Left fielder Tyler Hill is congratulated by Manager Iggy Suarez as he heads home after a solo home run in the first inning. (Photo courtesy George DeLuca/Connector)
by George DeLuca
The Lowell Spinners (18-12) returned home with a four-game winning streak in hand, only to kickoff a three-game home stand at LeLacheur Park with a 7-4 loss to the State College Spikes (20-10). The visitors had the winning formula this night: solid pitching, hitting, and fielding.
The Spikes sent their ace Ronnie Williams (4-1, 2.45 ERA) to the mound. He pitched a three hitter through six innings, and looked sharp until the beginning of the seventh. Williams was taken out with two on and no outs after Spinner right fielder Ryan Scott hit a liner to center for a single. Williams then issued a walk to Tucker Tubbs before heading to the showers.
Manager Iggy Suarez praised the opposing pitcher’s performance, “You have to tip your cap to him, he had some good stuff, he attacked us, and he set his own rhythm and tempo. He was able to stay in the zone. He was feeling it and was able to keep us at bay.”
A high point of the Spinners’ night was another stellar performance by Tyler Hill (.375) who continues to attack the ball at the plate while playing impeccable defense in left field. Hill hit a solo home run in his first at bat in answer to a Williams’ fast ball, lining a shot to left that hit the top of one of the banner ads well above the home run line.
Hill went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs to lead the Spinners in hitting. Asked about facing Williams, he said, “He challenged us a lot. He came in with the fast ball, then kept us off balance when he came in with his off-speed stuff later. You have to tip your caps to guys like that.”
Suarez took the loss in stride, noting that the Spinners returned home tied for first place with Connecticut after a three game sweep of the Brooklyn Cyclones on the road. “It’s always good to get a sweep, especially on the road. We had a tough one tonight, but we finished strong.”
Suarez talked about the team’s approach as the Spinners near the halfway mark of the short season. “We stay prepared on a daily basis. As long as we remain prepared, the wins will be there at the end. The way we work is what’s important now.”
Right hander Kevin Steen (1-3, 6.49 ERA) took the loss for the Spinners, striking out five and walking four in 4.2 innings. Steen had 5 earned runs. Third baseman Victor Acosta (.250) and second baseman Steven Reveles (.250) banged out two hits apiece for the Spinners.
Jo Martinez starred at the plate for the Spikes, going 4 for 4 with 1 RBI and scoring one run. Third baseman Danny Hudzina went 3 for 4 with 1 RBI while scoring one run. State College had 12 hits total to the Spinners 11.
In the New York Penn League, the Spinners drop to second place in the Stedler Division one game behind Connecticut, while the Spikes continue to lead the Pinkney Division. Right hander Daniel Gonzalez will be on the mound for the Spinners on Monday at 7pm.