After playing one of their best games in recent time, the Lowell Spinners were looking to make it two-for-two as they played host to the Hudson Valley Renegades in game four of this series. A win by the Spinners would give them a split of the set. Lowell sent Aldo Ramirez to the hill who was making his eleventh start of the season and trying to even his record. Nathan Wiles, unbeaten so far this year, was looking to keep it that way for the Renegades. The result was a tough 6-5 loss for the Spinners.
If there has been one thing the Renegades have done well in this series, is get an early lead. On Tuesday night, they did it again with some help from the Spinners defense. With two down in the first, a throwing error by Lowell’s third baseman Nick Northcut on a ground ball by Hill Alexander gave Hudson Valley a chance to score. And that they did, as the next hitter, Jackson McGowan doubled to center field to bring Alexander home and give the Renegades a 1-0 lead.
The Spinners tied the game in the bottom of the first vs Wiles with base hits from Cameron Cannon and Joe Davis that put runners at first and second with two down. It brought Northcut to the plate and he made up for his throwing error by lining a single to right scoring Cannon and tying the game at 1-1.
Hudson Valley, who scored runs in the first three innings, added to their lead in the second on Ramirez. The first two batters reached by way of base hits, Garrett Hiott to center field and Jordyn Muffley to left. They both advanced up a base on a Ramirez wild pitch. K.V. Edwards brought Hiott home by way of a sac fly to left and is was 2-1 Hudson Valley. Two more runs crossed home plate in the Renegades third. Alexander tripled to right off the wall and he crossed home plate on the second sac fly of the game, this one by McGowan, 3-1 Renegades. A RBI single by Hiott brought home Jonathan Embry who had singled to right. 4-1 Hudson Valley.
The Spinners gave themselves chances in the second, third, and fourth innings. Lowell got the leadoff hitter on with base hits against Hudson Valley pitching duo of Wiles (2.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 SO) and Ben Brecht ( 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 SO). However, two double plays helped to kill those chances. The Spinners did cut the lead in their half of the fourth on a two-out run-scoring base hit by Antoni Flores scoring Jaxx Groshans to bring Lowell to within two at 4-2. Hudson Valley upped the lead back to three, on a triple to left by Greg Jones that scored Edwards who had reached on an infield hit to shortstop. 5-2 visitors.
The Spinners got some great bullpen work, from Dylan Spacke with three innings of five-hit, one earned run ball. That is important because Lowell gave themselves another chance in the game. This time they took advantage of it. Taking on Hudson Valley relief pitcher, Andrew Gross, they would load the bases with no one out on a base hit and two walks. A fielder’s choice by Groshans scored the first run, a RBI single to left by Nick Decker that made it a one-run game at 5-4. Lowell tied the game with Gross’ help as he wild pitched the tying run home. It was a tough outing for Gross, 3 R, 2 H, 2 BB, in which both scored, and a wild pitch. It was 5-5 going to the ninth.
Neither team could do anything in the ninth, so free baseball was on tap in Lowell. In the Minor Leagues, that means a runner begins the inning at second base. For the Renegades, it helped them get the lead back. Edwards was the man at second and he advanced to third on a ground out by Greg Jones off of Spinners relief pitcher Kris Jackson (2-3). Edwards then scored one out later on the second error of the night by Lowell third baseman Northcut that made that accounted for the 6-5 Hudson Valley win.
Lowell’s tenth inning did not go as well as they went down quickly vs Eleardo Cabrera (1-0), to lose in extra innings to Hudson Valley and finished the series on the short end losing three of four.
Spinners manager Luke Montz, thought Ramirez missed with too many fastballs and did not trust his breaking pitches enough. He also said, “Hudson Valley hit the fastball well.” OF Nick Decker, 3-for-4 with a RBI, liked the fight the team showed by coming back and forcing extra innings. He said: “Some guys are struggling, but it’s a great group of guys.” But he too thought his team played from behind too much in the series and it cost them. He also said, “we can compete with any team in this league, and play for a championship.”
Lowell heads out on the road for three against Staten Island on Wednesday night.