Quality at-bats came few and far between in the Doubledays’ (11-8) rain-shortened 8-0 loss to State College (8-12). Auburn’s offense was unable to string any big hits together during the night and was shut out for the first time since June 20 and left three runners in scoring position over the course of the weather-shortened evening.
Coupled with two wild pitches and an error bringing in three runs in the seventh inning, Thursday night was far from the Doubledays’ best outing of the season.
Despite picking up the loss, Auburn starter Yonathan Ramirez pitched well enough to keep his team in the game up until the sixth inning when he was pulled. He allowed seven hits during his six frame outing – his longest of the season – but only allowed two runners to score while striking out five in the process and pitched his way out of several sticky situations.
A one-out walk came back to haunt Yonathan to open up the game, coming around to score on a double that left runners on second and third. But he induced a ground ball to Carson Shaddy, ending the inning with minimal damage.
He ran into trouble once again in the fourth inning after allowing a leadoff double to score in the fourth. Fortunately, the run was batted in as a result as a 4-6-3 double play, and a subsequent 4-3 putout ended the inning.
While we could credit the Spikes’ four-run seventh inning – where an error by Jamori Blash was allowed to score and two runners were allowed to score on back-to-back wild pitches – as the reason the Doubledays lost Thursday’s contest, their offense was certainly not doing them any favors.
Spikes starter Michael Baird and reliever Hector Villalobos proved to be a deadly duo on the mound, going seven combined scoreless innings while punching out six. Though the pair did surrender five hits on the night, the Doubledays were unable to do anything with the opportunities given and only managed to get three runners in scoring position all night.
State College tacked on two additional runs in the eighth before a thunderstorm erupted seemingly out of nowhere at Falcon Park. After 30 minutes of torrential rainfall, the game was called after seven-and-a-half innings.
The Doubledays will be back in action on Friday as they attempt to salvage something in the series against the Spikes at 6:30 at Falcon Park. You can listen live on FL1 Radio beginning at 6:15 pm.
By Chris Valentino Tril / Auburn Doubledays