Student Reporting Archive

Sour Taste Turns Sweet; Greene Still Bleeds Orange

July 7, 2017

Story and photo by Dominique Patrick Syracuse, N.Y. — Boeheim’s Army leads fan votes this year for the Northeast region of The Basketball Tournament and Donte Greene most likely is one of the reasons why. Greene, who left for the NBA after a single season at SU, is back to wear the Orange again. “It’s just […]

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Story and photo by Dominique Patrick

Syracuse, N.Y. — Boeheim’s Army leads fan votes this year for the Northeast region of The Basketball Tournament and Donte Greene most likely is one of the reasons why. Greene, who left for the NBA after a single season at SU, is back to wear the Orange again.

“It’s just me representing my school,” Greene said in an interview at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday evening. “I left on a bad note; a little a sour taste left in some of the fans’ mouth so I just want to come back and show them I still bleed Orange. I love my university. It’s always an honor to come out and represent them and put on the Orange jersey”

The Syracuse Chiefs honored Greene and Boeheim’s Army, Thursday having seven players and Coach Ryan Blackwell throw the ceremonial first pitches of the night before the game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

 

Greene and Orange

When he’s not warming up his shooting wrist by drumming a solo, something he did with the SU pep band the Sour Sitrus Society before home games, he continues to pursue his basketball career. Since his four seasons with the NBA Sacramento Kings, he has moved around the world, signing most recently with a team in Puerto Rico.

The 6′-11″ Greene plans to bring not only his offensive skill set to the team but his tremendous growth on the defensive end. At 29, he is one of the oldest players on the roster, but experience comes with age. His plan to use his experience and leadership may be the push his teammates need. Greene said expects nothing short of a championship.

“I want to win. We’ve been out here practicing for a week and I want to come out and have a better showing than we did last year.”

“Getting them together for a couple of games, its like a big family reunion,” Boeheim’s Army manager Kevin Belbey said

The team has hopes of bringing home the $2 million prize. It is scheduled to take on the DuBois Dream in the first round of the tournament at Philadelphia University at 6 p.m., this Saturday July 8.

Gillon Steps Up for Boeheim’s Army

July 7, 2017

Story by Monica Ortiz Staff photo SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When Boeheim’s Army suddenly needed a point guard, John Gillon stepped up, something he did more than once during this past Orange men’s basketball season. And when other members of the team that will compete in The Basketball Tournament took the field for ceremonial first pitches before the […]

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Story by Monica Ortiz

Staff photo

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When Boeheim’s Army suddenly needed a point guard, John Gillon stepped up, something he did more than once during this past Orange men’s basketball season.

And when other members of the team that will compete in The Basketball Tournament took the field for ceremonial first pitches before the Syracuse Chiefs game and signed autographs for fans Thursday night, Gillon was right there with them as he has been in practice this week.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Gillon said.
Connections

Gillon, who is best know for his buzzer beater against Duke, replaces Scoop Jardine who was injured while playing professionally in Canada last season. General Manager Kevin Belbey’s goal has been to stick to a team of former Syracuse Basketball players. He contacted Gillon. Belbey said after finding out Gillon had not signed on with a summer league team, the decision to add him as point guard came fairly easy.

Belbery’s brother Shaun, a walk on transfer for Syracuse Basketball put him in contact with Gillon. After a couple of conversations with his agent, Gillon responded he could be on a plane the next day.

“Back home”

Gillon has only been gone from Syracuse about two months and says his return feels like he’s “back home.”

Choosing to play for Boeheim’s Army didn’t require much thought on his part.

“I’m glad Belbey asked me to be on the team,” Gillon said. “Getting back and being able to replace such good player, with the team thinking highly of me in that role means a lot.”

As far as he is concerned the team is skilled in every position, but the strength of the team will be revealed once the tournament starts. Boeheim’s Army will go after the $2 million winner-take-all prize, facing the DuBois Dream in its first game this Saturday, July 8 in Philadelphia.

Riley’s Return

July 7, 2017

Story and photo by Corey Crisan SYRACUSE, NY — Eight Orange hoops alumni convened at the Syracuse Chiefs game on Thursday evening as part of a promotion for an upcoming event – The Basketball Tournament – where former players Ryan Blackwell, Trevor Cooney, Eric Devendorf, C.J. Fair, John Gillon, Donte Greene, DaShonte Riley, and Brandon Triche […]

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Story and photo by Corey Crisan

SYRACUSE, NY — Eight Orange hoops alumni convened at the Syracuse Chiefs game on Thursday evening as part of a promotion for an upcoming event – The Basketball Tournament – where former players Ryan Blackwell, Trevor Cooney, Eric Devendorf, C.J. Fair, John Gillon, Donte Greene, DaShonte Riley, and Brandon Triche will represent as “Boeheim’s Army.”

“Just seeing those guys, it’s been a fun experience. Reminiscing about things from freshman and sophomore year… I’ve been embracing coming back and it feels like I never left.”

“Unfinished business”

It’s not often that one of the nation’s most popular Division I Men’s Basketball programs watches players transfer from its school to go elsewhere, but there are the rare occasions where circumstances do apply. One player who falls into that category is former SU center and Boeheim’s Army player DaShonte Riley.
The seven-foot tall Riley was recruited by big-name basketball programs, including Marquette University, The University of Virginia, The University of California, and LSU. He averaged 1.4 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game in the 2009-2010 season for the Orange, then he was sidelined by a foot injury for the entire 2010-2011 season before transferring to Eastern Michigan University, just outside his hometown of Detroit. He played there for former SU assistant coach Rob Murphy.

Riley views this opportunity to right some “unfinished business” as he reunites with some former teammates and the rest of Orange Nation.

“The vibe of being back here made me feel like I left something I should’ve stayed with, and now I’m just enjoying the whole Syracuse community,” Riley said. “The fan base and everybody were real welcoming. These guys have embraced me a lot, like I never transferred… I can’t wait to represent Syracuse again.”

Blackwell on Boeheim’s Army’s chances

Ryan Blackwell will serve as the Boeheim Army’s head coach, and he gives a preview of what to expect from the Army on the court.

“The commitment of these guys to getting here and paying attention to detail in practice, I think that’s key,” he said. “Offensively, we’ll be more in tune. I think defensively we’ve gone over some stuff that we did last year, especially man-to-man. We’ll play our 2-3 zone, but I think man-to-man defense is going to be key for us as well. We didn’t do that well last year.”

The tournament is a 5-on-5, single elimination tournament involving 64 teams. A $2 million prize will go to the Championship winning team. Boeheim’s Army will open on Saturday at 6:00 versus the Dubois Dream. The game can be seen on WatchESPN.

