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The Lowell Spinners returned to LeLacheur Park on Tuesday night after a brief but successful road trip to Hudson Valley. They swept the two games series in upstate New York. The ball club is off to a good start early in the season. Their opponent, the Brooklyn Cyclones, are also off to a good beginning having won three of their first four games. The Spinners gave the ball to Bryan Lucas making his 2019 debut for the team, while the Cyclones countered with Malky Mena who also was making his first start in 2019.
Lucas’ first inning as a Spinners got off to a rocky start. Back to back singles to the first two hitters Ranfy Adon and Wilmer Reyes in Brooklyn order were sandwiched between a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base by Lucas. With Luke Ritter at the plate, the Cyclones tried to pull off a double steal. Spinners catcher Jonathan Diaz was able to throw out the trail runner, Reyes, but Adon scored from third on the play and the Cyclones were up 1-0. Meanwhile, Mena was dealing facing six batters thru the first two innings and he retired all six with only one ball leaving the infield.
There was a nice defensive play by Spinners (3-2) second baseman Alex Erro. He caught a soft line drive near the bag off the bat of Reyes and turned it into an unassisted double play to keep the margin at one to nothing. That good play in the field would translate into Lowell’s first run to tie the game in the bottom of the third. A leadoff double off the bat of Luke Bandy to center field was followed one out later by a single to center by the number nine hitter Erro. It scored Bandy and tied the game at one a third of the way through.
Brooklyn (4-1), retook the lead in the fifth. A triple to start the inning by Yoel Romero hit the chalk line in left and rolled to the wall. One out later, with the infield in, a seeing-eye single to left between third and short by Ariel Yera gave the Cyclones a 2-1 lead halfway through the game. Lucas’ (0-1) night came to an end after five (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 SO). As good as Lucas was, Mena (1-0) was just a bit better. He did get into a little trouble in the sixth. After retiring the first two hitters of the sixth, he would give up a double to Diaz down the left field line and an infield single to Marino Campana that would set up a first and third. It would end Mena’s night, (5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5 SO). Justin Lasko came out of Brooklyn’s bullpen and got Xavier Legrant to fly out to center to end the threat.
The game was now in the hands of both pens. The Cyclones bullpen came into this outing with a 1.89 ERA. The duo of Lasko and Andrew Edwards shut the door on Lowell’s hitters going three and a third innings. Edwards got the save for his first of the year and the team’s third of the season in three tries. The final score would be Brooklyn 2 Lowell 1.
After the game, Spinners manager Luke Montz praised all who pitched in the game. There were zero walks in this contest. BHe said:: “they attacked the zone by throwing strikes”. He thought Brooklyn starter Mena was able to throw backward by throwing curveballs for strikes that kept his hitters off balance.
Center fielder, Luke Bandy, made his first start for the Spinners in center. He was the only batter in the lineup with a multi-hit night. He said: “he felt good in BP and thought there were no differences between the pitchers he faced in the NCAA baseball regionals to what he faced on Tuesday night. Bandy played at Dallas Baptist.
The Spinners will try to even up the series on Wednesday night with a first pitch set for 7 pm.