Adrian Beltre and I have a similar game, if you see me in 3rd base I’m always smiling, even if I have gone 0 for 4, or if I made an error on 3rd base. I always have a smile that’s what I learned from him.”

For Guerrero, his Dominican roots are very important, that’s why he says when he gets to the major leagues, he wants his at bat song to be “Traigo Fuego” from fellow Dominican Jose Peña Suazo. When not on the field he loves to spends time with compatriot Syracuse Chiefs prospect Victor Robles and gets exited when they talk about what his father did to help people from his country get a shot into the big leagues.

“It’s really hard to get there (Hall of Fame), and I think he open the door to many Dominican position players to come into the MLB.”

Even though he has had lots of success, he is considered a superstar, and even some think that he can be a future MVP and Hall of Famer. Guerrero is still that little boy, walking to the field in his dad’s final game with the Expos, only now instead of just taking his helmet off, he gets to do what he loves, PLAYBALL.

 

Former Syracuse standout leads Boeheim’s Army

August 22, 2018

Story and Photo by Dakota Palmer Before the Syracuse Chiefs took on the Louisville Bats in the first game of a four-game series on Thursday night, some familiar faces took the field: Boeheim’s Army. As the team gears up to take on either the South Jamaica Kings or the Philadelphia Stars in this weekend’s round […]

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Story and Photo by Dakota Palmer

Before the Syracuse Chiefs took on the Louisville Bats in the first game of a four-game series on Thursday night, some familiar faces took the field: Boeheim’s Army. As the team gears up to take on either the South Jamaica Kings or the Philadelphia Stars in this weekend’s round of The Basketball Tournament, they stopped by NBT Stadium to throw first pitches and sign autographs for Orange fans.

While the basketball squad stood at the pitcher’s mound donning their honorary Syracuse Chiefs jerseys, one man stood out among the rest: Ryan Blackwell.

Blackwell, the last to throw out a pitch, stood with his jersey unbuttoned and open, revealing the orange polo hidden underneath — a symbol of his Syracuse pride. While he’s played professional basketball internationally— France, Portugal, England and Japan — he’s back in Syracuse as both the Boeheim’s Army coach and the Liverpool High boys basketball coach.

After transferring to Syracuse from the University of Illinois, Blackwell was a starting forward for three seasons. Playing nearly 3,500 minutes in his Syracuse career, Blackwell started in all 100 games he played in. He led in rebounds both his sophomore and junior years.

Blackwell, the head coach at Liverpool since 2015, said this past season was a “complete turnaround” from the 2016-17 season. In April, he was named the USA Today New York State Basketball Coach of the Year for his work at Liverpool High.

“We got to state finals (last year), lost, and then this year went 26-0 and won the school’s first ever state title,” he said. “I just told the guys, ‘it’s a marathon over a sprint.’ They had to just get to work and work on the things we needed to.”

A coach of about 16 kids, Blackwell said winning the first state title in the school’s history was huge.

“This is my third year there, and to be able to come in and turn the program around…the best part about it is that we had great kids,” he said. “They were easy to coach, they were fun to coach, and it made it even more special.”

Blackwell said he had the Army come in and help the boys practice.

“They didn’t like that,” he said while laughing. “But it ended up being great for them, for us, for our team overall, and then we just did what we had to do.”

He said he learned some key lessons from his time at ‘Cuse that he brings to his players each day: “Work hard, be tough mentally, hold yourself accountable, [and] it’s no one else’s fault except for yours. If you utilize your teammates and obviously work as a unit, good things can happen.”

In 2017, Blackwell was named head coach of Boeheim’s Army and led the team to become the Northeast Regional Champions the same year. Blackwell feels confident about the tournament this weekend.

“I think it’ll go great,” he said. “We’ve got everything we need. As long as we share the ball, move the ball, rebound — we’ll be fine.”

Center for the Army Dashonte Riley said Blackwell is a player’s coach.

“He’s a really personable guy and has a good IQ for the game,” Riley, who transferred to Eastern Michigan, said. “He’s leading us to victory in this tournament.”