Cooney Happy to Enlist in Boeheim’s Army

July 7, 2017

Story and Photo by Jonathan Singh Syracuse N.Y.  — Trevor Cooney stepped to the mound and tossed one over the plate at NBT Bank Stadium, Thursday night. He is one of eight members of Boeheim’s Army to throw ceremonial first pitches before the Syracuse Chiefs took on the first place Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The 2016 graduate […]

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Story and Photo by Jonathan Singh

Syracuse N.Y.  — Trevor Cooney stepped to the mound and tossed one over the plate at NBT Bank Stadium, Thursday night. He is one of eight members of Boeheim’s Army to throw ceremonial first pitches before the Syracuse Chiefs took on the first place Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The 2016 graduate of Syracuse University said he is excited to be back in town, and wear the Orange once again.

“To be back up here, and to play with some of the guys I watched before I got to college, and guys that I played with in college, it’s just an awesome experience,” Cooney said.

The new guy is a veteran

Cooney is the newest member of Boeheim’s Army, a tournament team with past stars from Syracuse University. The 6’4″ guard was picked up just over a week ago, as he will look to add more offense to what is already a dynamic one to begin with.

As one of the younger players on the roster, Cooney will bring along a fair amount of college experience. The Delaware native has been to two Final Fours, the only player in Syracuse Men’s Basketball history to do so.
“He’s going to work his tail off, he gives 100 percent and never stops.” Boehiem’s Army head coach Ryan Blackwell said. “He stretches the floor, can shoot and do multiple things out there.”

Trying to make it

The versatile shooting guard has made a quick transition from the NCAA, to playing overseas, and too now emerging as a young star in NBA D-League.

“My first year was a great experience I was able to get some experience overseas in the D-League and now back here in New York, playing for the Long Island Nets.”

Cooney started in over one hundred consecutive games for Syracuse.

A fan favorite

“Yeah Cooney is very good, he is clutch,” said Steve Taubart, a long time Syracuse fan. Taubart was taking pictures of Cooney, as the team was signing autographs at NBT Bank Stadium, “He was a great player and took the Orange deep during his time here.”

Down on the field the Chiefs were beating the IronPigs, 5-0, an example Cooney and his teammates hope to follow in the $2-million winner-take-all The Basketball Tournament.

Boeheim’s Army is set to tip off against the Dubois Dream this Saturday in Philadelphia.

Devendorf Hopes Third Time is the Charm

July 7, 2017

Story and photo by Matt St. Jean SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Eric Devendorf plans to lay it all on the line for the Syracuse alumni team, Boeheim’s Army, in “The Basketball Tournament” (TBT) for the 3rd year in a row. Devendorf and six of his teammates threw out ceremonial first pitches at Thursday’s Syracuse Chiefs game against […]

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Story and photo by Matt St. Jean

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Eric Devendorf plans to lay it all on the line for the Syracuse alumni team, Boeheim’s Army, in “The Basketball Tournament” (TBT) for the 3rd year in a row.

Devendorf and six of his teammates threw out ceremonial first pitches at Thursday’s Syracuse Chiefs game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The players then met a long line of Orange fans for pictures and autographs before relaxing with friends and family in a suite provided by the Chiefs. With $2 million dollars on the line in the coming weeks, the support was a welcomed boost for Boeheim’s Army.

Leadership and experience

Playing in the most tournaments on the team, Devendorf has taken on a leadership role, a role which he has embraced much to the delight of returning coach and former SU star, Ryan Blackwell.

“These guys are into it, especially Devendorf,”Blackwell said. “He’s taken it upon himself to be my assistant to get these guys going because he knows what it means,”

Now an SU assistant coach, Devendorf spent several years playing professionally abroad. In addition to being Blackwell’s right hand man he provides insight and experience on the court.

“Playing overseas, in different countries, I learned the game more, I became more patient, matured as a player and a person,” Devendorf said, “When I’m out there on the floor, I know every situation.”
It has to be fun

In his two years of playing, Boeheim’s Army hasn’t made it out of the Northeast Regional with last year’s loss coming at the hands of the Pitt alumni team, FCM Untouchables. The loss still fresh in their minds, the team came together to practice a week early to re-establish their chemistry on and off the court.

“To be able to get back with all these guys, it’s fun, you know, it’s fun,” Devendorf said. “I know we’re competing and playing for money, but you got to have fun with it and enjoy doing it.” .

No. 3

Boeheim’s Army will wear uniforms similar to those worn by the 2003 National Championship team. The team has been given a No. 3 seed in the tournament, the same seed as SU was in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. However, Devendorf isn’t looking past first round opponent DuBois Dream, in Philadelphia on Saturday.

“Just because they don’t have recognizable names doesn’t mean they can’t play, they may go out there, shoot the lights out and shock everyone.” Devendorf said, “That’s why we have to go out there with a one game at a time mindset, focus on these guys, and then after that, hopefully the next.”

The Chiefs set a good example Thursday defeating the first-place Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 5-0.

Chiefs Wait Out Rain, Beat RailRiders 5-2

June 27, 2017

Story by Mike Drew Photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — On Monday night, the Syracuse Chiefs (27-47) needed something to feel good about again. Their recent four-game winning streak was snapped in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday when the Buffalo Bisons scored three runs in the ninth inning to come away with a 7-5 win. This […]

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Story by Mike Drew

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 
On Monday night, the Syracuse Chiefs (27-47) needed something to feel good about again.

Their recent four-game winning streak was snapped in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday when the Buffalo Bisons scored three runs in the ninth inning to come away with a 7-5 win.

This time, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (46-30) were in town to begin a four-game set.

The Chiefs waited out an hour and 44-minute rain delay in the middle of the fifth to win 5-2 behind a three-run rally in the seventh, during which Catcher Spencer Kieboom ripped a go-ahead two-run single down the left-field line against Scranton Reliever Nestor Cortes.

“Honestly, I was just looking for a fastball away,” Kieboom said. “And if he spun one, I figured it was going to come in. I got lucky and I’d rather be lucky than good sometimes.”

Jackson’s Debut

Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson made his first start for the Chiefs since being signed as a free agent by the Washington Nationals on June 15.

He threw four no-hit innings on 67 pitches before being yanked.

“His stuff is really good,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. “His command was really good early, but suffered a little bit late. He threw 67 pitches and 35 strikes. Obviously, the command is the next step for him.”

Quick Start

Jackson was handed a lead in the first inning when center fielder Andrew Stevenson singled, stole second and took third when Scranton catcher Eddy Rodriguez’s throw sailed into center field. Stevenson scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Brandon Snyder.

Then, in the second, Syracuse added another run when second baseman Irving Falu picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice grounder to short, scoring left fielder Neftali Soto.

Those were the only two runs RailRiders starter Joe Mantiply would yield in his three innings of work.

Mother Nature Strikes


In the top of the fifth, center fielder Dustin Fowler singled home shortstop Tyler Wade to give Scranton its first run of the night.

Chiefs left-hander Sammy Solis then struck out third baseman Miguel Andujar to end the inning.

