The Lowell Spinners (23-11) were looking to get back to playing winning baseball on Sunday night as they hosted the Hudson Valley Renegades (20-15). The offense was on short order as a pitching duel broke out between the two teams. Both starters, Chris Murphy of the Spinners, and Daiveyon Whittle were good. So good in fact, that through the first five innings of the game, neither team could muster much of any threat at all. Murphy went the first three for Lowell giving up only one hit while striking out five. His counterpart on the hill, Whittle, went the first four also allowing only one hit and striking out three.
Both teams went to their bullpens where the Spinners would cash in. Facing Shay Smiddy in the sixth, Lowell would score twice to take the lead on back to back singles to get the inning started. Gilberto Jimenez got a bunt single down the third base line, then Cameron Cannon hit a rope to left field to set the Spinners up in good shape. After a strikeout of Stephen Scott, Jaxx Groshans delivered a RBI single to left scoring Jimenez and putting the Spinners in the lead. A catcher Inference call during Nick Decker’s at-bat loaded the bases. A strikeout of Nick Northcut almost got Hudson Valley out of the inning, but after a pitching change brought on Andrew Gross, Wil Dalton was hit by a pitch to bring home the second run for Lowell. 2-0 Spinners after six innings.
While the offense put a number up on the board, the pitching staff was putting up all zeros through eight innings. After Murphy, it was Yasel Santana’s turn to keep the shutout alive. Over his four innings of work, Santana did just that allowing one hit but he did walk three hitters. He countered that with four punch outs. The Spinners took the lead into the ninth turning the ball over to Kris Jackson. Coming into this outing, Jackson had four saves. But number five was not in the cards. After getting the first batter on a ground out to shortstop, Jackson (2-2) ran into lots of trouble. A single by the number nine hitter K. V. Edwards to center was followed by a walk to the leadoff man Garrett Hiott. Nick Sogard then delivered Edwards with a double off the wall in right cutting the lead in half at 2-1. The next man up was Greg Jones who whacked his first home run of the season over the wall in right. The three-run blast gave Hudson Valley the lead at 4-2.
The blown save for Jackson was his first of the season and the four earned runs were the first earned runs allowed by Jackson. In the bottom of the ninth, Lowell put together a rally that gave them a chance to at least tie the game. But with runners at second and third and two down, Renegades pitcher Colby White was able to get Stephen Scott looking to end the ballgame with Hudson Valley winning 4-2. For White, it was save number one. Andrew Gross got the win and is now 1-2.
The Spinners catcher, Jaxx Groshans said the pitch to Jones “was a fastball they tried to get under his hands” and it did not work. He did give the Spinners the lead earlier in the game with a base hit and also said: “I have been scuffling at the plate a bit”. Manager Luke Montz said “you play nine innings and twenty-seven outs. Tonight, we played eight good innings”.
The Spinners will try to get one in this series Monday night at 7 PM.
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