Shooting guard Brandon Triche ’13 also emphasized Blackwell being a player’s coach.

“He pretty much just looks at what we like to do and how each player has their attributes, and we try to have different plays for each other,” he said. “I mean, he’s laid back, he’s a great coach — obviously he knows his stuff. It’s great playing for him.”

Boeheim’s Army will play in Brooklyn on Saturday against the winner of the South Jamaica Kings and Philadelphia Stars game. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

NBT Bank Stadium Helps Create a Family Tradition

August 22, 2018

Story and Photo by Ashtyn Hiron  Syracuse, N.Y. – Promotions and events bring different fans to NBT Bank Stadium each game. Stability and familiarity is what brings John Wesche back each game. It was a big day at NBT bank stadium. The 11-1 score line between the Chiefs and the Louisville Bats, Boeheim’s Army stood tall […]

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Story and Photo by Ashtyn Hiron 

Syracuse, N.Y. – Promotions and events bring different fans to NBT Bank Stadium each game. Stability and familiarity is what brings John Wesche back each game.

It was a big day at NBT bank stadium. The 11-1 score line between the Chiefs and the Louisville Bats, Boeheim’s Army stood tall on the mound, and the lines for dollar hotdogs stretched as far as the eye could see. Red and green was scattered through the stadium celebrating Christmas in July. These different promotions aimed to bring the people of Syracuse in, and they were successful. Seats were filled with thriving fans consuming multiple dollar hot dogs and cheap beer. Entertainment and excitement was the theme of the afternoon.

However, something remained consistent for the dozen home games the Chiefs will play this year. Among the crowd near first base sat John Wesche ,71, who sat in this stadium opening day in 1997. The stadium’s transition from turf to grass and the increase in beer prices were the only two changes that Wesche noticed in his 20 or so years at the stadium, but the reasons behind attending the games did not. Attending baseball games is family tradition for the Wesches. Baseball is comfortability. Baseball is consistency. Baseball is legacy.

Taking statistics at games is a technique Wesche uses to stay focused, but most importantly, it’s a skill that was passed down from his mother. Wesche has passed forward the statistics sheet to his children and wife. Wesche has attended minor and major league baseball games since he was in elementary school and has taken stats at every game without fail.

Love is not an emotion Wesche attaches to baseball. The habit of coming to games with loved ones is. Wesche partakes in the simple things baseball has to offer like spending time with his buddies in the stands and enjoying the serenity that midday games bring.

“Day baseball is god’s gift to old men,” Wesche said

Baseball games are a legacy in the Wesche family. The consistency that they have been bringing to NBT Bank Stadium since opening day has created a legacy of their own in the stands.

RailRiders Take Series in Syracuse with Shootout

May 13, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. –  The Syracuse Chiefs’ May struggles continued on Wednesday. Having lost six of its last seven games entering the day, the Chiefs looked to bounce back to take a home series from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. It took less than 20 minutes until we saw runs on the […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. –  The Syracuse Chiefs’ May struggles continued on Wednesday. Having lost six of its last seven games entering the day, the Chiefs looked to bounce back to take a home series from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

It took less than 20 minutes until we saw runs on the board in the top of the first inning. The RailRiders used a five-run inning and then some off of Chiefs starter Cesar Vargas to help secure the 8-7 series win.

Pitch Count

Vargas used nine pitches to get Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s first two batters out, but it took 21 to get through the next six batters – five of which scored. It started with Clint Frazier’s double over center fielder Matt Reynolds’ head. Mike Ford drew a walk to follow. Adam Lind then stepped in a roped a single down the first base line to score Frazier and give the RailRiders a 1-0 lead.

Two pitches later, Kyle Higashioka singled up the middle to score Ford. Then, RailRiders No. 7 hitter Zack Zehner launched a three-run home run over the left-center field fence to blow the lead out to 5-0 in the top of the first inning.

