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Scrappers lose 8-6, split set with Spikes

Scrappers lose 8-6, split set with Spikes
July 19, 2012
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The Scrappers and Spikes engaged in high-scoring affair Wednesday night, with the Spikes coming out victorious 8-6.

Josh Martin took the hill, looking to earn his fourth straight win.  During that three game stretch, he had only given up five runs on ten hits.  He was opposed by the highly touted young Mexican prospect Luis Heredia.  Heredia, only seventeen years old, turned heads when he inked a Pirate franchise-record $2.6 million dollar deal in 2010, at only fifteen years of age.

The Scrappers got up on Heredia early, when Joey Wendle launched his first homerun of the year in the first to give them an early 1-0 lead.  The one run lead was quickly relinquished by Martin in the top of the second, however.  With runners at second and third, he allowed a sacrifice fly and then an RBI singled to Jordaneli Carvajal that made it 2-1.

The Scrapper offense responded in bottom half, putting up a run of their own.  The run came after Jeremy Lucas doubled, and was singled home by Hunter Jones.

The starters both worked clean half-innings in the third, but the State College offense earned another run in fourth.  A walk and a single put runners on the corners, and another sacrifice fly gave the Spikes another lead at 3-2.  They tacked on two more on Martin in the fifth.  A walk and a fielding error by Wendle put Spikes at the corners with only one-out.  Then, after runner D.J. Crumlich stole second, batter Jacob Stallings delivered a single to score both runs, and run the lead to 5-2.

The offense got another run in the bottom half.  Erik Gonzales doubled to lead off the inning, and a Hunter Jones sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a throwing error, putting Scrappers at the corners with none out.  Then, Robel Garcia flew into the rare sacrifice double play to plate a third run, and bring the game to 5-3 after five.  Both starters exited after the inning.  Martin ended with four earned runs on five hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.

Luis Morel entered to replace Martin after five, and pitched a scoreless sixth inning.  Then, the Scrappers mounted a big rally in the bottom half against Spike reliever Josh Smith.  Joe Sever led off the inning with a walk, and Jeremy Lucas followed with a one out single.  Erik Gonzales then got a big RBI double to pull the Scrappers within one.  A throwing error on the play tied the game, and landed Gonzalez on third withonly one out.  Hunter Jones made the error hurt, singling to left field to bring home the run from third, and give the Scrappers a 6-5 lead.

Morel stayed in to pitch a scoreless seventh, but ran into trouble in the eighth, as State College mounted a rally of their own. With runners on second and third and one out, Morel induced a ground ball that got an out at first, but also allowed a run to score and tie the game at six.  Then a single and a double back-to-back scored a run each, to give the Spikes an 8-6 advantage.

The Scrappers were able to put a runner on the eighth and ninth, but failed to bring either home.  It was frustrating loss to say the least, considering they had already battled back from a deficit earlier to take a lead. 

“We’ve been pretty efficient at scoring runs lately,” said catcher Jeremy Lucas, who ended his night 3-4 with a pair of doubles. “This is an everyday thing.  You just have to focus on coming out and doing the same thing everyday.  If things go your way, fine.  But as long as you’re working hard, you can’t really be too mad about things that don’t.”

“I don’t like losing any night,” said manager Ted Kubiak.  “But they’re working on stuff.  All we can do is hope we get better.”

Taking the loss for the Scrappers was reliever Luis Morel.  Pat Ludwig earned the victory, with Kyle Haynes earning the save. With the loss, the Scrappers again fall to .500 on the season at 15-15.  The Scrappers now hit the road to face the Jamestown Jammers for two.

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