WILLIAMSPORT - Kyrell Hudson coasted from center field to left-center. Aaron Altherr did the same from his left-field spot.
Both Williamsport outfielders assumed the other was going to catch the lazy, lofted fly ball hit by State College's Samuel Gonzalez.
Both plus-defensive outfielders stood in disbelief after the ball was thrown back in to the infield with the Spikes having been gift-wrapped a two-out run in the first inning. Both sulked back to their positions on the breezy, but humid, night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The three runs State College scored in the first inning were enough to pick up its ninth win of the season, 5-1. The Spikes snapped Williamsport's four-game winning streak. After getting within a game of Jamestown and Mahoning Valley for first place in the Pinckney Division with a win in each of the first two games of the series, Williamsport fell two games behind the Jammers with Monday's loss.
"There was absolutely (no energy)," Williamsport manager Mickey Morandini said. "We got outplayed in every aspect of the game. I thought with the way we've been playing we would come out with more energy and really go for the sweep. It didn't happen that way."
The Cutters committed three errors including two on one play in the second inning by Hudson that allowed the Spikes to score a run. And coupled with dominant pitching from three Spikes pitchers, it was a rough night.
Williamsport had just four hits, and only one in four innings off Orlando Castro who was making his Spikes debut in relief. The Cutters squared up a number of balls, but Patrick Murray was robbed on a liner in the hole between short and third, Kenny Miramontes was robbed by a great catch on a liner to third, and Spikes shortstop Kevin Sugar made a brilliant barehand throw on a bouncer over the mound to get Maikel Franco.
"We squared a few up, but overall they were throwing strikes, we were making contact and they made some nice plays," Morandini said. "We couldn't get anything going."
Following its run-scoring rally in the top of the second, Williamsport sent more than four batters to the plate in an inning just once, and the Cutters left runners stranded on first and second in that sixth inning.
Williamsport didn't have an extra-base hit and they didn't have back-to-back hits at all.
"When you get ahead of hitters, you're going to be successful," Morandini said. "And they got ahead of us."
State College scored three times in the first inning off of Adam Morgan, the Phillies third-round pick this year. He gave up a single on a 1-2 pitch to leadoff batter Justin Bencsko. Alex Dickerson drove in Bencsko with a single to center on a 0-1 pitch. Taylor Lewis drove in a run with a double that just got past a diving Hudson in left-center, and then the fly ball that fell between Hudson and Altherr scored another run.
Morgan threw 21 pitches in the first inning, but 16 were strikes. And only Lewis's double to left-center was hit particularly hard. Morgan lasted just four innings after throwing 64 pitches (48 strikes). He gave up eight hits and struck out three.
"I think Adam did a good job. Sometimes that happens," said Cutters pitcher Bryan Morgado, who gave up one hit and a run in his three innings of work. "Our pitching was good and some balls fell in and there's nothing you can do. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to them. They did a good job finding the holes."
"I think he got hurt on his slider more than his fastball," Morandini said of Morgan. "I thought his fastball was pretty good. They didn't hit him super hard, but they hit them in the right places."