Less than 60 seconds after the Solis walked off the mound, the sky opened up.

A torrential downpour ensued and so did the rain delay.

“Some guys hang out, some talk, some play cards,” Kieboom said. “Today I was just watching, getting a vibe as to what we were going to be doing, just trying to stay focused.”

The umpires evaluated the field’s playing condition several times before deciding the game would be resumed.

Major Relief

Once the game started back up, the Chiefs were in a pitching dilemma.

Solis couldn’t continue because of the amount of down time after his last pitch. Thus, Gardner was down to just two available relievers: Cody Satterwhite and Austin Adams.

The game was put in Satterwhite’s hands first. He threw a gutsy 56 pitches.

“He did a great job,” Gardner said. “He got a big double-play for us there with (Donovan) Solano up there in the eighth.”

Prior to that situation, Satterwhite had surrendered the game-tying home run to Scranton right fielder Jake Cave.

Winning Rally

With the game tied 2-2, the Chiefs became aggressive in the bottom of the seventh.

Right fielder Alejandro De Aza led off with a single. Then, Falu dropped a bunt down the first-base line, which was thrown into left field by RailRiders first baseman Ji-Man Choi.

“That really put them into a tough situation,” Gardner said.

Kieboom’s single followed and an insurance run was added on an RBI single by shortstop Emmanuel Burriss.

Adams picked up his third save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth inning.

Welcome to the Big Leagues

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Al Pedrique took Wade out of the game after the rain delay and no injury was announced.

It was later reported that Wade had been called up by the New York Yankees after their regular shortstop, Starlin Castro, suffered a hamstring injury in Chicago.

What’s Next

The Chiefs will go for their sixth win in seven games behind Sean O’Sullivan (1-1, 3.26 ERA) Tuesday night at 6:35. The RailRiders will counter with Chance Adams (5-2, 2.12 ERA).

Bisons End Ten-Game Skid, Break Chiefs’ Winning Streak

June 25, 2017

Story by Aubrie Tolliver Photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. —  They say baseball is a game of streaks. The Syracuse Chiefs were three outs away from a five-game winning streak. The Buffalo Bisons were three outs away from an 11-game losing streak, the worst in the team’s modern era. Both streaks were snapped, as […]

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Story by Aubrie Tolliver

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 

They say baseball is a game of streaks.

The Syracuse Chiefs were three outs away from a five-game winning streak.

The Buffalo Bisons were three outs away from an 11-game losing streak, the worst in the team’s modern era.

Both streaks were snapped, as the Bisons scored three times in the top of the ninth to beat the Chiefs 7-5 Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium.

Four-straight hits for the Bisons gave the team the late lead, which it kept. Buffalo’s record improves to 35-40 on the season. The Chiefs’ record dropped to 26-47.


Too many pitches

Chiefs’ starter A.J. Cole struggled to settle in, throwing 28 pitches in the first inning, giving up two walks and a hit. He got through the jam unscathed by striking out a couple of Bisons for the first and third outs.

Buffalo, however, got to Cole in the following two innings.

In the second, the team plated two runs on two Chiefs’ errors. And the next inning, three-straight singles brought home another two. It was 4-0 Bisons after three.

 

Chiefs rally

But, the Syracuse bats continued to be trouble for the Bison pitching staff. In the bottom of the third, Andrew Stevenson blasted his first homer of the year over the right-field fence, which ignited the rest of the offense.

A single and hit-by-pitch set the table for Jhonatan Solano, who pulled the ball down the left-field line for a double—his first hit since June 18. The Chiefs inched closer, 4-3.

The comeback was complete the next inning when Caleb Ramsey scored on a Stevenson single through the right side. Stevenson was 3-3 at that point in the game.
Bisons turn the tables

Irving Falu gave his team the lead in the fifth by legging out a triple, which scored Alejandro De Aza—another timely hit. The score remained 5-4 in favor of the Chiefs until the Bisons decided to get some clutch hits of their own.

Single, single, double, single is how it happened. Chiefs’ reliever Wander Suero gave up four-consecutive hits in the top of the ninth, which brought home three runs. After that, Rafael Martin stepped onto the mound and got the inning-ending double play.

But, the damage was done. A near-perfect inning by closer Chris Smith gave the Bisons the 7-5 victory.
Cooking

In an interview back in early May, Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said the team was lacking those clutch hits, which he said led to a losing skid.

“We’ve got to get a few of our guys that we thought would hit to start cooking a little bit,” Gardner said on May 2.

This series, the Chiefs had two walk-off wins from two different players. Robinson hit .533 this series—despite going 0-4 Sunday at the plate. And, Stevenson finished 3-5 on Sunday.

One would have to imagine that is what Gardner meant “cooking”.

“This past stretch has been pretty fun,” said Stevenson in a post-game interview. “We’re just getting timely hits and the pitching has been great. If you can get both of those things that normally equals a win.”

The Chiefs are looking to keep offense and pitching alive, as they are set to begin a four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday night at NBT Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

 

 

Chiefs Beat Bisons for Fourth Straight Win

June 25, 2017

Story by Mike Drew Photos by Aubrie Tolliver SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Saturday was “Re-Opening Day” at NBT Bank Stadium, which as it turns out was fitting. Lately, the Syracuse Chiefs (26-46) have been playing like a different team, winning four games in a row, their longest winning streak since mid-April. Conversely, the Buffalo Bisons (34-40) have […]

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Story by Mike Drew

Photos by Aubrie Tolliver


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 
Saturday was “Re-Opening Day” at NBT Bank Stadium, which as it turns out was fitting.

Lately, the Syracuse Chiefs (26-46) have been playing like a different team, winning four games in a row, their longest winning streak since mid-April.

Conversely, the Buffalo Bisons (34-40) have been in a horrible rut, losing 10 straight and 17 of their last 20.

Both trends continued.

The Chiefs came out 6-5 winners in a back-and-forth game that ended on right fielder Alejandro De Aza’s walk-off single into the gap in right-center.

“We’re in this kind of click of force right now,” Chiefs Manager Billy Gardner said. “We’re pitching better, we’re playing good defense and we’ve been getting some big hits.”

Striking Early

The Chiefs knocked out Buffalo starter Brett Oberholtzer in the second inning before he had even gotten an out in the frame.

Five straight singles created a rally, the last two by Second Baseman Emmanuel Burriss and Center Fielder Andrew Stevenson each drove in a run.

Shortstop Adrian Sanchez followed with a bases-loaded walk to score the third run of the inning and hand the Chiefs what looked like a comfortable lead.

“I thought we were patient,” Gardner said. “We stayed square with the ball and used the whole field.”

Striking Back


All went according to plan for Syracuse starter Greg Ross until the top of the third.

That’s when Buffalo catcher Raffy Lopez stepped to the plate with two on and two out.

He crushed a three-run homer over the right-field fence to tie the game at three (for what it’s worth, he was also 3-for-4 last night).

