The Spikes opened their first season as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate on Wednesday evening in front of a record crowd of 5,671. The standing-room only crowd was the largest in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park history, but the excitement in the stands couldn’t lead the Spikes to victory. For the second year in a row, the Spikes fell to the Williamsport Crosscutters on Opening Night, this time by the score of 2-0.
The Spikes only managed to collect six hits on the night, and Moises Robles (0-1) was the hard luck loser despite allowing only the one run through his six innings of work.
Williamsport starter Drew Naylor (1-0) was the story of the evening as he tossed seven masterful innings, allowing only four hits while striking out eight. Naylor’s curve ball kept the Spikes guessing throughout the evening as five of his eight punchouts left the Spikes watching.
The only offensive threats that the Spikes could mount, came in the fourth and eighth innings. In the fourth, the Spikes got runners on the corners with only one out thanks to back-to-back singles from Justin Byler and Daniel Rios. But the rally came to an end one batter later as Erik Huber struck out swinging and Rios was caught stealing for a double play.
In the eighth, the Spikes once again had runners on the corners after a fielding error by Williamsport third baseman Derrick Mitchell allowed former Penn Stater Matt Cavagnaro to reach with two outs. One batter later, Michael Ambrose was plunked by a pitch to load the bases for Byler. Justin, who was 2-for-4 on the night, hit a ball into the gap in left-center field but Jermaine Williams was able to track it down and once again quell the Spikes uprising.
The Crosscutters added a solo home run in the top of the ninth off of Spikes reliever Ronald Uviedo to make the final score 2-0.
The Spikes will look to rebound on Thursday evening when they square off with the Crosscutters for a twin-bill in Williamsport beginning at 6:05 pm. The first game will resume in the top of the third inning with the Spikes trailing 2-0 and will be the completion of Tuesday’s rain-suspended game.
The Spikes will then return home for a three-game series against the Jamestown Jammers beginning Friday evening at 7:05pm. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Zooperstars, who are presented by the Ramada Inn – State College. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877 – 99 – SPIKES, log on to State College Spikes.com or visit the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park box office.