Vargas bounced back for a 10-pitch top of the second inning, and Syracuse rewarded him with a run to cut Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s deficit. Jacob Wilson knocked a double over RailRiders center fielder Shane Robinson with one out. Irving Falu struck out to follow. With two outs, Spencer Kieboom singled to bring in Wilson.

Full Steam Ahead

The Chiefs tied the game in the third inning. They posted four runs, all with two outs on the board. Rafael Bautista led off with a single. After Adrian Sanchez flew out and Jose Marmolejos popped out, the Chiefs offense went to work.

Newcomer Mark Reynolds walked, and Matt Reynolds (no relation) began a string of four consecutive run-producing hits for the Chiefs. Matt Reynolds brought in Bautista with a double off the right field wall. Jacob Wilson then roped a single off the glove of RailRiders third baseman Bruce Caldwell.

Irving Falu and Spencer Kieboom followed with consecutive RBI singles to tie the game at 5-5 after three innings.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre regained the lead in the fourth inning. Zack Zehner walked to start the inning. Bruce Caldwell then doubled in Zehner from first to regain the lead, 6-5 to the RailRiders’ favor.

Neither starting pitcher survived past the fifth inning on Wednesday. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Chance Adams was pulled after 2 2/3 innings and Chiefs starter Cesar Vargas was given the hook after 4 1/3 innings.

Back and Forth

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added insurance in the sixth inning. L.J. Mazzilli, Tyler Wade, and Shane Robinson singled consecutively with one out. Clint Frazier smoked a single off the glove of Chiefs third baseman Gengie Gonzalez. Everybody was safe on the fielding error, including Mazzilli, who scored to give the RailRiders a 7-5 lead.

In a wild fashion, Syracuse tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth. Kieboom and Gonzalez drew consecutive walks to start. Rafael Bautista stepped in and dropped a bunt down. SWB relief pitcher Joe Harvey threw the ball to third base to try and get the lead runner out, but the throw was wide. Kieboom scored from third, and Bengie Gonzalez motored home from first base to tie the game on the throwing error.

The RailRiders responded in the top of the seventh inning to re-take the lead. Adam Lind led off with a double down the left field line. Kyle Higashioka then singled, advancing Lind to third. Two batters later, Bruce Caldwell singled in Lind to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre an 8-7 lead, which is how this one ended on Wednesday.

The two teams combined for 15 runs on 24 hits.

Syracuse’s offense went cold in the final three innings. The Chiefs mustered just two baserunners in that span, and neither of them advanced past first base.

Syracuse has now lost seven of its last eight games, dating back to May 2 at Lehigh Valley. The Chiefs drop back to an even 15-15 record on the season after starting 13-9 in the month of April.

What’s Next

Syracuse welcomes the Pawtucket Red Sox into town for a four-game series over the weekend. Syracuse’s Tommy Milone is slated to oppose Pawtucket’s William Cuevas on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium.

Syracuse Crunch Swept by Toronto in Calder Cup Second Round

May 13, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse Crunch’s Eastern Conference title defense ended on Tuesday at the hands of the Toronto Marlies. Following a 7-1 beatdown of the Crunch on Sunday, the Marlies capped the series off with a 2-1 win on Tuesday in Syracuse. It was somewhat of a revenge […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse Crunch’s Eastern Conference title defense ended on Tuesday at the hands of the Toronto Marlies. Following a 7-1 beatdown of the Crunch on Sunday, the Marlies capped the series off with a 2-1 win on Tuesday in Syracuse. It was somewhat of a revenge series for the Marlies, as Syracuse beat Toronto in seven games in the second round of last year’s playoffs.

Toronto used two Syracuse penalties to jump ahead to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Syracuse’s Ben Thomas went off for holding with 15:40 remaining in the period. It took 32 seconds from that point for the Marlies to get on the board with its first power play goal of the game. Marlies left winger Dmytro Timashov rifled one past Crunch goaltender Connor Ingram, with help from right winger Ben Smith and center Chris Mueller, to give Toronto a 1-0 lead with 15:08 to play in the period.

