‘Cats bullpen struggles in 10-4 loss to Spikes

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Troy- After a promising start to the game, the ValleyCats suffered a 10-4 loss to the Spikes on Wednesday night in front of 2,556 fans at Joe Bruno Stadium. Unlike Tuesday night, the ValleyCats bullpen could not hold the lead as they were responsible for nine of the Spikes 10 runs in Wednesday nights loss.

Kristopher Scheetz was the second consecutive ValleyCats pitcher to make his team debut this series, doing so one night after Hunter Martin did so on Tuesday night. Scheetz, an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out two and walking one in his four innings of work.

“I just wanted to come in here and get my feet wet a little bit and compete for as long as I could,” Scheetz said. He added, “I was on a 60 pitch limit so I just wanted to give them 60 great pitches and give my team a chance to win.”

Scheetz was handed an early lead thanks to a two run home run by Jake Adams in the bottom of the 1st inning. This was Adams’ fifth home run of the year and his second in two days. However, those would be the only two runs of the game for the ‘Cats until the ninth inning when the lead was virtually out of reach. Jacob Meyers hit a two out, two RBI single to give the ‘Cats their final runs of the evening in the 10-4 loss.

Scheetz was replaced by Colin McKee in the 5th inning with a 2-1 lead. McKee surrendered the game tying home run to Zach Kirtley of the Spikes in the 5th inning that would even the score at two. In the 6th inning the Spikes would add three more runs off of McKee, then another five runs in the 8th inning off of McKee and Ben Smith to open their lead to 10-2.

When asked about the bullpen’s control problems after the game, manager Morgan Ensberg said, “I think it is just age. You have rookie ball pitchers that are trying to learn how to organize their bodies. It takes thousands and thousands of pitches to learn that control and this is the level they are really learning how to do that.”

OF NOTE: Luis Payano continued to see the ball well Wednesday night with a three for five day, making him nine for his last 18 at bats.

The two teams will meet again for the rubber match of the series on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.