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Downed by a dime

State College has tough time in opener against Staten Island

August 5, 2010
By CHRIS McFARLAND, Sentinel sports reporter,

UNIVERSITY PARK - It's hard for a baseball team, no matter what level, to recover from dreadful fielding that results in five errors. It's even harder for a team to recover when its offense can only counter with one hit.

That's the hole the Spikes found themselves in on Wednesday - a hole they couldn't dig out of - as State College was shutout by the Staten Island Yankees 10-0 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The Spikes' defense fell apart in the third inning when the team committed three errors-two by Gift Ngoepe. Staten Island's Casey Stevenson led off with an infield single on a ball hit between Ngoepe and State College third baseman Kelson Brown. The next Yankee batter reached safely on a grounder that was booted by Brown, putting runners on the corners.

Eduardo Sosa stepped to the plate next and hit a potential double play ball to shortstop, but Ngoepe couldn't field the ball cleanly, allowing Stevenson to come around and score the first run of the contest. After getting an out on a fielder's choice, Kyle Roller hit an RBI single to right to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

Staten Island added a third run on the very next pitch on another Ngoepe error. Jose Mojica hit a ground ball right to shortstop that looked like it would get the Spikes out of the inning, but he threw the ball into right field to allow a run to score.

The Spikes didn't have the same ferocity with the bats as Staten Island did. State College's only hit came in the third inning-a leadoff single by Brown. The farthest any Spikes player would reach on the basepaths was third. That wouldn't happen until the ninth inning, however, when Matt Curry reached first base on a walk, advanced to second on an error by the Staten Island shortstop and made it to third on a fielder's choice.

Errors hurt the Spikes again in the fifth inning.

Following a leadoff walk, Sosa hit an RBI double down the line in left and advanced to third on the throw. Garrison Lassiter stepped up to the plate next and promptly hit a ground ball to second, which was again misplayed, allowing Sosa to score the Yankees fifth run of the evening. Walker Gourley, the Spikes' second baseman, committed a second error in the inning, but it didn't come back to hurt the home squad.

The Spikes had another rough inning in the eight, when after getting the first two outs, Spikes' reliever Brooks Pounders gave up three singles and a walk to give the Yankees two more runs. Staten Island added three more in the ninth on a two-run single by Stevenson and an RBI triple by Sosa.

Spikes starter Tyler Waldron got out of a first inning jam unharmed. Waldron allowed singles to the first two batters of the ball game, before getting a pop out and a double play to get out of the inning. Waldron pitched six innings and gave up five runs - three of them earned - on six hits, a walk and three strikeouts.

Curry set a State College record for walks in a game, when he walked for the fourth time in as many at-bats in the ninth inning. The previous record was three.

Notes: The start of Wednesday's game was delayed an hour and 13 minutes due to a rain delay. ...The paid attendance for the game was 3,488.



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