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Postgame Journal: No miracle on the diamond; Spinners’ streak snapped in opener against ValleyCats

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 31, 2010

Ryan Westmoreland chats with 2010 draft pick Bryce Brentz as he returned to Lowell last night. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

LOWELL, Massachusetts (Tuesday, August 31, 2010) – With living proof of two miracles in attendance, the Lowell Spinners could not come up with one of their own. Olympic hockey hero Mike Eruzione and Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland both watched the Lowell Spinners snap their four-game winning streak with a 4-0 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats on Tuesday at LeLacheur Park.

Eruzione, the former Boston University hockey player, was the star of his own bobblehead that was given out to fans upon entrance. Westmoreland returned to his former team for the first of a series of workouts after recovering from surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain just a mere six months ago. Just two prime examples that miracles do happen, although one could not be created on the diamond.

The ValleyCats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Spinners starter Madison Younginer as first baseman Marcus Nidiffer grounded a single into left field. Younginer issued two walks in the inning, including one to designated hitter Austin Wates, who scored the first run.

They extended the lead to 3-0 with one out in the third against Younginer. With Wates batting, second baseman Ben Orloff scored on a fielding error by Lowell third baseman David Renfroe. Catcher Josue Peley threw a pretty good caught stealing attempt down to third, but Renfroe could not make the play. The next batter was third baseman Tyler Burnett and he legged out an RBI single second base way, scoring Wates for the third run.

Madison Younginer uncorked a wild pitch with two out in the fifth, scoring Wates for the second time in the game. Left fielder Adam Bailey gets credit with an RBI as he was batting on the play.

Younginer exited the game after five innings, during which he allowed five hits and four runs (three earned), while walking three and fanning four. He suffered the loss and fell to 3-7 on the season.

Charlie Rosario played stopper for the Spinners, tossing four innings of three-hit ball. “I felt good with my pitch and count selection,” said the third-year Boston minor leaguer. “It’s really all about getting comfortable out on that mound.”

“Charlie had it all working for him,” Spinners manager Bruce Crabbe said. “If you control the zone, good things will happen.”

David Martinez was superb for the ValleyCats, striking out seven and scattering eight hits over seven innings for his fifth win. Joan Belliard threw two perfect innings to close the game for Tri-City in a non-save situation.

Crabbe said that the key to the loss was Younginer not controlling the running game. “That was the difference,” he said. “He didn’t control his pitches and wasn’t very consistent.”

The loss snaps the season-long four-game winning streak and Crabbe is “just looking for the same stuff” as the Spinners look for a strong finish.

The game took a brisk two hours and 13 minutes, in front of 4,888 fans.

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