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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