Photos by Brianna Adams
On a day so nice, why not play twice? At 65-degrees for the first pitch of each game of a doubleheader, it was hard to remember the first two games were rained out.
However, it was pouring in the form of Rochester hits as the Red Wings (3-0) swept the Syracuse Chiefs (0-3) winning 6-2 and 10-4 at NBT Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon, to sweep the three-game season-opening series.
Syracuse manager Billy Gardner was not available for comment after the doubleheader.
The Chiefs finally crossed home plate in their second game of the season, but the Red Wings used a four-run sixth to propel themselves to the victory on the road.
The Red Wings entered that inning trailing 2-1. After three singles tied things up at two, Ben Paulsen broke the tie with a monster three-run homer out toward the tents in right field off of reliever Rafael Martin.
Syracuse starter Jacob Turner looked solid in the first three innings of his Chiefs debut, but was pulled in the fourth with the bases loaded. His final line was three hits and an earned run as he walked three and struck out four.
Rochester had a steady stream of scoring to pull away in the second game of the day. The Red Wings had a three-run fifth thanks to back-to-back home runs by Daniel Palka and Paulsen, his second of the afternoon and third in as many games. Paulsen hit a grand slam on Saturday in Rochester's 10-0 win.
They tacked on five more in the sixth, all with two out thanks to a couple of doubles and another blast from Palka.
Taylor Hill got the start for the Chiefs. Hill, who was supposed to be the starter on Opening Day, had his season debut pushed back due to the rainouts. He picked up the loss, tossing four-and-two-thirds innings and relinquishing five runs, including three homers.
Down 10-1 entering the final frame, the Chiefs led off the inning with back-to-back-to-back home runs from Clint Robinson, Brandon Snyder and then Matt Skole. When the fireworks ended the Chiefs were still six runs short.
Syracuse is just one-for-the-season batting with runners in scoring position, courtesy of a Brian Goodwin RBI single in the first game. Pedro Severino walked with the bases loaded for the other run, and all four of the Chiefs' runs in game two came on solo home runs.
The Chiefs went just 1-for-10 with RISP on the day, and left seven men on base. The Red Wings left 16 men on throughout the day, including stranding the bases loaded on two separate occasions. However, Rochester went a convincing 8-for-21 with RISP.
Boeheim Added Value Day
Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim threw out the first pitch, right down the pipe to Trevor Gott.
"It's great to be here today, another typical day in Syracuse, New York," Boeheim told the crowd. "Seventy degrees, sunshine. That's why we love living here."
The Chiefs hosted Boeheim Added Value Day in response to the Greensboro, North Carolina Grasshoppers' Boeheim (No) Value Night. That's in response to the coach's comment during the ACC Tournament that there is no value to holding that tournament in Greensboro.
Boeheim also told the crowd that he had a big recruit at the game, but did not specify who. Syracuse.com reported that prospect Jordan Tucker was expected to visit this weekend.
Boeheim signed autographs on the concourse during the first few innings of the game.
Goodwin went 3-for-4 day with three singles and an RBI in the first game, following up his Golden Sombrero, four strikeouts, on Opening Day. He finished the doubleheader a combined 3-for-7, adding a couple more strikeouts to his season total.
With twice as many games on the schedule, the Chiefs brought in more than twice the attendance of Opening Day. More than 4,800 fans made their way to NBT Bank Stadium at some point on Sunday during the doubleheader.
The Chiefs used six pitchers in nine innings in a 10-0 rout on Opening Day. In Sunday's doubleheader, the Chiefs used six pitchers in 14 innings, surrendering 16 runs in the process. Syracuse has already used 10 different pitchers in the team's first three games, with a team ERA of 10.2.
The Chiefs hit the road for the first time year, with a four-game set against the Pawtucket Red Sox and then another three games against Rochester.
The Red Wings still have four more games on the road in Buffalo before their home-opening series when they welcome in the Chiefs next weekend.