STATE COLLEGE - Twenty-four hours later, the shoe was on the other foot for the State College Spikes.
Wednesday night at Bowman Field, the Spikes were the victims of a 13-1 pounding at the hands of the Williamsport Crosscutters.
In the series finale Thursday night, it was the Spikes turn to do a little pounding of their own as they drubbed the Cutters by the final of 8-0 before 3,323 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Getting the starting nod on the bump was highly-touted Luis Heredia who was rated as the Pirates fifth-best prospect according to Baseball America. In his pro debut, Heredia was impressive as he worked the first four innings, allowing just a harmless single while striking out four and walking a pair.
"Everything worked out well for him tonight," said Spikes manager Dave Turgeon. "He pounded the zone and (catcher Jacob) Stalling is the perfect guy to catch a guy in his debut like that. Stallings has a way of calming and connecting and that was evident tonight. He has caught a lot of first-rounders and big leaguers while at North Carolina so the way those two worked together didn't surprise me at all."
As for making the adjustment from young kid to professional athlete, Turgeon feels Heredia is making the progressing quite well.
"If you think about, you go from mom cooking breakfast and dinner for you and doing your laundry, and then just like that you are on your own," said Turgeon. "He has a good support system here, the host family really takes good care of him and my pitching coach Justin Meccage is doing a phenomenal job with him and his teammates all have his back."
While Turgeon was a happy camper with both the win and the performance of Heredia, Williamsport manager Andy Tracy had to watch something he hadn't seen from his club through the first three games.
"I just thought we made some crucial errors, their guy changed speeds a little bit and he threw the ball really well," said Tracy. "Our pitchers elevated a few fastballs and on the other hand, we didn't get many hits. Games like this one just prove that baseball can be a crazy game at times."
Tracy was also impressed, not only with Heredia, but those that followed.
"He worked off his fastball, but he threw a couple good change-ups and a slider," said Tracy. "The guy who came in behind him (Joan Montero) threw really well also. They hit some pitches they should have and we got ourselves in trouble by walking some people. Those three early walks really put us in a hole."
The Spikes drew first blood when Cutter starting pitcher Jonathan Musser couldn't find the strike zone. Musser walked the first three batters he faced in the second inning and Rodarrick Jones made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Jodaneli Carvajal made it 3-0 Spikes when he drilled a triple to the gap in right-center field, chasing Yhonathan Barrios and Walker Gourley across the plate with the second and third runs of the inning.
With Heredia keeping the Cutter bats under control, the Spikes added two more unearned runs in the second inning for a 5-0 lead when the Cutters were guilty of some loose play in the infield. They later padded their lead with three insurance runs.
Two of the Pirates recently signed 2012 draftees made their appearance in the Spikes starting lineup. Chris Diaz started at shortstop and went 1-for-5 with a bunt single in his first-ever pro at-bat, while D. J. Crumlich settled in at third base and finished at 2-for-3 with a RBI. Diaz was the 11th round pick from N. C. State, while Crumlich was picked in the ninth round out of Cal-Irvine.
"We got here a couple of days ago and the coaches gave us a couple of days to get acclimated to the schedule and to get back into baseball playing shape," said Crumlich. "It was obviously exciting as my first game as a pro and a good way to start the year."
As for his late arrival, Crumlich said it was due to his finishing school.
"I was a senior so I just had to finish school," he said. "But I was definitely ready to go and it was a tough two weeks to just sit around until it was time to come here."
The Spikes will welcome Mahoning Valley to the ball park tonight for a single game, while the Cutters will return to Bowman Field to host the Auburn Doubledays. Start time for both games is set for 7:05 p.m.