Clean game not enough for a Cutters victory

STATE COLLEGE — After Friday night’s disappointing loss, Williamsport manager Pat Borders was hoping to bring his club back to Happy Valley, play a clean game and go home with a win.

Unfortunately for Borders and his club, the clean game was there, but the win didn’t happen.

“It was a pretty clean game, both teams pitched well, but we just didn’t get enough hits off him,” said Borders.

The story of the night was the right arm of Spikes starter Johan Oviedo who worked eight strong innings, allowing the Crosscutters just two hits, striking out nine and walking one.

“He pitched a real strong game,” said Borders. “I wouldn’t consider it a rut (losing two close games). We played pretty well, no errors in the two games and tonight I call that a clean game and a good effort. We didn’t get enough hits, but I thought we played pretty well.”

“For us it all clicked tonight,” said Spikes manager Joe Kruzel. “We had good pitching, played solid defense and came up with some timely hitting. We made all the plays behind (Oviedo), he pitched a strong game and (Julian Garcia) also pitched a good game. It was a well-pitched game on both ends and a good defensive game on both sides. We were just fortunate to get a couple more timely hits than they had.”

As for Oviedo, Kruzel sees major maturity and development from his big righthander.

“They can do that every night,” said Kruzel about Oviedo’s numbers. “You have to be happy with the kid because he has stuck with the process. He is really starting to grow and mature as a baseball player. He is competing a little more and is a little more aggressive with his fastball and his off speed pitches are sharper.”

The Spikes broke on top in the bottom of the first. With one out, Scott Hurst hit a fly ball to right that was misplayed by Cutter right fielder Yahir Gurrola into a triple. Bryce Denton didn’t hesitate making the misplay hurt as he plated Hurst with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Cutters got themselves even in the fifth and they did it in a somewhat unusual manner.

Jake Scheiner led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on a ground out by Nerulis Martinez and scored on a wild pitch.

The 1-all stalemate held until the bottom of the sixth when the Spikes came up with a pair of runs for a 3-1 lead.

Denton led off with a swinging bunt hit down the third-base line and Yariel Gonzalez followed with a base on balls. Josh Lopez hit into a 4-6-3 double play, moving Denton to third.

On the heels of another close loss, Borders emphasized that the guys need a short memory.

“That is what baseball is. You have to forget about today and come back tomorrow and take care of things,” said Borders.

Not to let the opportunity get away from them, Wood Myers ripped an opposite field triple to chase Denton in with the second run and Zach Kirtley followed with an RBI double to right-center, Myers scampering home with the third Spikes run.

The two teams will wrap up the series tonight with a single game beginning at 6:05 p.m. The Cutters will send Ramon Rosso (0-0, 6.00) to the bump while the Spikes will counter with Jonathan Mulford (2-5, 4.31).