STATE COLLEGE - In Sunday night's game, Williamsport came from way back and turned a deficit into a win over State College.
Twenty-four hours later, the Cutters decided reverse their role and take matters in their hands early.
Although they scored in only two of the nine innings in Monday's game, the Cutters put up a pair of crooked numbers as they defeated the Spikes 7-2 before a sparse crowd at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Sentinel photo by STEVE MANUEL
State College Spikes’ Jesus Vasquez (10) attempts to break up a double play by Williamsport’s Roman Quinn Monday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College. Vasquez was called out for interference and Williamsport went on to win, 7-2.
"A lot of times, it is just good to play with a lead," Williamsport manager Andy Tracy said. "When we get the lead we can play a little differently whereas when you get behind you have to go station-to-station."
After banging out 15 hits Sunday, the Cutters again came up with a multiple-digit total of hits with 13 safeties.
"Again the kids swung the bats well," Tracy said. "And we only struck out three times which is good because that (striking out) has been a nemesis of ours all year. We stressed on getting contact and situational hitting and on Sept. 3 it came around."
The Cutters wasted no time in jumping all over Spikes' starter Joely Rodriguez as the scored three runs in the first inning.
Roman Quinn led off with his specialty, a drag bunt, and Jiandido Tromp followed with a single to center. Cameron Perkins bounced a shot off the boards in left-center to drive in both Quinn and Tromp. One out later, Larry Greene lined a RBI single to left, chasing Perkins across the dish with the third Williamsport run.
The Spikes also dented home plate in the first when with two outs, D.J. Crumlich worked Manny Martinez for a four-pitch walk and Sammy Gonzalez ripped a triple into the right field corner to score Crumlich. Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the play.
The 3-1 Williamsport lead held up into the bottom of the fourth inning. Sending seven men to the plate, the Spikes took advantage of three walks and a Cutter error to score an unearned run.
"We gave up a kind of quirky run there when the pitcher didn't concentrate," Tracy said. "But those things happen in baseball. You just hope they don't happen that often."
Not to let things get away from them, the Cutters came back to put together five hits in the fifth to plate four runs for the 7-2 lead, and they never looked back.
"That was a big inning for us," Tracy said. "We had some big hits, but there were also some errors, passed balls and wild pitches. We were able to take the lead there and we kept going with it."
If there was a downside to the Cutter win, it was that the pitchers walked nine Spikes batters, seven of the free passes four-pitch walks.
"I don't know what happened there. We (the coaches) were kind of struggling with that in the dugout," Tracy said. "Maybe they are aiming the ball a little bit and that mound is pretty big compared to a lot of the other mounds in the league. Maybe they had trouble with the angle of the mound, but the bottom line is that no matter where you are playing, mounds are going to be different and you have to adjust to them. Tonight we got away with it."
With the win, the Cutters keep possession of the SawBuck trophy as the win was the seventh in the dozen games played by the two teams.
"So what does that mean? The kids each get a free TV?," Tracy quipped with a smile on his face. "I didn't even know about it because we just go out and play hard every night the right way and then go about our business the next day."
The Cutters return to Bowman Field to close out the 2012 season with a pair of games against Auburn, while the Spikes stay home to welcome the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for the final two games of the campaign.