The Doubledays entered Wednesday night’s Fourth of July matchup against the State College Spikes as hot as the weather. Just off of a three-game sweep of Williamsport, Auburn was looking to make it 10 victories in a row in front of a home crowd that was anticipating not only a fantastic fireworks show after the game, but also another win to add onto their longest impressive streak since 2005.
But the pyrotechnics were unfortunately limited to beyond the outfield wall after the game. The Doubledays (11-7) offense failed to ignite – flaming out after a one-run first inning and falling to State College (7-12) 3-1.
“It’s always kind of talk breaking a streak, especially when it’s this long,” said Doubledays manager Jerad Head. “You want to keep it going and see how far you can get obviously but we’ll be back at it tomorrow and try and start another one.”
Auburn starter, Aaron Fletcher, was sharp in his second outing of the season for the Doubledays despite giving up a solo run in the first. The Nationals’ 14th-round pick in this year’s draft struck out three batters in his two innings of work, with his only two hits allowed being a leadoff single by second baseman Nick Dunn and the double that scored him.
Trailing for the first time in 17 innings, the Doubledays bounced back with poise after Arkansas alum Carson Shaddy got on board with a one-out single in his very first professional at bat. He advanced to third base on another knock by Jacob Rhinesmith where Jamori Blash brought him home on an RBI groundout.
Fletcher and Angel Guillen combined to pitch two quiet innings in the third and fourth innings until the Spikes rallied back with two single runs in the fourth and fifth. Guillen, who went four frames, was charged with both runs and was given his his first loss of the season.
While Auburn’s defense had been superb during it’s win streak, Doubledays fielders couldn’t get a grip this time around at Falcon Park and recorded three errors on the night.
The Doubledays also suffered the loss of star center fielder Ricardo Mendez in the fifth inning when he fell to the ground following a base hit to right. He picked himself up slowly, lightly jogging to first base on the throw back to the infield and then hitting the ground once he was called safe. Hitting .259 on the season, hit stellar and reliable defense in the outfield will surely be the biggest loss of the night if he is out for any extended period of time.
By Chris Valentino Tril / Auburn Doubledays
🎧 HIGHLIGHTS 🎧
Our pitching was money again, but the bats never woke up tonight against the Spikes. Don't 😭 because it's over, 😀 because it happened.https://t.co/8YdWpP4qU7
— Auburn Doubledays (@Doubledays) July 5, 2018