Much more from Jimmy VanOstrand and Jeff Kobernus can be heard by clicking to the right.
SYRACUSE | There is nothing quite like free baseball on a doubleheader day.
Jimmy VanOstrand hit a single up the middle to drive in Chris Marrero in the bottom of the eighth as the Syracuse Chiefs split a twinbill with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at NBT Bank Stadium on Sunday. The VanOstrand walk-off secured a 3-2 Chiefs win after the Pigs took the first game 5-2.
“It is just about trying to get a good at-bat,” VanOstrand said. “It was the same for the guys getting on base in the last inning. No one was trying to do too much. It is just about doing the job and getting it done.”
Despite having a rough day at the plate, Mike Costanzo saved the second half of day for Syracuse with a diving catch in the top of the seventh in the right field corner that squashed the remainder of a IronPig rally. Darin Ruf started the seventh with a double before he was lifted for a pinch runner, after a pair of strikeouts by Syracuse reliever Erik Davis, Steven Lerud came through with an RBI single to tie things up, 2-2. Then Costanzo snuffed out a Steve Susdorf sinking liner to keep it tied and set the stage for VanOstrand later on.
Costanzo grounded into three-straight 4-6-3 double plays to end the first game and start the second at the plate, but his defense was the difference.
“That was play of the game,” Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said. “Without that they go ahead and have a runner on second and it puts us in a situation where we must score. That was a huge play.”
In the opener, Yunesky Maya started the game by retiring 13-straight batters, but gave up one run in the top of the fifth and then four in the sixth. Maya finished with two walks and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
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Next Game: April 15 vs. Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Line of the Day (First Game): Josh Fields, Lehigh Valley 3B - 2-for-3, 2R, 2B, 2 RBI, K
Fields was the first IronPig to reach base after Chiefs starter Yunesky Maya set down 13-straight batters to start the afternoon.
He then had the two-run double that put Lehigh Valley up for good in the opener.
Fields wears No. 13, of course.
Line of the Day (Second Game): Jeff Kobernus, Syracuse 2B - 3-for-4, R, 2 SB
Kobernus is hitting .556 to start the season as he moved to 15-for-27 on the year.
He stole third base on ball four of Marrero’s at-bat in the bottom of the eighth which raised a few eyebrows, but he swiped it easily.
It was his fifth stolen base of the season.
“(Double-A Harrisburg Senators manager Matthew) LeCroy has always given me the greenlight and it makes it easier when you don’t have to be told when to go. You can to get a feel of when to go, but they trust that you are going to make the right decisions,” Kobernus said. “You have to go at the right times.”
The Inning (First Game): Lehigh Valley Top of the 6th
- Pete Orr singles on a ground ball to right fielder Mike Costanzo.
- Leandro Castro out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher Yunesky Maya to second baseman Will Rhymes. Pete Orr to 2nd.
- Yunesky Maya intentionally walks Jermaine Mitchell.
- Darin Ruf strikes out swinging.
- Josh Fields doubles (1) on a fly ball to right fielder Mike Costanzo. Pete Orr scores. Jermaine Mitchell scores.
- Cody Overbeck walks.
- Pitching Change: Michael Crotta replaces Yunesky Maya, batting 9th.
- Tommy Joseph doubles (1) on a ground ball to left fielder Micah Owings. Josh Fields scores. Cody Overbeck scores.
- Michael Martinez grounds out, pitcher Michael Crotta to first baseman Chris Marrero.
The Inning (Second Game): Syracuse Bottom of the 8th
- Jeff Kobernus singles on a ground ball to third baseman Cody Asche.
- Corey Brown out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher Michael Stutes to first baseman Cody Overbeck. Jeff Kobernus to 2nd.
- Chris Marrero walks. Jeff Kobernus to 3rd. Jeff Kobernus steals (5) 3rd base.
- Michael Stutes intentionally walks Mike Costanzo. Chris Marrero to 2nd.
- Zach Walters grounds into a force out, first baseman Cody Overbeck to catcher Steven Lerud. Jeff Kobernus out at home. Chris Marrero to 3rd. Mike Costanzo to 2nd. Zach Walters to 1st.
- Jimmy Van Ostrand singles on a ground ball to center fielder Tyson Gillies. Chris Marrero scores. Mike Costanzo to 3rd. Zach Walters to 2nd.
Perez-watch: Moved to DL, out a week to 10 days
Eury Perez seemed to be in good spirits in the clubhouse, but his left wrist was wrapped up in an Ace bandage and was in a brace on Sunday. He was officially moved to the disabled list too.
There is no break in the bone, but he is being evaluated further.
His spot on the roster has not been filled as of yet.
Brown-watch: 1-for-4, 2B, K; 0-for-3, K
Corey Brown's double in the first one was a nice knock, but other than that it has started to slow down some for Brown.
He is the likely everyday center fielder until Perez returns.