WILLIAMSPORT - Raul Fortunato's first-inning triple gave the State College Spikes a hopeful start, but the Williamsport Crosscutters used a seven-run fourth inning and a stifling pitching corps to get past the Spikes, 13-1, on Wednesday night at Historic Bowman Field.
Fortunato, who collected three hits on Tuesday night, followed that by delivering a three-bagger to right field with one out in the opening frame. Barrett Barnes then drove in Fortuanto with a sacrifice fly to enable State College (1-2) to take a 1-0 lead.
However, that would prove to be the lone Spikes hit of the game. Williamsport (2-1) starter Jordan Guth and reliever Hoby Milner (1-0) combined to retired 16 of 17 batters from the first through the sixth innings.
The Crosscutters, meanwhile, took their first lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, and widened their lead with seven more in the fourth. A total of 12 batters came to the plate for Williamsport in the inning, with a total of six hits and two walks. The scoring finished with another Croscutters run in the fifth inning and three more in the seventh.
Jodaneli Carvajal, who collected two hits in each of the first two Spikes games, walked in the ninth inning for his only time on base in the game.
State College starting pitcher Jake Burnette (0-1) took the loss, allowing Williamsport's first two runs, one of theme earned, on four hits and a walk. Burnette also struck out one batter. State College relievers Dalton Friend, Pat Ludwig, Lance Breedlove and Josh Smith all made their professional debuts on the mound in the game as well.
Milner was credited with the win for Williamsport after yielding just one walk over three innings of work. The right-hander also struck out four in the effort. Guth allowed the single Spikes run and lone Spikes hit, striking out two.
Mitch Walding led the way offensively for the Crosscutters, collecting four hits, including a double, and driving in four runs while scoring one. Chris Serritella was also a main contributor, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two runs batted in. Roman Quinn, Brock Stassi and Larry Greene also had multiple hits for Williamsport. The Crosscutters produced six doubles as a team.
The last time State College was held to one hit as a team was on August 4, 2010, in a 10-0 loss to the Staten Island Yankees at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes followed that game with two straight wins against the Yankees over the next two nights.
Thursday, right-handed pitcher Luis Heredia (0-0), rated as the fifth-best prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization by Baseball America, makes his Spikes debut on the mound as he starts for the Spikes against the Crosscutters at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will finish off the two teams' season-opening four game set. Heredia went 1-2 with an ERA of 4.75 over 12 appearances (11 starts) totaling 30 1/3 innings for the Gulf Coast League Pirates in 2011.
Williamsport will counter by giving the ball to right-hander Jonathan Musser (0-0).