In the sixth, Lopez continued to terrorize Chiefs pitching.

He launched a solo shot to center to give the Bisons their first lead of the night at 4-3.

Designated hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia popped a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the lead to two runs.

Refusing to Quit

The Chiefs put a stop to Buffalo’s momentum right away.

In the bottom of the sixth, Burriss led off with his third single of the night. He scored on an RBI ground-out by left fielder Brandon Snyder.

Designated hitter Clint Robinson then came to the plate with two out and the tying run at third. He reached and out and blooped a game-tying single to left to even the game at 5-5.

“We’ve got a little bit of momentum here,” Robinson said. “I was just trying to stay aggressive, come out and put together good at-bats.”

Walking Off

The Chiefs bullpen held Buffalo scoreless over the final three innings.

Bisons reliever John Stilson walked Snyder to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Robinson followed with a single, advancing the winning run to third.

“He got behind, so I knew I was probably going to get a pitch to hit right there,” Robinson said. “You don’t want to walk two guys in a row to start the ninth, so I was just trying to hit it hard.”

Then, first baseman Neftali Soto was intentionally walked to load the bases, sending up De Aza.

As soon as he made contact, there was no doubt he had won the game. His “single” would’ve easily been good for two or even three bases in any other situation.

What’s Next

The two teams are back at it Sunday to wrap up the four-game series at 1:05. Syracuse will go for the sweep

Chiefs’ Streak at Three as Falu Strikes Again

June 24, 2017

Story by Aubrie Tolliver Photos by Mike Drew Syracuse, N.Y. — Irving Falu homered for the winning run for the second night in a row, as the Syracuse Chiefs nudged the Buffalo Bisons 2-1 on a humid, Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium. The Chiefs offense was backed a solid pitching performance by newcomer Jaron Long. Pitching […]

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Story by Aubrie Tolliver
Photos by Mike Drew


Syracuse, N.Y.
 — Irving Falu homered for the winning run for the second night in a row, as the Syracuse Chiefs nudged the Buffalo Bisons 2-1 on a humid, Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Chiefs offense was backed a solid pitching performance by newcomer Jaron Long. Pitching in only his second start in Triple-A this season, Long went seven innings, allowing just five hits with seven strikeouts.

The Chiefs put together a three-game winning streak, the longest since winning six in a row back in the middle of April. The team improved to 25-46 on the season. The Bisons, who have won just two of their last 19 games, fell to 34-39.


Pitchers duel

The Falu homer in the bottom of the seventh broke a 1-1 tie, which had lasted four-and-a-half innings. Each team had plated its first run in the second inning.

In the top of the inning, Long allowed his first hit—a Raffy Lopez double down the right-field line. Shane Opitz drove him home two batters later with a single to left but was gunned down trying to advance to second.

In the bottom, Clint Robinson reached base on a groundball single to right field. He would eventually get driven home on a Spencer Kieboom laser through the left side.

It was a pitchers’ duel from there. But Long outlasted Bisons’ starter Mike Bolsinger. Bolsinger was pulled going into the bottom of the seventh after allowing seven hits and the one run. Glenn Sparkman took his place and Falu welcomed him with the banger.

Two are enough

The Chiefs got something going in the bottom of the sixth, leading off the inning with back-to-back singles—first by Andrew Stevenson, then by Adrian Sanchez. However, a line out and a 1-6-3 double play spoiled the opportunity. It was the fourth double play turned by the Bisons defense in seven innings.

Luckily for Syracuse those two runs were all the offense needed, as relief pitchers Erick Feede and Austin Adams shut down the Bisons in the eighth and ninth innings. Adams was credited with the save.

“It starts with pitching,” Robinson said in a post-game interview. He attributes the team’s recent success to the starting pitchers, who have given up nine runs in these past three games. “You feed off of it when you know that all you have to do is put up good at-bats and you’re going to win the game.”

Stevenson, Robinson and Falu each finished with two hits—all singles.

Buffalo’s Raffy Lopez finished 3-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles.

The Bisons and the Chiefs are set to return to NBT Bank Stadium Saturday for game three of this four-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Walk-off Win for Chiefs, with NFLers in the House

June 23, 2017

Story and photos by Aubrie Tolliver Syracuse, N.Y. — With his team trailing by one and down to its last out, Irving Falu launched a two-run home run over the right field fence at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday night, giving the Syracuse Chiefs their second consecutive win in a 7-6 victory over the Buffalo Bisons. The two-game […]

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Story and photos by Aubrie Tolliver

Syracuse, N.Y. — With his team trailing by one and down to its last out, Irving Falu launched a two-run home run over the right field fence at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday night, giving the Syracuse Chiefs their second consecutive win in a 7-6 victory over the Buffalo Bisons. The two-game winning streak is the Chiefs’ longest in 21 games and the walk-off homer is the first of the season.

There was excitement before the game as well,  Current and former NFL players were on hand,including defensive back Tyvon Branch of the Arizona Cardinals, a Cicero-North Syracuse alum, Bishop Ludden’s Wendall Williams, now a wideout with the Houston Texans, former Indianapolis Colts running back Mike Hart of Onondaga Central and former N.Y. Giants safety Stevie Brown.They were in town for Hart’s annual free football academy for kids.

The Chiefs and Bisons are schedule to play again Friday at 7:05 in the second game of a four-game series.

 

PawSox Beat Rain, Chiefs; High School Champions Honored

June 16, 2017

Story and photo by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The rain didn’t stop the Pawtucket Red Sox from taking down the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday night.  The PawSox (33-29) defeated the Chiefs (20-42) 6-2 to wrap up their four game series, winning three of the four. PawSox Bats   On the third pitch of the game, […]

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Story and photo by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The rain didn’t stop the Pawtucket Red Sox from taking down the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday night.

 The PawSox (33-29) defeated the Chiefs (20-42) 6-2 to wrap up their four game series, winning three of the four.
PawSox Bats
 
On the third pitch of the game, Rusney Castillo hit a solo home run off Sammy Solis for the PawSox to take a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs looked like they were gaining momentum when Brandon Snyder hit a solo blast in the second half of the inning.
The Chiefs couldn’t get their bats going for the remainder of the game while the PawSox had no problem.
“We gotta swing the bat,” Chiefs Manager Billy Gardner said.
The PawSox continued to swing their bats. Castillo hit a second home run in the sixth inning and Dan Butler contributed with two hits and two RBIs.
The Chiefs had a chance to come from behind and tie it up for the second night in a row when they had two on in the fourth inning. But Andrew Stevenson grounded out to end the inning.
Bad weather
 
The rain started coming down in the third inning and continued on and off for the rest of the game.
“It was a tough night to play,” Gardner said. “Both teams gotta play through it. It’s difficult on the pitchers.”
The two teams have battled the rain twice this series, including a 43-minute rain delay in Tuesday’s doubleheader, which the PawSox swept.
Notes
 
The Liverpool boys baseball team won the Class AA State Championship and the Solvay girls softball team won the Class B State Championship. Both teams were honored by throwing out the first pitch.
With a 20-42 record,the Chiefs are currently ranked last in all of major and minor league baseball.
Up Next
 
The Chiefs will hit the road and travel to Lehigh Valley for a three game series and then to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for another three games before returning home to play Buffalo June 22.
The PawSox will head home to take on Rochester and Lehigh Valley.

