The State College Spikes suffered a 9-2 loss to the Williamsport Crosscutters in their season opener Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in front of 4,034 fans.
Ricardo Bautista provided the lone highlight for the Spikes in the seventh inning with a two-run home run.
“This is one you just got to put behind you,” Spikes manager Joe Kruzel said. “Hopefully it doesn’t happen too often, but you anticipate some nervousness, and guys really were ramped up, and we had a couple of non-plays on the field. But offensively, we really just couldn’t get the offense going tonight.”
Williamsport led 5-2 after Bautista’s shot, thanks to a pair of early home runs. Cole Stobbe hit a solo home run in the second inning to give the Crosscutters a 1-0 lead, and Greg Pickett’s two-run shot in the third pushed Williamsport ahead 4-0.
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Sam Tewes allowed four runs and five hits in five innings to take the loss.
Player of the game
Williamsport starter Kyle Young: The towering 19-year-old dominated Monday night in the easy win. Young, a 6-foot-10 left-hander, allowed two hits in five scoreless innings to earn the victory. Young — who was the Philadelphia Phillies’ 22nd round draft pick in 2016 — also struck out six and walked one. Last year in the Gulf Coast League, he went 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA.
Williamsport’s three-run third inning: Williamsport led 4-0 by the end of the inning, which included an RBI double by Jhailyn Ortiz and Pickett’s two-run home run. It proved to be an insurmountable lead on a night when State College managed just one extra base hit — Bautista’s home run.
Spikes add players from 2017 draft: State College’s roster Monday included four players who were selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in this year’s MLB draft: pitcher Paul Balestrieri (Cornell; 26th round); pitcher Will Latcham (Coastal Carolina, 17th round); infielder Evan Mendoza (North Carolina State; 11th round) and outfielder Brandon Benson (Georgia College; 20th round). Latcham is a Briarcliffe, Pa., native who was a standout at Cardinal O’Hara High School.
State College at Williamsport, Tuesday: State College finishes its two-game season-opening series against Williamsport at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. The Spikes then host Batavia for a three-game series starting Wednesday.