UNIVERSITY PARK - When you get outstanding pitching along with some timely hits and play errorless baseball, you usually win.
Sunday evening, the Spikes did all three as they tossed a 4-0 shutout at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers before 3,249 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The Spikes wasted no time at all jumping on the Scrappers with both feet in the first inning.
Drew Maggi doubled to left and scored on a RBI single to right by Mel Rojas, Jr. Adalberto Santos singled to right, Rojas, Jr. moving to third and Rojas, Jr. made it 2-0 when he raced home on a RBI groundout.
Sitting on their 2-0 lead, the Spikes doubled their lead by adding a pair of runs in the seventh. Pat Irvine started things when he took a 1-0 fastball from Julio Ramirez over the right-centerfield wall for a solo home run. Kelson Brown followed with a double to right, Brown later scoring when Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch.
"He (the Scrapper pitcher) was throwing a lot of fastballs," Irvine said. "I was just sitting on a fastball in the middle of the plate, I got one and was able to put a good swing on it. I got a little help with the wind, but it really felt good coming off the bat."
The Spikes have been pitching well of late as a staff and in the first two games of the current series with the Scrappers, they have only allowed a pair of runs spanning 18 innings.
In Sunday's win, Tyler Waldron turned in one of those strong efforts as the righthander worked five innings, allowing just a pair of hits, walking one and striking out four.
"You can always look at the box score at the end of the day and see what happened, but personally, I always go back and look at the areas where I could have done better," Waldron said. "There are always pitches that I make that aren't up to my standard, so I can always go back and say, 'Yeah, I had a good day, but I could have thrown this pitch a little bit better or I should have had this guy chase this pitch a little more.' It really felt good on the mound tonight and that is only going to feed into my next start."
While Waldron was outstanding for the Spikes, Mahoning Valley starter Cole Cook wasn't exactly shabby in his four innings. Cook allowed four hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three. Three of the four hits allowed by Cook came from the first three batters he faced in the game before he settled in.
"He pitched a little better after that (first three batters)," said Mahoning Valley manager Travis Fryman. "He has some work to do. I think he threw about 50 or 60 pitches down in the bullpen prior to the game. He is green, but he is a big body with a lot motion in a lot of deliveries, but he is a big strong kid and we'll work with him."
While Cook pitched well for the Scrappers, Fryman felt the Spikes might have engineered one of the best games he has seen pitched against them all season with Waldron, Jhonathon Ramos, Justin Ennis and Jason Townsend combining to do the honors.
"I thought they pitched exceptionally well," Fryman said. "I didn't see many technical things on our part, I just saw good pitching on their part. They worked to a low strike zone all night long and they were consistently there. That is one of the better pitched games I have seen from their club this year."
Of their half dozen hits, Kelson Brown was the only other Spike with more than one hit as he finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The two teams will bring down the curtain on the current homestand tonight with a single game set for a 7:05 first pitch. Zack Von Rosenberg (1-6) to the bump, while the Scrappers will counter with Casey Gaynor.