Chiefs Break Streak, Beat PawSox at Last

June 15, 2017

Story By Brianna Adams Photo by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y.—After being swept in a doubleheader Tuesday night, the Syracuse Chiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 7-6, Wednesday night. The Chiefs had lost ten straight against Pawtucket and the come-from-behind win was Chiefs’ first against the PawSox at NBT Bank Stadium this season. “It’s always great […]

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Story By Brianna Adams
Photo by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—After being swept in a doubleheader Tuesday night, the Syracuse Chiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 7-6, Wednesday night. The Chiefs had lost ten straight against Pawtucket and the come-from-behind win was Chiefs’ first against the PawSox at NBT Bank Stadium this season.

“It’s always great to get the win column and to do it from behind, I think it makes us stronger,” said center fielder Andrew Stevenson, who went two-for three with a walk, scored twice and had two runs batted in.

Solano, Stevenson, and Snyder Surge

Pawtucket was up 3-0 when the Chiefs got their first  run in the bottom of the fourth. A grounder from Jhonatan Solano brought Alejandro De Aza in to get Syracuse on the board.

Two innings later Stevenson’s hot night began with a massive triple deep into center field bringing in two more runs. The Chiefs got three in the inning but were still down 5-4 and in the top of the eighth Syracuse allowed Pawtucket one more run to widen the gap.

But in the bottom of the eighth Brandon Snyder smacked a deep ball into center field. This brought in two more runs and gave Syracuse its first lead of the game, 7-6.

Wander Suero shut down the PawSox in the ninth and the Chiefs had the win.

“Everyone was pulling the same rope and grinding that bat in the win,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said.

 

Pawtucket Loss of Momentum

Pawtucket had a solid start with back-to-back runs in the top of the fourth to snag an early lead.

Starting pitcher Shawn Haviland gave up four runs in his start. Immediately after Stevenson’s triple, Haviland was pulled to bring in Ty Buttrey. Chiefs’ Wilmer Difo was the first to face Buttrey and knocked in a run on an error by shortstop Ryan Court.

 

What’s Next

The series finishes Thursday at NBT Bank Stadium.  First pitch  is at 6:35 pm.

Pawtucket Sweeps Chiefs in Damp Doubleheader

June 14, 2017

Story by Jake Lapin Photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Pawtucket Red Sox continued their dominance of the Syracuse Chiefs Tuesday night, sweeping a in a rain-delayed doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium. The PawSox won 7-1 and 6-3, improving to 10-1 against Syracuse this season. The Chiefs dropped to 19-41, 22 games back […]

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Story by Jake Lapin
Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Pawtucket Red Sox continued their dominance of the Syracuse Chiefs Tuesday night, sweeping a in a rain-delayed doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium. The PawSox won 7-1 and 6-3, improving to 10-1 against Syracuse this season.

The Chiefs dropped to 19-41, 22 games back of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the International League North division. The PawSox have now won the past 10 games against Syracuse, after the Chiefs took the first game of the season series. Pawtucket has won 16 of its last 20 games to climb back over .500 and into third place in the North.

Game 1: Sox Surge Late

After a 43-minute rain delay, the Chiefs took the lead in the first on a Clint Robinson single, but it was Pawtucket the rest of the way. The PawSox capitalized on some sloppy play from Syracuse for three multi-run innings en route to the 7-1 victory.

Pawtucket took a 2-1 lead on a wild pitch by Greg Ross in the fifth inning. Ross took the loss after five innings of two-run ball. He dropped to 2-5 on the year, with a 6.38 ERA.

Then in the sixth, Chiefs shortstop Adrian Sanchez had two errors on one play, bobbling a potential double-play grounder and then tossing it into right field, which led to two unearned runs.

Rafael Martin entered in the seventh and gave up three runs on three hits and failing to record an out. It could have been worse, but Neal Cotts escaped a bases-loaded, no outs jam after inheriting Martin’s runners. Cotts has a sub-2 ERA in his past 21 outings since April 9.

Bryce Brentz went 2-for-3 for the PawSox, with an RBI single and two runs scored. Noe Ramirez was awarded the win after two-and-a-third scoreless innings in relief.

Game 2: Chiefs Bats Go Silent

It was more of the same in the second half of the doubleheader for Syracuse. A couple more errors and a towering home run by Brentz powered the PawSox to the 6-3 win.

Kyle McGowin struggled in his five-inning start, allowing five earned runs, six total, on eight hits and three walks, with just one strikeout.

But it was the bats that are truly to blame, as the Chiefs mustered up just seven hits combined in the 14-innings. Caleb Ramsey and Adrian Sanchez, with two hits each, made up more than half the Chiefs’ offense.

“They’ve got pretty good arms,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said after the game. “Olmos really knows how to pitch. We just couldn’t get anything going.”

Notes:

Gardner managed his 3,000th, and 3,001st, game of his minor league managing career. which includes  22 seasons and eleven different teams.

“I’m not really into individual records,” Gardner said. “It means I’ve been around a long time I guess.”


The Chiefs have been making moves. There were six roster transactions on the day, some of which affected today’s lineups. Wilmer Difo started the second game at short and went hitless after getting optioned down from Washington.  Spencer Kieboom caught the first game, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

“Difo’s going to be our everyday shortstop,” Gardner said. “Kieboom will split the catching duties behind the plate.”

Erick Fedde, the first round pick of the Nats in 2014, got promoted from Double-A Harrisburg, but was not available to pitch tonight, but Gardner hopes he will arrive in time for tomorrow’s game.

At their current record, the Chiefs have a winning percentage of .317.  They are on pace to be the worst in team history since 1921, when the team posted a 33-116 record, good for a .221 win percentage.

What’s Next:

The Chiefs close out the home stand with the final two games of the series against Pawtucket before heading to Lehigh for the weekend.

The PawSox head back home to face Rochester following this four-game set in Syracuse.

Columbus Clips Chiefs 3-2 in Ten Innings

June 4, 2017

Story by Mike Drew Photos by Jake Lapin SYRACUSE, N.Y. — NBT Bank Stadium was rocking. A near-capacity 10,369 patrons were in attendance to see the Chiefs (17-34) take on the Columbus Clippers (26-29) in the second of a 3-game weekend set. It was Little League night at the ballpark and countless local youngsters paraded around […]

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Story by Mike Drew

Photos by Jake Lapin


SYRACUSE, N.Y. —
 NBT Bank Stadium was rocking. A near-capacity 10,369 patrons were in attendance to see the Chiefs (17-34) take on the Columbus Clippers (26-29) in the second of a 3-game weekend set.