Converting the Power Play

The Crunch squandered its second power play opportunity a few minutes later, attempting just one shot on goal in the two-minute span. Less than a minute after Toronto was back at full strength, Syracuse’s Alex Gallant laid a big hit on Marlies defenseman Justin Holl, ensuing a small scrum in the right corner of Toronto’s end.

Gallant was assessed a five-minute major penalty and was given a 10-minute game misconduct penalty in addition. Toronto took advantage.

With 1:31 left on the power play, Marlies left winger Andreas Johnsson netted a slap shot from inside the blue line to give Toronto a 2-0 lead with 5:04 left in the period. Defenseman Timothy Liljegren and left winger Pierre Engvall assisted on the goal.

Toronto converted both of its power play chances in the period. Syracuse went 0-for-2 on such chances. Toronto out-shot Syracuse, 10-9, in the first.

The second period was quite the opposite of the first period for the Crunch. Right winger Mathieu Joseph was whistled for hooking at the 13:01 mark, but that was the only advantage the Marlies were given throughout the second. Even so, Toronto could not get a shot on goal during the power play.

A 4-on-4 chance came by 16 seconds after Joseph’s penalty ended. Syracuse’s Dominik Mason and Toronto’s Carl Grundstrom were called for incidental roughing penalties. Toronto put two shots on goal against Syracuse, but Ingram gloved one and smothered the deflection of the other.

Toronto out-shot Syracuse, 9-4, in the second, but no goals were scored in the period.

Syracuse killed a Toronto power play chance with 14:37 to play. Shortly after, Syracuse missed on a breakaway opportunity by center Mitchell Stephens. He threw a shot attempt to the top right shelf of the net, but Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks made the shoulder pad save.

Time to Rally

Syracuse was rewarded later in the period.

Defenseman Reid McNeill buried a slap shot from between the circles to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1 with 9:31 to play in regulation. Centers Kevin Lynch and Carter Verhaeghe assisted on the goal.

Syracuse pulled goaltender Connor Ingram with 1:40 left in regulation. The Crunch attempted two shots on goal following, but Sparks did not allow Syracuse to tie the game.

Sparks stopped 21 of 22 Crunch shots en route to the Marlies’ 2-1 victory. Toronto completed the 4-0 sweep of the Crunch and will face the winner of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Charlotte Checkers series in the Calder Cup’s Eastern Conference Final.

Syracuse finishes the 2017-18 season with a 24-12-2-1 record at the War Memorial and finished second-place in the AHL’s North Division. They finished in fourth-place overall in the Eastern Conference. Syracuse swept the Rochester Americans, 3-0, in the first round of the playoffs before being swept 4-0 by the Marlies.

Red Wings Earn First 2018 Win Over Syracuse

May 13, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. – A dominant performance from Aaron Slegers helped boost the Rochester Red Wings to a 2-0 rain-soaked win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Saturday at NBT Bank Stadium. The Red Wings earned its first win in five tries against the Chiefs this season because of solid pitching […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. – A dominant performance from Aaron Slegers helped boost the Rochester Red Wings to a 2-0 rain-soaked win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Saturday at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Red Wings earned its first win in five tries against the Chiefs this season because of solid pitching from Slegers and reliever Nick Anderson and Gabriel Moya. The two combined to shut down the Chiefs, allowing just four hits.

The Red Wings plated its first run in the top of the second inning, thanks to three consecutive singles. Brock Stassi and Jermaine Curtis converted back-to-back singles to start the frame, then James Ramsey brought in Stassi with… you guessed it, a single. Rochester continued to threaten to score as Bobby Wilson sacrificed Curtis and Ramsey over to third and second. Gregorio Petit popped out and Nick Buss grounded out to quell the threat.

That was all of the game’s scoring until the eighth inning. Syracuse had a couple of chances to tie the game up. Slegers allowed just two Syracuse runners to reach second base in his six innings of work, but the Chiefs failed to capitalize on those situations in the fourth and sixth innings.

Rochester reliever Nick Anderson entered the game and struck out all three Chiefs batters in the seventh inning. Syracuse had two runners on base with two outs in the eighth and then again in the ninth, but runners failed to reach third base in each instance.

