WILLIAMSPORT - There was both good and bad news for Williamsport on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for the Cutters, there was more bad than good news.
The good news was that Williamsport scored a run in its first at-bat to take a one-run lead. The bad news was that the Spinners answered with four runs in the next two innings to take a three-run lead en route to a 6-2 win over the Cutters before 1,919 fans on Irish Heritage Night at Bowman Field.
"When the pitchers get behind the hitters it is always tough," said Cutter skipper Nelson Prada. "We got behind early and when that happens, you at least have a chance to do something for the rest of the game. Tonight we weren't able to get much going."
Williamsport second baseman Andrew Pullin throws to first base during Saturday’s game against Lowell at Bowman Field. The Crosscutters lost, 6-2.
The Cutters broke the ice in the first inning when Gustavo Martinez led off with an infield to deep short and one out later, scored on another infield single off the bat of Zach Green to give the Cutters the early lead.
The Cutter lead was short-lived, however, as the Spinners scored a single run in the top of the second.
Williamsport battled right back in their half of the second as they had runners on second and third with one as a result of a single to center by Logan Pierce and a double by Jiandido Tromp.
Running on contact, Pierce ran himself into the second out of the inning before Malquin Canelo lined out to center to end the threat.
"He was running on contact," said Prada. "When you have runners on second and third and one out you go on contact. If there are no outs, then you don't go on contact. I tell my runners that if they are going on contact and see they are going to be thrown out by a mile, they are supposed to get in a rundown. That way you still have runners on second and third when the play is over. If we score those two runs, it might have been a different ball game."
Gaining a little momentum after escaping trouble in the second, the Spinners got their bats rolling in the third as they combined a base on balls with a pair of singles and a double to put a crooked number on the board with three runs and they never looked back.
Cutter starting pitcher Yacksel Rios had more than his share of troubles finding the strike zone and left after three innings. Rios was charged with four earned runs on four hits, walking three while striking out a pair.
"Sometimes when that happens it is that the pitcher is afraid of contact," said Prada about Rios missing off the plate ourside. "Sometimes that happens when you are trying to just strike out people. You have to pitch to get outs. If you go inside on hitters, they are more likely to chase the pitches. When you go outside, hitters aren't going to chase. We want out guys to pitch inside."
Still trailing by the 6-1 count, the Cutters scored their second and final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Zach Green walked and raced home on a two-out triple by Jiandido Tromp.
Tromp, with a double, triple and one RBI was chosen as the Cutter Player of the Game.
Although the Cutters were facing the 5-run deficit, the bullpen of Matt Soren, Josh Warner and Keivi Rojas kept things close to give their teammates an outside chance to battle back for a win.
"We can hit a little bit so if we keep it close we have a chance," Prada said. "Any time we trail by three or four runs I feel we have a chance. We can chip away here and there by scoring a run or two and maybe someone can hit a home run to score a bunch. When you are losing by four or five from the first or second inning you have a chance whereas if they score four or five in the ninth (inning) you have no chance."
The Cutters had multiple runners on base in the first four innings and only came away with one run.
"Today we had a couple of situations with runners on and couldn't score the run," Prada said. "Sometimes it is something as simple as getting the ground ball to one side of the infield. Tonight we hit the ball back to the pitcher. At some point you have to execute and we weren't able to do that tonight."
The same two teams will do it again tonight at Bowman Field with a single game slated for a 5:05 first pitch. It will be Bark in the Park night with another session of Baseball Bingo on the slate.
SAWDUST: In his last five games, Dylan Cozens is batting .333 (5-for-15) with four RBI, four runs scored and three doubles. With his recent success, Cozens is batting .271 with three home runs, four doubles and 11 RBIs. ... The Cutters bullpen has risen to the occasion, having worked 17 innings of 27 innings in the series against Hudson Valley. The firemen allowed six runs, posting an ERA of 3.18.