It was Little League night at the ballpark and countless local youngsters paraded around the warning track prior to the game’s first pitch.

“With all these people here, these are the games you have to win,” Syracuse General Manager Jason Smorol said.

His team didn’t.

Despite the Chiefs’ rally to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, a Chris Colabello solo home run put the Clippers back on top in the tenth, leading to a 3-2 victory.


Bug Spreading


Syracuse starter Sean O’Sullivan lasted only three innings Saturday night.

When he was removed, it was unclear as to why. No injury was announced and he had held the Clippers scoreless and allowed only two hits.

After the game, it was revealed that O’Sullivan was the latest victim of a stomach bug spreading quickly and violently around the Chiefs’ clubhouse.

“We were very concerned that he could even go out and start tonight,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. “He gave us everything he had.”

As a result, the Syracuse bullpen had to chip in more than originally expected.

For the most part, it did just fine. Cody Satterwhite went three innings in relief and Trevor Gott and Rafael Martin each pitched two.

“Those guys went out there and gave us some much needed innings,” Gardner said. “We were pretty short down there.”

Fighting Through

Another victim of the bug was First Baseman Matt Skole.

“It sucks,” he said. “I actually got it last night and didn’t get much sleep.”

It didn’t show.

Skole was the best offensive contributor for the Chiefs all night. He answered an RBI single by Columbus’ Jeremy Lucas with a solo homer into the party porch in right in the bottom of the fourth.

He later ripped a double down the right field line in the sixth.

“I was just trying to keep it simple and get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it,” Skole said. “And whatever happens, happens.”

Wild Sequence

Colabello punched a 2-out RBI single off of Gott to give Columbus a 2-1 lead in the seventh.

The lead held until the ninth.

Righty Shawn Armstrong was brought in to try to close things out for the Clippers. Catcher Jhonatan Solano led off the frame with a single to center. Pedro Severino then pinch-ran for him and took second base on a wild pitch.

Right fielder Joey Butler followed with another single and Severino was held at third,  placing the tying run 90 feet away with nobody out.

Then came Center Fielder Andrew Stevenson’s at-bat.

The left-hand batter hit a sharp grounder to third. Columbus’ Giovanny Urshela got Butler out at second. Then, second baseman Todd Hankins threw to first, but Stevenson beat it out.

At that point, Severino decided to charge home. Hankins threw there, but the ball went underneath Catcher Erik Kratz’s glove and seemingly disappeared.

Severino scored safely and Stevenson took second base before the ball was ever found.

After all that, the Chiefs couldn’t get the winning run in. Third Baseman Grant Green grounded out to third and Shortstop Irving Falu bounced out to second.

“We just couldn’t get the big hit and that was pretty much the difference in the game,” Gardner said.

The Colabello homer came in the next half-inning and right-hander Jeff Johnson retired the Chiefs in order in the bottom of the tenth to earn the save.

Up Next

The Chiefs will try to salvage the final game of the series Sunday at 1:05. Right-hander Greg Ross (4-3, 5.69 ERA) will go for Syracuse against the Clippers’ Julian Merryweather.

Clippers Pound Chiefs

June 3, 2017

Story by Brianna Adams Photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Chiefs  fell to the Columbus Clippers in the opener of a 3-game series at NBT Bank Stadium Friday night, 11-5. Behind the bat of Richie Shaffer and capitalizing on the poor pitching performance, the Clippers (25-29) grabbed the lead in the first inning and held on […]

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Story by Brianna Adams

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Chiefs  fell to the Columbus Clippers in the opener of a 3-game series at NBT Bank Stadium Friday night, 11-5.

Behind the bat of Richie Shaffer and capitalizing on the poor pitching performance, the Clippers (25-29) grabbed the lead in the first inning and held on until the end.

“A couple of big innings on their part and we couldn’t make the quality pitches,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said.

 

Clippers Offense

In the top of the first, the Clippers got on the board after Chiefs pitcher Kyle McGowin loaded the bases bringing Richie Shaffer at the plate. The right fielder grounded into a double play but Yandy Diaz reached home plate to take the lead 1-0.

Chiefs DH Ryan Raburn hit a solo homer to right field in the bottom of the first to tie the score up but the Clippers broke the game open in the third.

After McGowin loaded the bases for the second time, Shaffer hit the first pitch for a grand slam to left center field give Columbus a 6-1 lead.

 

Chiefs respond but can’t keep up

Brandon Snyder responded with a 3-run homer to cut the Clippers lead to two.

“It’s kind of a shift in momentum so we were excited,” Snyder said. “It kind of brought the momentum back on our side but he went out and pitched us well.”

Adam Plutko pitched six innings for the Clippers giving up five runs on just four hits and Louis Head and Shawn Armstong shut down the Chiefs (17-33) the rest of the way on just one hit.

 

The bullpen


The Syracuse bullpen continued to rotate through its pitchers, once again using five in the loss to Columbus.

Starting pitcher McGowin struggled from the beginning, loading up the bases twice in three innings resulting in six runs. The right-hander wound up throwing 100 pitches in five innings. He
gave up nine runs, eight of them earned on seven hits and six walks.

Every pitcher thereafter spent a single inning trying to stop Clippers’ power hitters. Only Neal Cotts and Rafael Martin escaped without allowing any runs.

 

Up Next

The Chiefs offered a fireworks show after the game.

The teams will face each other in game two of the series Saturday at 7:05 in NBT Bank Stadium.

Chiefs Take Series with 8-4 Win

June 2, 2017

Story by Jacqueline Mundry Photos by Mike Drew SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It was the third game in two days for the Syracuse Chiefs and Charlotte Knights Thursday night, coming off a doubleheader split at NBT Bank Stadium the night before and the Chiefs got a rare series win, taking the game 8-4 and the series 2-1. […]

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Story by Jacqueline Mundry

Photos by Mike Drew

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It was the third game in two days for the Syracuse Chiefs and Charlotte Knights Thursday night, coming off a doubleheader split at NBT Bank Stadium the night before and the Chiefs got a rare series win, taking the game 8-4 and the series 2-1.

The Chiefs got their bats going in the fourth inning. With the score tied at two,  they scored five runs on a pair of walks, three Charlotte errors and doubles from Brandon Snyder and Ryan Raburn.

The Knights committed six errors in the game.

“Top of the lineup really made us go,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. “Sanchez, Snyder, Raburn really got some key hits for us. We played really good defense. On their end, they played sloppy defensively.”

Bullpen Problems

The Knights has the bases loaded with two out in the ninth, but Trevor Gott got Carson Blair to ground out to end the game.

