Spikes Come From Behind to Win Home Opener
A last minute lineup adjustment after a bizarre pregame injury did not faze the State College Spikes as they battled to a 5-2 win against the Williamsport Crosscutters in the season home-opener Tuesday night.
Spikes left fielder Alex Fuselier was slated to get the start before he ran into Crosscutters manager Andy Tracy while shagging fly balls during warm-ups.
Spikes manager Dave Turgeon said Fuselier was going at full speed when he collided with Tracy, resulting in a bloody nose and a concussion.
With Fuselier being scratched from the lineup, Turgeon moved Jodaneli Carvajal to the leadoff spot. The shortstop proved to be quite the catalyst at the top of the lineup going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.
“He’s been there before,” said Turgeon. “He’s a top of the order, bottom of the order guy. I think he’s comfortable in either one of those spots.”
“He stepped in and filled a role well,” said DH Ryan Hornback. “He really set the table.”
Carvajal led off the bottom of the first inning with one of his two hits. After a Raul Fortunato base hit to center, Carvajal advanced to third. Fortunato then stole second base and a throwing error by Crosscutters second baseman Tyler Greene allowed Carvajal to score, giving the Spikes an early 1-0 lead.
The Crosscutters got on the board in the third inning after Roman Quinn led off with a single to left. Diego Gonzalez then grounded out to third, and the speedy Quinn took off for third as the ball was thrown across the diamond. A throwing error by Spikes first baseman Jared Lakind allowed Quinn to score, tying the game at 1-1. Then, after a walk was given up by Spikes starting pitcher Joely Rodriguez to the Crosscutters Chris Serritella and a wild pitch moved Serritella to second, Larry Greene doubled to center giving the Crosscutters a 2-1 lead after three innings.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Spikes were able to take the lead again. Carvajal got it started again this time with a leadoff walk. Fortunato singled to right and an error on right fielder Brian Pointer allowed Carvajal to advance to third and Fortunato to second. After Barrett Barnes was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Hornback knocked a base hit resulting in two runs to give the Spikes a 3-2 lead after an error by third baseman, Mitch Walding.
Hornback said he was just trying to put the bat on the ball, but attributes the win to the bullpen performance.
“Our pitchers coming in and shutting the next few innings down was a big deal,” Hornback said. “They came in and closed the door for us.”
The Spikes would tack on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and a strong bullpen performance propelled them to a 5-2 win. Logan Pevny got the win out of the bullpen while Kyle Haynes earned the save.
The Spikes will try to win their second game in a row tomorrow night at 7:05 in Williamsport. They return to State College Thursday at 7:05 as they conclude their series vs the Crosscutters. Listen to all Spikes home games live at psucomradio.com.
Ryan Mellon is a senior majoring in Print Journalism. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Ryan Mellon is a Senior from York, PA majoring in Print Journalism with an emphasis in sports from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. In addition to his passion for sports, Ryan enjoys photography and also loves to drum. He is a member of the Penn State Blue Band drumline and performs with the Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps. With his degree, Ryan is interested in pursuing beat writing for either Major League Baseball or college football and would also like to explore a path in teaching.