Williamsport, Penn. - The Cutters battled their way back from an early 7-1 deficit to pull to within one run of the Auburn Doubledays but they couldn't find the equalizer in an 8-6 defeat on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. Williamsport and Auburn ended up splitting the four-game series and also split the season series at 6-6.
LHP Gabriel Yanez (ND) was sensational for Williamsport (31-42) in 5.2 innings of relief work retiring 17 consecutive batters. The 20-year-old from Venezuela had the longest outing of the season for any Crosscutters pitcher while also racking up more consecutive outs in a single game than any hurler on the team.
Corbin Williams became the fifth Crossutter ever to record 30 stolen bases in a season and is in line to become the fifth in team history to win the league's stolen base crown as well.
Auburn (28-45) raced out to a 7-1 lead in the second inning against Spencer Van Scoyoc (L, 4-4) and then had to hold on from there.
Bryson Stott was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI and two runs scored. Jake Holmes was 1-for-3 with 2 RBI including a sacrifice fly. Nate Fassnacht was 2-for-4 with an RBI as well.
The Doubledays took early control of the game with three runs in the first and four more in the second. An RBI single by Junior Martina brought in rehabbing Cody Wilson who had opened the game with a triple to right-center. After a hit batter and a wild pitch by Van Scoyoc it was a couple of RBI ground outs that brought home the next two.
The Cutters got one of them back in the bottom of the first on Stott's double to right-center followed y a Johan Rojas smash up the middle a couple batters later.
Van Scoyoc ran into further difficulty in the second with three walks as well as three hits allowed. An RBI single by Junior Martina just beyond the reach of Stott at short was the first of four successive bases-loaded RBI producing plays for the D-Days. Jake Randa single to right barely past the reach of Nate Fassnacht to make it 5-1 and then a bases-loaded walk of Wilmer Perez made it 6-1 and spelled the early end of the evening for Van Scoyoc.
Yanez surrendered an RBI single to left for Jack Dunn on the first batter he faced before retiring the next 17 in a row in a streak from the second through seventh innings that included six strikeouts.
Williamsport scratched and clawed at the 7-1 deficit to climb back into contention. A three-run rally in th second got it started with a two-run double to left-center by Stott bringing around Herbert Iser and Nicolas Torres. And then Holmes rapped a single into center for a 7-4 score.
Fourth inning singles against reliever Tyler Yankosky helped bring in another run. Williams beat out a grounder to shortstop for an infield single and Stott picked up his third base-hit on a single to left. The two combined for a double-steal allowing Holmes to drive in his second run on a foul fly to right for a sacrifice.
Williamsport made it 7-6 in the fifth on a double to the right-field corner by Rudy Rott followed by a single to right for Fassnacht. But while the Crosscutters seemed to have all the momentum and on the verge of taking the lead, it turned out that was the end of the team's scoring as Auburn's bullpen settled down and held on for the victory.
Hunter Hearn reached second base in the seventh on a walk and a ground out but the Cutters couldn't bring him in.
Landerson Pena hit a solo homer off Brett Schulze in the ninth for an 8-6 lead but the Cutters threatened with the tying runners on in the bottom of the ninth following leadoff walks of Stott and Holmes. But Johan Rojas grounded into a double play and Hearn popped out to end the team's comeback efforts
The Crosscutters commence on their last series of the season with a Saturday home game against the State College Spikes (STL) at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Adam Leverett the probable starter.
- Gabriel Yanez was the first Crosscutters pitcher to last longer than five innings. This was the first time in five games with Williamsport tha the did not allow a run.
- Brett Schulze perfect ERA in professional baseball came to an end on Pena's home run in the ninth. Schulze had 22.2 innings with Williamsport and 25.2 innings as a pro without allowing an earned run.
- Corbin Williams (30) leads J.D. Orr (27) by three for the NYPL Stolen Base crown with three games remaining.
- The Crosscutters had three stolen bases and rate second in the league with 108.
- Williamsport's 3.07 ERA is third in the NYPL trailing Aberdeen and Hudson Valley.
- Williamsport had won 5 of its last 7 before Friday's loss.
- The Crosscutters are 21-15 in the second half of the season after going 10-27 in the first half.
- State College enters the last series of the season still alive in the playoff race trailing first-place Batavia by two games with three games remaining. The Crosscutters will attempt to play the role of spoiler.
- After Saturday's home game, Williamsport will travel to State College for a Sunday 6:05 p.m. game. And then the Crosscutters home finale will be Monday at 1:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.