GCL Season Opens; Spikes Find First Win

State College Spikes �8, �Batavia Muckdogs �4 (box)

Things got off to a tough start in State College, when the first Batavia batter homered, and the next one tripled off Spikes’ starter Kevin Decker, making his pro debut. �But Decker settled down and struck out the third batter, then got a grounder to short for the fielder’s choice out at the plate, and another force out to end the inning. �He hit a batter in the 2nd and walked one in the 3rd, but did not allow another hit or run in his 3 innings of work.

The Spikes scored 2 runs in the 2nd, on a single by DH Chase Lyles, and doubles by LF Adalberto Santos and SS Kelson Brown.

Ryan Beckman took over for Decker in the 4th. �Beckman kept the Muckdogs scoreless that inning, but allowed a run in the 5th on a walk, a single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI ground out, tying the score. �A fielding error by Beckman led to an unearned run in the 6th, giving Batavia a 3-2 lead. �The Spikes came back with 3 runs in the bottom of the frame. �2B Gift Ngoepe led off with a walk and 3B Walker Gourley was hit by a pitch. �A single by Lyles loaded the bases, and Santos doubled, driving in all three base runners. �Spikes up, 5-3.

Teddy Fallon pitched a scoreless 7th, allowing a walk but erasing that runner with a double play. �But in the 8th, two walks, two singles, and a triple drove in 4 runs, and Batavia again had the lead.

And again the Spikes came back. �Lyles tripled to get things started, then Santos walked and Brown singled, scoring Lyles. �A ground out moved the remaining two runners into scoring position, and Santos scored on a wild pitch, tying the score yet again. �Another single, by C Matthew Skirving, drove in the go-ahead run for the Spikes. � Sandobal Septimo, who had relieved Fallon in the 8th, retired Batavia in order in the 9th, and the Spikes had their first win of the season.

Remember State College’s OF�Cole White, who played for them in 2008, after being drafted in the 42nd round of the 2008 draft? �He hit .338 in 21 games for the Spikes that season, with 6 doubles, a homer, and 9 RBI. �But then the US Army changed their policy regarding graduates of West Point being able to do “alternate duty” in pro sports. �White, along with classmate C Chris Simmons, had to leave baseball and serve in the Army. �Now the Army has released White from his commitment, at least for as long as he remains a pro base ball player. He will be rejoining the Spikes, while remaining an inactive army reservist.

Bradenton Marauders �3, �St. Lucie Mets �2 (box)

The Marauders and the Mets were originally going to play two games, making up for a rain out earlier in the season. �But, the first game went into “extras” (8 innings), and then the rain came back and washed out the second game.

C Tony Sanchez got the Marauders off to a good start with a solo home run (his 4th of the season) in the bottom of the 1st. �Starter�Brian Leach allowed only one base runner over the first 5 innings. �He gave up a single to lead off the 2nd, then immediately erased that base runner by getting the next one to bounce into a double play. �In the 6th, Leach gave up 2 runs on a double and three singles, plus a fielding error by CF Robbie Grossman. Leach allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts, including striking out the side in the 4th.

The Marauders tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the 7th, which was supposed to be the end of the first game in the double header. �2B/LF Adenson Chourio reached base on an error, and SS Greg Picart sacrifice bunted him to second. �A ground out moved Chourio to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.

Mike Colla pitched a perfect top of the 7th for the Marauders, and when the game went into “extras” in the 8th, Noah Krol pitched a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk. �Then in the bottom of the 8th, 3B Adam Davis led off with a single. �DH Erik Huber dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Davis to second base. �RF Austin McClune drove in the winning run with a single up the middle to score Davis.

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Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

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