Scrappers get spiked by the Spikes, 6-1
Niles, OH – For the sixth time in ten games, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers scored two or less runs, falling to the State College Spikes 6-1. The Scrappers could only muster four hits, while the pitching limited damage as best as possible.
State College leadoff hitter Jimmy Bosco, a 13th round pick out of NAIA-affiliate Menlo (CA) College, hit for the always-elusive cycle, capping off his historical night in the top of the eighth when he hit a double off the right-center wall. Bosco is now hitting .429 on the young season. This past collegiate season, Bosco led the team with a .426 AVG. and a .805 SLG%. The Spikes, who came into the game leading the New York-Penn League with a team batting average of .285, pounded out 13 hits, including seven for extra bases.
Mahoning Valley starting pitcher Cole Sulser (0-1, 6.75 ERA) lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out three of the 15 batters faced while throwing 37 of his 56 pitches for strikes.
Sulser was effective getting ground ball outs, inducing four of them, but three ground ball hits turned into three runs for State College. Sulser was coming off his first professional start, in which he threw three innings of scoreless ball. In that start against the Batavia Muckdogs, Sulser allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five.
The Scrappers bullpen continued to pitch well Tuesday, allowing just two runs over 6 2/3 innings. James Stokes, in relief of Sulser, threw 2 2/3 innings allowing one run on four hits. Harold Guerrero and Briely Puerta combined to throw four innings of one-run ball.
The Scrappers’ bats were quiet throughout the entire game, gathering just four hits, three of which were singles, and a solo home run courtesy of Robel Garcia. The home run, which accounted for the Scrappers only run, was a towering shot down the left-field line, landing in the opposition’s bullpen. Paul Hendrix finished the day with two hits while shortstop James Roberts added one.
The Spikes’ bats exploded in the third, pushing across three runs on four hits and one walk. Bosco led the inning off with a home run to right field, sailing over the 375 feet mark. Bruce Caldwell, Ronald Castillo, and Carson Kellyall reached via singles, with Kelly’s single being a two-RBI shot.
Bosco finished 4-5 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Cesar Valera had a hit and two RBI’s. Left fielder Ronald Castillo finished with two hits and stolen base, while third baseman Michael Shulze added two doubles to go along with an RBI and two runs scored. Steven Ramos, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter, had a hit and two stolen bases.
State College starting pitcher Ben O’Shea (2-0, 3.18 ERA) was brilliant from the onset. The 2012 35th rounder out of the University of Tampa threw six near-flawless innings, allowing just one earned run on two hits and one walk. O’Shea struck-out six and induced nine ground ball outs. Jimmy Reed earned his first save of the year, throwing three scoreless innings allowing two hits and striking out two.
Mahoning Valley and State College will meet Thursday for the second and final game of the series. Throwing for Mahoning Valley will be Luis Lugo, who has thrown extremely well in 2013. In 10 innings, Lugo has allowed just one earned run and one walk. He has a record of 0-1. On the hill for the Spikes will be Nick Petree, who will be making his professional debut after being drafted in the ninth round out of Missouri State University. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.