Rochester added an insurance run in the eighth inning off of Chiefs reliever Jimmy Cordero. Bobby Wilson ripped a double to the center field wall past a shallow-playing Hunter Jones to start the frame. Petit then sacrificed him over to third. Buss then flew out to shallow right field as Wilson held at third. Wilson then scored on a wild pitch by Cordero to extend the Rochester lead to 2-0.

Once again, Syracuse had a chance to tie or win the game in the ninth inning. Spencer Kieboom walked to start the inning. Jacob Wilson then grounded into the hole between short and third, but Gregorio Petit’s running grab and throw was enough to get Kieboom out at second. Michael Almanzar followed with a single, setting up runners on first and second with one out.

 

Tuffy Gosewisch popped out to Red Wings catcher Bobby Wilson behind home plate. The Chiefs’ final chance in Bengie Gonzalez struck out swinging on three pitches to end the game. The Red Wings earned the 2-0 win, its first victory over Syracuse in 2018.

On a bright note for Syracuse, outfielder Alejandro De Aza continued to stay hot at the plate. His 2-for-3 day and single in the bottom of the first inning extended his on-base streak to 18 games. He entered Saturday second in the International League in batting average (.359) and was tied for third in hits (23). De Aza is a 34-year old veteran who has spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, and has been in professional baseball for 16 seasons.

What’s Next

Syracuse (12-8) and Rochester (8-10) will conclude its series on Sunday at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse’s Austin Voth is slated to oppose Rochester’s Dietrich Enns. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.

Chiefs Walk Red Wings Off on Friday

May 13, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. — Returning home from splitting a six-game road trip, the Chiefs began its weekend series in the win column with a 4-3 win in extra innings over the Rochester Red Wings. As the Minor League Baseball season ebbs and flows, one expected caveat is for teams to see […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. — Returning home from splitting a six-game road trip, the Chiefs began its weekend series in the win column with a 4-3 win in extra innings over the Rochester Red Wings.

As the Minor League Baseball season ebbs and flows, one expected caveat is for teams to see significant roster turnover. Given the Triple-A level’s makeup of 40-man roster spillovers, developing prospects, and veterans looking to play for contracts and a return to the majors, its rare for exceptions to this concept to be applied. The Syracuse Chiefs have experienced this 12 times over the past week, but the first place International League Northerners continued to roll on Friday at NBT Bank Stadium.

Quick Scoring

The Chiefs opened the scoring in the first inning. Veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza continued his league-high on-base streak as he extended it to 17 games. A two-out RBI single scored Matt Reynolds, who walked earlier in the inning.

After Rochester failed to move a runner past first base in the second and third innings, Syracuse found a way to extend its lead thanks to two of the aforementioned newcomers to the roster. Matt Reynolds doubled with one out, then Matt Hague brought him in with a single up the middle with two down to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead at the time.

Chiefs starter Edwin Jackson was sharp through the first four innings on Friday. He faced one batter above the minimum in that span – the only blemish being a single by the Red Wings’ Brock Stassi in the second inning. That changed in the fifth inning as Rochester worked to tie the game up with some power and well-placed hits.

Brock Stassi led off the frame with a bloop-double down the left field line. On the next pitch, Willians Astudillo tripled into deep center field – a play that Chiefs newcomer Hunter Jones could not make – to bring in Stassi and cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1. Taylor Featherston brought in Astudillo with a sacrifice fly to tie the game after four and a half innings of play. Their lead, however, did not last very long.

Back and Forth

Matt Reynolds was sent back to Syracuse from the parent Washington Nationals on Wednesday. In his first game as a Chief, Reynolds reached base safely three of four times, scored three runs, and contributed two extra-base hits. he scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning via his solo home run to right field. The Chiefs held a 3-2 lead after that frame, but just as Rochester’s lead was short-lived into the fifth, Syracuse’s was the same heading into the sixth.

