Cutters shut out on road
STATE COLLEGE — If outstanding pitching is to your liking in the game of baseball, the place for you to be Friday night was at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
When the issue was finally decided, State College defeated Williamsport 2-0 before 4,065 fans.
The game featured a battle between two of the NY-Penn League’s pitchers in Williamsport’s Kyle Young and State College’s Andrew Summerville.
“Both of those guys did outstanding jobs tonight, keeping the hitters off balance and not giving them anything good to hit,” said Spikes manager Joe Kruzel. “There weren’t too many scoring opportunities on either end and I believe it was the seventh inning before the game was an hour old.”
Summerville worked seven innings of one-hit ball, walking two and striking out seven. With the aid of a pickoff, the lefty retired the final 19 batters he faced to pick up the win.
“The approach that I took tonight wasn’t what pitch I was going to throw, but rather to try and force soft contact,” said Summerville. “That is something I talked to Darwin (pitching coach Marrero) about and that has allowed me to go deeper in games like I did tonight.”
While Summerville was busy taking care of matters on the slab, he was quick to point out that several of his teammates had his back by making outstanding defensive plays.
“You have to look at those two plays, one made by Matt Davis and then the one by Bryce (Denton) plus the two pickoff plays called from the dugout by Skip (manager Joe Kruzel). Those were two tremendous plays and two outstanding calls that if I don’t get I am probably not out there in the seventh inning because they saved me a lot of pitches.”
On the heels of Summerville’s effort, Robbie Gordon came on out of the bullpen and was strong as well, Gordon only allowing one hit while striking out four if the six batters he faced.
“Both pitchers pitched well, they got a couple more hits than we did,” said Crosscutter manager Pat Borders. “Overall it was a very clean game.”
While Summerville was dominating, Young wasn’t far behind. For his 5 2/3 innings of work, Young surrendered five hits and the two earned runs, walking one and striking out four.
The Spikes drew first blood for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Edwin Figuera beat out a bunt single, went to second on a wild pitch by Kyle Young, moved up to third on Scott Hurst’s ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Bryce Denton.
“We were fortunate there in the first inning to get a guy on and move him over with the wild pitch and then the sac fly got him in,” said Kruzel. “Then the slow roller got the other guy in so we were fortunate to get those two runs off of him tonight because he had pretty good stuff tonight. Other than that, we were fortunate to have made the routine plays tonight.”
With Summerville and Young dominating the action, the Spikes squeezed out another run to go up 2-0.
Scott Hurst singled with one out and Bryce Denton worked Young for a free pass. With Yariel Gonzalez at the plate, Hurst was picked off second and while in the run down, Denton made his way to third with the help of a wild pitch.
Taking advantage of the situation, Yariel Gonzalez beat out a swinging bunt down the third base line that traveled less than 90 feet, chasing Denton home with the second and final State College run.
“That is the game of baseball,” said Borders about the manner in which the Spikes scored their two runs. “Both pitchers did a nice job and both of them threw very well. I thought our guys swung the bats pretty well. We had some hard contacts, but we had some misfortunes of hitting the ball to the wrong spot in the outfield. We’ll come back tomorrow, play another clean game like this one and see what happens.”
The same two teams will go at it again tonight with a single game slated for a 7:05 first pitch. The Cutters will send Julian Garcia (3-3, 3.56) to the bump while the Spikes will counter with Johan Oviedo.