Looking to do what they have already done a couple of times this season, the Lowell Spinners (20-9) were back at home to try and complete a series sweep of the Auburn Doubledays (14-16). To get that done, the Spinners would have to handle the offerings of the Washington Nationals top pick from this past June draft. That was Jackson Rutledge, the 6-8, 250-pound RHP who has been clocked at 100 MPH. He was making his second start on the year. Rutledge’s night would last three innings and he made only one mistake during his stint on the hill. It came in the third inning when he gave up a leadoff home run to Lowell OF Nick Decker, who took a Rutledge fastball over the scoreboard in right for his third HR of the season, and second of the series. Lowell led 1-0 thru three innings.
The Spinners gave the ball to Aldo Ramirez who was making his sixth start of the season. Thru five frames, Ramirez threw two-hit shutout baseball. Monday night’s game also marked the debut of the Red Sox first pick in this year draft, (43rd overall), Cameron Cannon. He was the Spinners SS and hit fifth in the order. Lowell added to their advantage the same way they got it. Once again, it was Decker and this time it was off of relief pitcher Todd Peterson. He hit to the same spot over the right-field scoreboard for number four on the year, and the third of the series. That made it 2-0 Spinners thru five.
After five strong innings from Ramirez, the Spinners went to their bullpen and brought on Hilldemarro Requena who got more offensive support from his mates in the bottom of the sixth. A triple off the wall in right by Jaxx Groshans was followed by a RBI single to right by Stephen Scott. The run was the second allowed by Peterson and gave the Spinners a 3-0 lead. The lead was lost in the seventh vs Requena. After two were down, the Doubledays went to work. Four straight hits with the big blow being a three-run home run inside the foul pole in left by Eric Senior. It was his second of the year and second hit of the night. Just like that, Auburn had a 4-3 lead in the seventh. On this night the big hit was not coming for the Spinners as the combination of Jordan Bocko and Hunter McMahon would shut down Lowell’s offense to take the finale of the series 4-3.
After the game, Luke Montz, the Spinners manager, simply said: “it didn’t happen for us tonight”. He looked at the physical mistakes that helped Auburn get those five runs in the seventh as the key part of the ballgame. Bocko got the win and is (1-0) and McMahon picked up save number two. Requena took the loss and is now 3-1.
Lowell heads out on the road for a mid-week trip to Tri-City next. Stay tuned to NGSC Sports for all the coverage of Lowell Spinners baseball.