Cutters Rally From Behind in Extra Inning Thriller

July 20, 2019 11:32 PM

State College, Pa. - The Williamsport Crosscutters rallied from behind to post an exciting 5-4 victory in 10 innings at the State College Spikes on Saturday night. The Cutters trailed 3-0 into the seventh inning but rallied for single runs in the seventh and eighth and ninth to tie the game and then Logan O'Hoppe's two-run ground-rule double bouncing over the wall in center in the top of the 10th held up as the game-winner.

Newcomer Johan Rojas knocked an infield single into the hole at shortstop with two outs in the ninth to plate Jake Holmes with the tying run.

Juan Aparicio socked a double off the wall in the eighth and just missed a home run when he brought in Bryson Stott who had tripled to left-center a couple batters before him. That pivotal run cut the margin to 3-2 at the time. Stott was 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk and two runs scored including a key run in the tenth on O'Hoppe's bases-loaded two-run double.

Spencer Van Scoyoc (1-1) recorded his first professional win with three innings of no-hit ball from the seventh through ninth.

Anton Kuznetsov struck out Terry Fuller in the bottom of the tenth as the Spikes left the tying runner stranded at third base.

It was the first extra-inning win of the year for the Cutters who are 1-2 in extras.

State College jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first two innings against Williamsport starter Junior Tejada. It was the first time this season that Tejada had allowed three earned runs in an outing.

Terry Fuller singled against the shift to left to bring in lead-off man David Vinsky for a 1-0 lead in the first.

Then Shane Benes crushed a two-run homer deep to left that was measured at 437 feet as the Spikes extended their lead to 3-0.

In the meantime, the Cutters were slow to get their bats going but they stayed with it and still had time for their rally. In the meantime, the Williamsport bullpen held State College off the board with stellar relief work. The Cutters follow-up hurlers combined for 7.2 inning of three-hit ball allowing just one unearned run in the tenth inning on the inherited "lead off" runner. But that was it. Rafael Carvajal, Brett Schulze, Spencer Van Scoyoc and Anton Kuznetsov were all magnificent.

That allowed the Cutters time to find their offense which they eventually did. Logan O'Hoppe hit an RBI fielder's choice that brought in Kendall Simmons in the seventh as the Cutters finally got on the board.

In the eighth it was a big blast to left-center for Stott for a one-out triple and then a couple batters later he trotted home when Aparicio slammed a deep drive off the wall in left. Aparicio was 3-for-4 with the RBI double.

Still trailing 3-2, the Cutters needed another. And down to their final out, 18-year-old Johan Rojas delivered. Arriving in Williamsport a little more than 24 hours earlier, the young outfielder hit a broken bat roller into the hole at short that was good enough to bring in Holmes with the tying tally. Holmes had walked and then advanced on a Rudy Rott sacrifice bunt. He got to third on a wild pitch before Rojas brought him in.

O'Hoppe's drive in the tenth came with the bases loaded after lead-off runner Williams started at second and stole third. Then Bryson Stott walked and a couple batters later Aparicio was hit by a pitch in the forearm. O'Hoppe teed off for his eighth extra-base hit in the past eight games to finish a three RBI night giving him nine driven in during his torrid hot stretch. 

Kuznetsov allowed the lead man to score in the tenth and then Pedro Pages doubled with two outs and stole third. But the tying runner was left stranded 90 feet away when Fuller struck out swinging on a slider to end the game. 

The Crosscutters continue their three-game series at State College on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. RHP Adam Leverett (Gordon State in Georgia) is the probable starter for Williamspot.

Crosscutters Record: 10-24
Next Game: Sunday, July 21 at 6:05 p.m. vs State College Spikes at Medlar Field, State College, Pa.
Next Home Game/Promotion: Tuesday, July 23, 7:05 p.m. vs. Auburn Doubledays / Rhys Hoskins Puzzle-Poster Giveaway.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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