After Nick Buss flew out, Leonardo Reginatto and Jake Cave nailed back-to-back singles for Rochester. Kennys Vargas then walked to load the bases for Brock Stassi, who was 2-for-2 against Edwin Jackson at the time. Stassi hit a hard grounder to Jacob Wilson at first base, but Wilson bobbled the ball and was only able to get the runner out at second. Reginatto scored on the fielder’s choice, tying the game at three apiece.

That was all the scoring until bonus baseball began. With new extra inning rules across the MiLB, Rochester began the inning with a runner on second base. Rochester’s top of the order failed to move him past that spot, giving Syracuse a chance for a walk-off winner.

Fireworks Friday

Syracuse seized the chance.

With Bengie Gonzalez beginning the inning as the designated runner on second, Jacob Wilson was intentionally walked to set up a force out at all three bases. Michael Almanzar then dropped a bunt down, but Red Wings reliever DJ Baxendale fielded the ball and made a clean throw to third to get the lead runner out.

Newly-called up outfielder Hunter Jones stepped in with runners on first and second base and one out on the board.

Jones ripped a double off the right-center field wall, scoring Wilson from second and giving the Chiefs the 4-3 victory on a fireworks Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium.

What’s Next

Syracuse (12-7) and Rochester (7-10) continue its series in Syracuse on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM as Rochester’s Aaron Slegers (1-0, 2.00 ERA) will oppose Syracuse’s Cesar Vargas (0-1, 2.25). The teams will conclude its series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before the Chiefs head to Lehigh Valley for a road series.

Indians take Shortened, Snowy Showdown versus Chiefs

May 13, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. – The Indianapolis Indians and Syracuse Chiefs were supposed to play two games in a traditional doubleheader on Tuesday. Mother Nature only permitted the teams to play one. The doubleheader originated from Monday’s canceled game between the two teams. A 4:05 first pitch resulted in a 4-2 […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. – The Indianapolis Indians and Syracuse Chiefs were supposed to play two games in a traditional doubleheader on Tuesday. Mother Nature only permitted the teams to play one. The doubleheader originated from Monday’s canceled game between the two teams.

A 4:05 first pitch resulted in a 4-2 Indians victory in seven innings. Minor League Baseball rules mandate seven-inning games when a doubleheader is scheduled. The first game ended in just an hour and 59 minutes but adding onto that is a 20-minute snow delay from the top of the fourth inning.

Lord(s) of the Manor

In a 39-degree and snowy first pitch, the Indians and Chiefs did the bulk of their scoring early. The Indians struck within the first three batters of the game. Indians leadoff and No. 2 hitters Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer hit back-to-back singles to start the game. Top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect and Indians center fielder Austin Meadows hit a cue-shot double down the third base line to score both Newman and Kramer, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead after one inning.

The Chiefs went silent in the first inning but got both runs back in the second. Alejandro De Aza and Spencer Kieboom stroked back-to-back doubles to cut the Indians lead to 2-1. After Michael Almanzar grounded out, Chiefs starting pitcher Cesar Vargas singled to right field to tie the game at 2-2 after two innings.

“Kieboom hit the ball well in Spring Training,” Chiefs manager Randy Knorr said after the game. “He’s relaxed. I think he understands who he is as a hitter now. A lot of young hitters, as they come up, they think they’re power guys. He’s worked the whole field now, and he’s looked great at the plate.”

No Soup for Syracuse

The Indians responded right away in the top of the third. Meadows drew a two-out walk, and Indians third baseman Jose Osuna brought him in with a double to the right-center field wall. Meadows was running on the pitch and scored all the way from first base to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. That’s all Indianapolis would need as starting pitcher Nick Kingham and closer Johnny Hellwig limited Syracuse to just three baserunners from that point forward.

Indianapolis added insurance in the sixth inning. Former Pirates outfielder Jordan Luplow tripled to the right field corner with one out in the inning. Catcher Jacob Stallings followed with a single to score Luplow and give Indianapolis a 4-2 lead that would last until the end.

