NORWICH, CT - After dropping their first two games of the season, the Spinners (1-2) were able to pick up their first win of the season before heading back to Massachusetts for the home opener.
For the second night in a row, the Spinners stumbled out of the gate after a throwing error in the second inning led to the first run of the ball game for Connecticut (2-1). The Tigers went on to add two more runs in the inning with starting pitcher Yorvin Pantoja being charged for only one earned run.
On a night with five recent draft picks in the starting lineup, three of whom were making their professional debuts, the new guys played a key role in sparking the offense. Grant Williams and Jonathan Ortega led off the inning with a pair of singles before seventh round pick Jarren Duran brought them both home with two-run triple. Center fielder Cole Brannen then brought in the tying run on a fielder's choice.
Duran continued to make the most of his debut with a leadoff ground-rule double to kick off the fifth. 2017 New York-Penn League All-Star Garrett Benge brought him home with an RBI single to push the Spinners ahead.
Pantoja, who led the Spinners in starts last season (17), managed to settle in and finished the game allowing five hits, one earned run, three strikeouts, and a pair of walks over 4.2 innings of work before exiting the game due to injury.
Delivering a clutch relief outing was right-hander Victor Garcia in his first appearance of the season. In 2.1 innings of work, he struck out a pair, walked one, and silenced the Connecticut bats to hold on to a one-run lead.
Making his first appearance on the hill since converting to pitching from catching was Danny Bethea. After walking a pair, Bethea forced a double play to get out of the inning.
A pair of insurance runs came in the top of the ninth after Duran led off the inning with his second triple of the game. Brannen singled home a run and after stealing second he was driven in by Benge on his third hit of the night.
Tanner Raiburn closed out the Tigers with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to lock down a 6-3 victory.
Lowell heads home to LeLacheur for their Opening Night on Monday, June 18 with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Hunter Haworth takes the hill and tickets are available at lowellspinners.com or by visiting the box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.