Despite getting away with the win, the Chiefs bullpen has an ERA of 7.55.

On Thursday night, four pitchers were on the mound for Syracuse. A.J. Cole, who got the win, giving up three runs on seven hits, Austin Adams, Neal Cotts and Gott gave up a total of 13 hits, compared to the Syracuse batters who only had eight.

“It doesn’t matter, the outcome is that we won 8-4,” Gardner said.

 

Similar Meeting

This is the second series between the two clubs this season and both ended the same.

In mid-May, the Chiefs traveled to Charlotte for a three game series and like this one, Syracuse won two out of the three.

The series in Charlotte also featured a doubleheader that was split between the two teams.

This is the last meeting between the teams in the 2017 regular season.

 

Up Next

The Chiefs will continue their home stand when they host the Columbus Clippers this weekend, before heading to Pawtucket to begin another road trip.

The Knights will head to Buffalo before returning home on Monday.

Chiefs and Knights Split

June 1, 2017

Story by Mike Drew Photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — After Tuesday night’s rain-out, both the Syracuse Chiefs and the Charlotte Knights got a beautiful 70-degree evening to play a doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium. The games were polar opposites of each other. In game one, the Knights (26-25) used three home runs to slug […]

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Story by Mike Drew

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 
After Tuesday night’s rain-out, both the Syracuse Chiefs and the Charlotte Knights got a beautiful 70-degree evening to play a doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium.

The games were polar opposites of each other. In game one, the Knights (26-25) used three home runs to slug their way to a 12-5 win. Then, game two went to extra innings and the Chiefs (16-32_ emerged with a 3-2 win courtesy of Andrew Stevenson’s walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth.

“You drop the first one, what’s better than getting another chance right after that?,” Stevenson said. “Doubleheaders can be kind of tricky sometimes, but we split.”


Game One


Syracuse sent Austin Voth (1-6, 5.82 ERA) to the mound to start the opening game.

The result wasn’t pretty.

“Voth didn’t have his A-game tonight,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. “He made some mistakes and paid for them. It was just one of those nights for him.”

The Knights pieced together five runs in the first inning. Right fielder Cody Asche knocked in two on an RBI single and Designated hitter Rymer Liriano followed with a bases-clearing double that scored three.

The Chiefs attempted to make things interesting against premier White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito (2-5, 5.44 ERA) in the third and fourth innings. In the third, First Baseman Matt Skole punched an RBI single to right. Shortstop Adrian Sanchez golfed an RBI double in the fourth to get the Chiefs within 5-2.

After that, the Knights turned on their power display. They went back-to-back in the fifth when Asche crushed a two-run shot to right and Catcher Aaron Blair followed with a solo shot to center.

For good measure, they added on in the sixth. First Baseman Danny Hayes clobbered a grand slam to right against reliever Michael Broadway to make it 12-3.

Voth’s final pitching line featured five innings, eight hits and eight runs. It was certainly not the performance Gardner was looking for in the first game of a twin bill.

Game Two

The second game was much smoother.

Both starters gave their teams decent length in a seven-inning game. Charlotte’s Reynaldo Lopez (5-2, 3.81 ERA) went six and yielded two runs, only one earned. For the Chiefs, righty Dustin Antolin (2-1, 4.50 ERA) lasted four innings and gave up two earned runs.

Once again, the Knights scored first via an Asche RBI double in the second. Then, Left fielder Jason Bourgeois rolled an infield single to plate another run and make it 2-0.

The Chiefs got on the board in the third on designated hitter Clint Robinson’s RBI single to left.

In the sixth, left fielder Joey Butler scorched a two-out RBI double off the center field wall against Charlotte reliever Zack Burdi. The game was tied at two and would require extra innings.

Chiefs right-hander Rafael Martin kept the Knights scoreless in the top of the eighth, setting the stage for what happened next.

Butler hit an infield single to put the winning run on base. He got to second on a passed ball and third on a ground out by Catcher Jhonatan Solano.

Then came Stevenson.

Coming into Wednesday’s action, the number five prospect in the Nationals’ system had hit 2-20 on the Chiefs’ latest road trip.

“This is the first real adversity he’s had to face since he’s been here,” Gardner said. “Probably in his life.”

He responded.

Stevenson took a 97 mile-per-hour fastball and ripped it into the right-center field gap to walk it off and hand the Chiefs a much needed 3-2 victory.

“You always want to be up in that situation,” Stevenson said. “It was something special.”

 

What’s Next

The two teams are at it again Thursday night (6/1) at NBT Bank Stadium in the final game of a three-game set. Right-hander A.J. Cole (1-2, 6.03 ERA) will start for the Chiefs. Charlotte will counter with right-hander Tyler Danish (1-3, 3.15 ERA). First pitch is at 6:35.

IronPigs Sweep Chiefs with Third Straight One-Run Win

May 21, 2017

Story by Jacqueline Mundry Photos by Aubrie Tolliver SYRACUSE, N.Y.  — The first and the worst teams in the International League North Division ended their three game series at NBT Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon in familiar fashion. After winning the first two games by a run in the ten innings, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs defeated the […]

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Story by Jacqueline Mundry

Photos by Aubrie Tolliver

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  — The first and the worst teams in the International League North Division ended their three game series at NBT Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon in familiar fashion.

After winning the first two games by a run in the ten innings, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs defeated the Syracuse Chiefs 3-2, this time scoring all their runs in the ninth inning.

It was the second largest crowd of the season and while the rain was on and off the 4,213 fans still enjoyed themselves at Bark in the Park Day where animal shelters brought dogs in with the hope of getting them adopted.

The pregame festivities included a successful proposal of marriage by Connor Abdo to Jenna Chrysler.

 

Pitchers Duel

Lehigh Valley’s Ben Lively and Syracuse’s Kyle McGowin both pitched six innings and neither gave up a run.

The game was scoreless through seven and a half innings before the Chiefs got their bats going against Lehigh Valley’s Michael Mariot.

In the bottom of the seventh with two out and no one on base, Brandon Snyder got on with a double to right field. Pedro Severino then singled to drive Snyder home.

Mariot pitched one inning and gave up one run.

 

The Comeback

The number one team in the North Division wasn’t going to go down without a fight, and for the second day in a row the IronPigs made a comeback.

The first batter in the bottom of the ninth, Nick Williams, hit a solo shot tying the game at one.

Syracuse reliever Joe Nathan then walked Cameron Perkins and Taylor Featherston hit a two-run home run to take the 3-1 lead over the Chiefs.

Despite giving up two home runs, Chiefs manager, Billy Gardner said he’s pleased with Nathan’s performance so far this season.

“We’ve been really happy with what he’s been doing,”   Gardner said. “Today’s one of those days that, that happens, and you go out there and you don’t make pitches and guys blow saves.”


A Second Comeback?

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Chiefs tried to stage a comeback of their own but fell short.