You Better be Careful on Those Rocks Tomorrow, Buddy

The Chiefs and Indians have moved the second game from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday’s game was originally scheduled for a 10:35 a.m. first pitch for a promotional Education Day, where ticket discounts are offered to schools bringing students for a field trip. The second game from Tuesday is scheduled as the second half of a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. as scheduled.

Chiefs Crash Tides on Frigid Saturday

April 15, 2018

Story and photo by Corey Crisan Syracuse, N.Y. — A chilly Saturday of matinee baseball resulted in a solid offensive day for the Syracuse Chiefs against the Norfolk Tides. The Chiefs earned at least a four-game series split with Norfolk as they cruised to a 6-1 win at NBT Bank Stadium. Chiefs starter Edwin Jackson […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

Syracuse, N.Y. — A chilly Saturday of matinee baseball resulted in a solid offensive day for the Syracuse Chiefs against the Norfolk Tides. The Chiefs earned at least a four-game series split with Norfolk as they cruised to a 6-1 win at NBT Bank Stadium.

Chiefs starter Edwin Jackson was very effective in his second start of the young season. The 34-year old veteran logged two perfect innings before Norfolk No. 8 hitter Joey Rickard singled in the third inning. Jackson went on to throw five innings of two-hit baseball while walking two and striking out four against his former team.

“He’s battling the cold just like everybody else,” Chiefs manager Randy Knorr said after the game. “He’s never going to give in, he’s going to be there, and he showed it today.”

The Chiefs were the first to score on Saturday, doing so in the third inning. Rafael Bautista led off with a single and Andrew Stevenson was hit by a pitch. As Syracuse attempted a hit-and-double steal, Adrian Sanchez grounded to Tides second baseman Anderson Feliz. Feliz went to touch the base to induce a force out but Stevenson beat the play and was called safe. Sanchez was out on Feliz’s throw to first.

With runners on second and third and one out, Jose Marmolejos grounded to short and Bautista scored the game’s first run.

Norfolk responded in the top of the fourth. Michael Saunders walked, advanced on a groundout and stole third base. DJ Stewart then knocked him in with an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth.

Marmolejos reached on a fielding error by Feliz. Tides starter Jayson Aquino, who replaced the last-minute scratch David Hess, surrendered walks to Chris Dominguez and Alejandro De Aza to load the bases with no outs.

Irving Falu stepped in and ripped a 1-1 double over the head of Stewart in left field, clearing the bases and giving the Chiefs a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, Chiefs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch lofted an RBI double down the left field line to bring in Falu, extending the Chiefs lead to 5-1 with one out in the sixth. After Bautista struck out looking, Stevenson and Sanchez walked to load the bases, Marmolejos grounded out to Tides first baseman Garabez Rosa to end the inning. The Chiefs scored four runs on just two base hits in the sixth inning.

“Every pitch, he threw me a changeup,” Falu described his at-bat. “I think I hit the changeup.”

Norfolk failed to advance a runner past first base in the seventh, and they went in order in the eighth as Syracuse added a bonus run thanks to an RBI single from Sanchez.

The Tides offense was quiet on Saturday. The only runner to advance past second base was the only run scored. Only six runners reached base.

The Chiefs (6-3) maintain at least a share of first place in the International League North Division with its win on Saturday. A total of 1,535 were in attendance on the 40-degree day in Syracuse.

From the Manager

Chiefs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch started his first game – Major or Minor League – on Saturday. He finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI at the plate.

“I was surprised offensively with Tuffy because he hasn’t done anything in a couple of weeks,” Knorr said. “I wanted to get him in there, get him going a little bit, I don’t want him sitting there too long.”

Chiefs No. 3 and No. 4 hitters Jose Marmolejos and Chris Dominguez scored a run each on Saturday. Marmolejos drove a run in, and Dominguez extended his batting average to .303 on the season.

“They protect each other as hitters,” Knorr said. “We’re going to keep it like that for a while. They talk a lot in between at-bats, they have a good rapport with each other.”

What’s Next

The Chiefs and Tides conclude their series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium. The Chiefs begin a three-game series with the Indianapolis Indians on Monday evening in Syracuse.