Friday, August 18, 2017

Cutters Gurrola Plays Hero In Comeback Win

A File Photo
Auburn, NY -- Yahir Gurrola 's first professional home run, capped an improbable comeback, as the Cutters topped the Doubledays 9-8 in Auburn.

Things did not get off to a promising start for the Crosscutters, going down in order in the top of the 1st inning against Auburn starter Kyle Johnston. Exactly the same way last night's game started.

Very similar to last night's contest, the Doubledays would take a 1st inning lead, this time getting a RBI triple from Chance Shepard to score Austin Guibor to give Auburn a 1-0 lead against Crosscutters starter Spencer Howard.

After Williamsport went down in order in the 2nd inning, the Auburn bats looked to put the game away early, seeing their first five batters reach in the frame against Howard, including a RBI single from Andres Martinez and a two-run triple from Guibor to make it 5-0 Auburn before an out was recorded.

Pat Borders went to the bullpen, relieving Spencer Howard after an inning plus of work, calling on Zach Warren.

Warren got Joshual Ramirez to fly out to right field, but it was deep enough for Guibor to tag and score standing to make it 6-0 Auburn and officially close the book on Howard's start.

Warren was able to get out of the 2nd inning, working around a two-out double from Shepard in the frame, not allowing a run of his own.

Josh Stephan gave the Crosscutters a shot in the arm in the top of the 2nd inning, drilling the first pitch from Johnston off the wall in right, plating Brian Mims and Nick Matonto cut the deficit to 6-2. The triple was the fourth of the season for Stephen, who picked up RBI 21 and 22 on the season.

Jake Scudder got both runs back in the bottom of the 4th inning, ripping a two-out, two-run double into the left field corner, chasing home Ramirez and Shepard to extend the Doubledays lead to 8-2. It was the only blemish against Zach Warren and the Cutters bullpen, but still left the Cutters a steep hill to climb.

Yhair Gurrola picked up a trio of firsts in the top of the 6th inning, plating Jhailyn Ortizwith a RBI double to bring the Crosscutters with five runs at 8-3. It was the first hit, first extra-base hit and first RBI for Gurrola since joining the club a day ago.

Cole Stobbe followed with a RBI single to right-center to score Greg Pickett, cutting the Auburn lead in half at 8-4. For Stobbe, it was his 20th RBI of the season, and gave him back-to-back games with an RBI.

With Gurrola at 3rd and Stobbe at 1st with one out, the Cutters tried to steal a run, sending Stobbe to 2nd on a pitch that Mims took for strike three, Gurrola broke for home on the throw to 2nd base. Auburn 2nd basemen Joshual Ramirez threw home as the tag by Nic Perkins looked late, Gurrola was tagged out to complete an inning-ending strike'em out throw'em out double play.

Zach Warren tossed four innings of relief, allowing just the two runs before being relieved by Damon Jones in the 6th inning. Warren struck out four batters, walking one and scattering four hits in the outing.

Damon Jones skated out of trouble in the bottom of the 6th inning, seeing the Doubledays load the bases with one out. Jones was able to get Scudder to ground into the inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, started by Mims, turned by Maton and completed by Pickett to get out of the jam unscathed.

Jones would also strand a runner at 3rd base in the bottom of the 7th inning, finishing the night with three shutout innings of relief, striking out three, walking one and allowing three base hits.

After Nerluis Martinez struck out to start the top half in the 9th inning against Jeremy McKinney, Malvin Matos found his way aboard on an infield single to give the Cutters a base runner.

Nick Maton, who earlier in the day joked about participating in the home run derby during the All Star break yesterday, drilled a McKinney offering deep over the wall in right field for his 2nd home run of the season, bring the Cutters within two and 8-6.

Josh Stephen followed with a ground ball to short, but the throw to 1st was errant, allowing Stephen to reach base safely.

Auburn has put a series of shifts on different Crosscutters batters, including Jhailyn Ortiz, and with a three man left side of the infield, Ortiz sneaked the ball into right with a check swing, moving Stephen to 3rd and seeing Ortiz slide head long into 2nd with his team-leading 11th double.

After Greg Pickett's flyout to shallow right field gave the Cutters their second out of the inning, Yahir Gurrola stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run, despite having never hit a home run in 113 professional at bats.

Gurrola wasted no time, driving a McKinney offering to left field chasing backJonathan Pryor back towards the wall, where Pryor could only watch it escape the clutches of Falcon Park for a go-ahead three-run home run, giving the Crosscutters their first lead of the game at 9-8.

Luis Ramirez entered in the top of the 9th inning, fresh off of his win in the All-Star game, only to walk the lead off man Shepard putting the Doubledays their tying run at 1st base.

Ramirez settled in, getting Scudder to fly out to deep center field and then strikeout Omar Merigildo on a pitch that Shepard stole 2nd base on.

With the tying run at 2nd base, Ramirez got Pryor to ground out to Brian Mims at 2nd base to slam the door on the Doubledays, giving Ramirez his New York-Penn League leading 8th save of the season.

The Crosscutters look to take the series in Auburn tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. At Falcon Park.

Cutter Carvings - The Crosscutters surpassed their 2016 home run total of 35, as Gurrola's home run was the clubs 36th of the season... It was the 3rd time this season the Cutters have scored five runs in an inning, with all three coming in the 7th inning or later and the second time against the Doubledays... The nine runs are the most the Cutters have scored in a game since scoring 12 against Auburn on July 24th at BB&T Ballpark and the most the have scored on the road since scoring 11 at State College on July 19th...

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