Caleb Ramsey singled and pinch hitter, Clint Robinson hit one to center field to send Ramsey to third base. Ramsey eventually scored off of Irving Falu’s line drive but that was the last run for the Chiefs and the IronPigs completed their three-game sweep as Adrian Sanchez struck out, stranding pinch runner Corban Joseph at third.

Gardner found a silver lining in the sweep.

“We battled, I thought we competed and that’s really all we can ask,” he said. “It’s frustrating a little bit because it kind of takes its toll on you as far as team morale but we were in position last night we were in position today to close it out, we just couldn’t get it done.”

 

Up Next

The Chiefs will hit the road for the next week playing at Charlotte and Gwinnett before returning home on May 30.

 

The IronPigs will head home to face Indianapolis and Louisville.

IronPigs Down Chiefs in Ten Innings Again

May 20, 2017

Story and photo by Aubrie Tolliver Syracuse, N.Y. — For the second game in a row, the Syracuse Chiefs and Lehigh Valley IronPigs went into extra innings. And just as in Friday night’s game, the IronPigs scored in the top of the tenth to beat the Chiefs 4-3 Saturday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. This time, […]

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Story and photo by Aubrie Tolliver

Syracuse, N.Y. — For the second game in a row, the Syracuse Chiefs and Lehigh Valley IronPigs went into extra innings. And just as in Friday night’s game, the IronPigs scored in the top of the tenth to beat the Chiefs 4-3 Saturday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. This time, after they’d scored two in the ninth to send it into the extra frame.

“The thing about their team is that they’re so talented,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. “You make a mistake and you’re going to pay for it.”

Chiefs take early lead

The sun was beaming down on NBT Bank Stadium, flying high behind the home plate for most of the game, which is something the fans–and the team, for that matter–have been waiting for as the second month of the season comes to a close.

The sun, however, created a problem for Lehigh Valley second baseman Pedro Floriman when he lost Rafael Bautista’s high popup in the bottom of the third.

It should have been the final out of the inning.

Instead, the Chiefs plated their first run of the game as Caleb Ramsey scored from second base.

It went in the books as an earned run, since the ball landed a few feet in front of Floriman, who was ducking out of the way, afraid it was going to land on the top of his head.

Lehigh Valley immediately responded in the top of the fourth. The IronPigs had the bases loaded with two out when starting pitcher A.J. Cole missed the base as he took a toss from Clint Robinson on a ground ball to the first baseman, allowing all runners to safely advance and Taylor Featherston to score. The run was unearned.

Irving Falu gave the Chiefs the lead two innings later on a line drive that went just over the outstretched arm of Floriman. Adrian Sanchez expanded the lead the following inning, launching his third homer of the season.

 

The Comeback

Syracuse led 3-1 until the ninth. Manager Billy Gardner then put Rafael Martin in charge of closing out the game, but Martin was unsuccessful in his efforts. J.P. Crawford and Cameron Berkins drove in a run apiece on line drives to center field, tying the game at three.

A scoreless bottom of the inning for the Chiefs gave the IronPigs another opportunity to win it in extra innings and Nick Williams took advantage of it by smashing his fourth homer of the season, this one off Chiefs right-hander Cody Sadderwhite.

Syracuse had two runners on with two out in the bottom of the tenth, but Pedro Beato struck out Brandon Snyder giving the Chiefs their seventh loss in their last eight games.
Notes

  • Andrew Stevenson, who has struggled at the plate since being called up almost two weeks ago, batting .188 in those 13 games, racked up two hits.
  • Sanchez is hitting a team-high .312 on the season and continued to prove be the most consistent hitter for the Chiefs, going 1-3 with the long ball.
  • Lehigh’s starting pitcher Thomas Eshelman went eight innings allowing two earned runs while striking out four. He was also 2-2 at the plate in his first two at bats of the season.
  • The game-time temperature bounced around the upper sixties–a change from Friday night’s game and most of the other games this season where players were having to warm their bats and hands beneath the heaters planted in the dugout.

“Obviously baseball is made for warm weather,” Gardner said in a post-game interview. But, he insisted the weather has not affected the outcomes of the                  previous games, since both teams on the field have to endure the same circumstances.

  • The Chiefs’ pitching staff has a league-worst 5.59 ERA–a full run above the next team average. But, in the past two games, the pitching staff has allowed no more than four runs to the IronPigs–the team with the best record in the division, 28-14.
  • Syracuse possesses the worst division record at 13-25.

 

Coming Up

The Chiefs will look to salvage the final game of the series against Lehigh Valley Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. First pitch is set, once again, for 1:05 p.m.

 

IronPigs Take the Bacon

May 20, 2017

Story and photos by Aubrie Tolliver Syracuse, N.Y. — What amounted to a swinging bunt in the top of the tenth inning made the difference as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs topped the Syracuse Chiefs 3-2 in extra innings Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium. On another chilly night (57 degrees at first pitch) that had fans […]

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Story and photos by Aubrie Tolliver

Syracuse, N.Y. — What amounted to a swinging bunt in the top of the tenth inning made the difference as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs topped the Syracuse Chiefs 3-2 in extra innings Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium.

On another chilly night (57 degrees at first pitch) that had fans and players bundled up, the Chiefs had ten hits in the game but only managed to turn any of them into runs in the fifth inning.

Newcomer Andrew Stevenson singled on a ground ball up the middle, which plated Grant Green. Clint Robinson earned the only other RBI with a ground ball to right field two batters later.

The Lehigh Valley hitters, sporting their iconic “Bacon USA” jerseys, countered the following inning, also plating two runs. In the top of the sixth, the Chiefs starting hurler Austin Voth, who tossed four hitless innings to begin the game, found himself in a bases-loaded, no-outs situation after three consecutive singles. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Rhys Hoskins plated the first run and a Nick Williams infield single brought home the second.

It remained a 2-2 tie after nine innings. But, the IronPigs needed just one more inning to seal the victory.

Big hit + little hit = winning run

In the top of the tenth, Lehigh Valley’s Hector Gomez pulled an inside pitch down the right field line. By the time the defense got it back into the infield, he was standing third base with his first triple of the year. The Chiefs’ right-hander Mike Broadway went on to strike out the next two batters and seemed on the verge of doing the same to batter number four.

But on the 0-2 pitch, Jorge Alfaro swung and barely got a piece of the ball. It was hit slowly down the third base side in a spot where no infielder could get to it and went in the books as an RBI single–the winning RBI single as Gomez scored.

Up 3-2 in the last half of the tenth, closer Pedro Beato shut the door on the Chiefs’ offense, recording his 12th save of the season. Pat Venditte earned his fourth win while Broadway was tagged with his first loss.

Next

The IronPigs now stand at 27-14 on the season while the Chiefs fall to a division-worst 13-24.

The teams will play game two of the three-game series Saturday at NBT Bank with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m.