Brooklyn blanks Spikes
STATE COLLEGE – The streak is over.
After manufacturing a win streak that spanned seven games, State College saw that come to an end Wednesday night as the Spikes fell 4-0 to the Brooklyn Cyclones at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
With Spikes starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon having more than his share of problems with the strike zone, the Cyclones broke on top 1-0 in the second inning.
Tyler Moore worked the big right-hander for a free pass, Moore later scoring on an RBI single to right by Pennsylvania native Joe Tuschak (Dillsburg). Tuschak later completed the scoring for Brooklyn with a solo home run in the ninth inning.
Despite having his problems throwing strikes, four of the first six outs recorded by Poncedeleon were strikeouts. During the 13 batters he faced before departing from the scene, Poncedeleon issued four bases on balls as of the 59 pitches he threw, 33 were out of the strike zone. All three runners who scored for Brooklyn reached via the base on balls.
“He had trouble commanding his fastball and he had trouble commanding most of his pitches,” Spikes manager Oliver Marmol said. “That put him behind in the count and when you walk that many people, they are going to end up touching the plate at some point and that is exactly what happened.”
Already down 1-0, the Cyclones went up 3-0 in the third with a pair of runs.
Amed Rosario walked, but Poncedelon appeared to have a chance to get out of trouble by retiring Tucker Tharp on a ground out before striking out Jhoan Urena.
Poncedelon walked Michael Katz before giving way to reliever Jeff Rauh, who was promptly greeted with a booming triple to the deepest part of the ball park by Michael Bernal, chasing both Rosario and Katz across the plate for the 3-0 Brooklyn lead.
Although he surrendered the triple to Bernal, Rauh exercised some good damage control as he kept the State College deficit at three runs by pitching 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.
While Poncedeleon had a lot of problems on the bump, that wasn’t the case with Brooklyn’s Scarlyn Reyes. Reyes worked the first six innings of scoreless baseball, walking one while striking out four.
“He (Reyes) is probably the best guy we have seen thus far this season,” Marmol said. “I am not sure how hard he was throwing, but he did a nice job. It seemed as though he was running it up there pretty good. He was also able to mix in his curveball effectively and that kept us off balance.”
Robelys Reyes had the biggest offensive night for the Spikes with a pair of doubles.
“He is a guy who in combination with (Darren) Seferina can do some good things when they get on base,” Marmol said. “They can bunt and run, they can drive the ball and they have shown a variety of different ways they can do things to beat you.”
With their offense almost non-existent, the Spikes engineered their biggest threat of the night in the seventh when they juiced the sacks with nobody out, but failed to score.
“It is frustrating when that happens,” Marmol said. “When you have the bases loaded with nobody out, you want those guys to be able to touch the plate. Tonight we just didn’t get the job done and that just can’t happen.”
The two teams will play the middle game of the three-game series tonight with a single game at Medlar Field. The Spikes will send Cody Schumacher (0-0, 2.45) to the bump, while the Cyclones will counter with Casey Meisner (0-1, 5.30).
Notes: Cyclones starter Scarlyn Reyes (1-1) made history during the game when the next to last pitch he threw on the night registered at 101 miles per hour on the speed gun. Reyes became the first pitcher ever to exceed 100 miles an hour with a pitch during a Spikes game at the ballpark. … After serving five game with Class A Peoria, Robelys Reyes returned to the State College starting lineup. … Spikes’ Rowan Wick, who has been on a home run tear since day one, is hitting a long ball once every 6.67 times at the plate. … Spikes reliever Jacob Booden is being stingy to the NYPL hitters, only allowing opposing batters a meager .120 average. … Brian O’Keefe has been hit six times by pitches, leading the NYPL in that category. Former Spike Tyler Gaffney holds the club record in getting plunked; he took one for the team no less than 20 times in 38 games during the 2012 season.