I knew the team couldn't hit much, and they didn't, umm, disappoint. Matt Skirving looks like he can hit a bit, and Alex Fuselier had two lineouts and good at-bats. Otherwise, no one stood out.
I didn't take notes, and I was with three kids, and it was an awful game. But here are some observations.
Nick Kingham sat around 91 but didn't generate many swings and misses. He didn't get rocked but walked 3 in 3 innings. He just wasn't sharp.
I wonder if anyone can explain this because I can't really believe it. The box score and recap have Rinku Singh pitching an inning for the GCL Pirates this afternoon, and I saw Singh throw 2.1 innings and take the loss tonight for State College. What gives? Regardless of that, I have no idea why Singh went out for the 9th against Batavia, though he deserved a better fate. He threw 86mph by the way, and generally looked surly in the bullpen and on the mound. Maybe it was just the contrast with Mitch Fienemann, who looked as happy and easygoing as Crocodile Dundee. Just an observation, but I think things like this are not accidental; Fienemann sat in a chair closest to the fence that separates the bullpen from the fans. Singh mostly sat against a wall opposite all the other pitchers and catchers in the pen, sometimes alone, sometimes with one other pitcher that he didn't converse with. It's not like I watched the bullpen the whole game, but we did spend the majority of the evening in that area.
The main thing I'll take away from this game is that the State College Spikes can't play baseball. They committed 4 errors, and it could have easily been scored 6. I usually don't mind being blunt, but I feel a little sheepish saying this: Billy Nowlin is the worst first baseman I have ever seen at any level ever. He's played 5 games for SC and now has 5 errors. He looks like a recent acquisition (WTM does not even have a profile that I can find) from the Tigers org, and I can only guess he was let go because of his lead glove and a side order of declining offense. He's 24. What kind of planning went into the SC roster this year? Nowlin was indescribably bad. He missed a chest-high catch during between-inning warmups, I swear to God.
So here was the 9th:Batavia Bottom of the 9th
*Roberto Reyes reaches on fielding error by first baseman Billy Nowlin.
*With Jeremy Patton batting, wild pitch by Rinku Singh, Roberto Reyes to 2nd.
More good baseball.
*Jeremy Patton singles on a line drive to right fielder Wes Freeman. Roberto Reyes scores. Jeremy Patton to 2nd on the throw.
Well, sort of. Freeman had the ball bounce off his chest. He hit the cutoff man (Nowlin, who surprisingly caught the ball), so it was really the gack by Freeman that gave Patton (the eventual winning run), 2nd base. And it was like this all night. Jorge Bishop made a few plays at 2B, but I bet only half were fielded cleanly.
*Nicholas Martini pops out to second baseman Brian Sharp.
*David Medina doubles (8) on a fly ball to center fielder Taylor Lewis. Jeremy Patton scores.
This was a pretty comical sequence. The hit was deep (Singh had to be gassed, even if he didn't really pitch in the GCL), to the track. Lewis goes back and on the run the ball hits him in the glove, then falls to the ground, as does Lewis. He may have been shaken up, but I don't think he actually ever hit the wall (no jumbotron, no replay). I think he just fell down. Well, game over, right, because who can't score from 2nd on a hit to the wall in dead center besides Adam Laroche? Jeremy Patton, almost. Patton must have gone half way to third, because after Lewis dropped the ball Patton scrambled all the way back to second to tag up. Lewis is laying on the ground. Freeman comes all the way over from right and throws the ball in and after the relay there was very nearly a play at the plate. But Patton scored standing up, game over.
I don't know what their slogan is this year, but having watched one game I'd go with "State College Spikes: Not much fun to watch! (Unless Stetson Allie's pitching)!"