Bats Finally Come to Life
LOWELL -- The Lowell Spinners may be eliminated from the New York-Penn League playoff race, but that doesn’t eliminate the need for players to make a favorable impression every time they take the field.
Lowell certainly didn’t look a team that was playing out the string Saturday at LeLacheur Park.
The Spinners got into the swing of things early and continued to pile up the runs while posting an 8-3 victory over the Connecticut Tigers.
Lowell flexed its muscles at the plate, banging out 11 hits, including seven extra-base knocks.
“There is still a lot of stuff we can play for and we talked about that before the game, like the integrity of the game,” said Spinners’ manager Corey Wimberly. “All the guys who paved the way before us. It’s real disrespectful not to go out and give 100-percent, no matter what the situation is. We addressed that and I thought the guys responded well.”
Catcher Elih Marrero spearheaded the Spinners’ attack with four hits, including a triple, two doubles, two RBI and one run scored.
“I got here about five days ago (from the Gulf Coast League), and I was sick yesterday,” said Marrero, whom the Boston Red Sox selected in the eighth round of the 2018 First Year Player Draft out of St. Thomas University. “These guys pushed me. They helped me get through my sickness yesterday and I’m happy to be here.
“I think we did a good job today. We came out and played a little loose. We decided to have some fun tonight. I’m just happy that we were able to get this win. Who doesn’t want to come out and play baseball in front of these awesome fans. It’s something I’ve wanted to do every day since I was a little kid. Everyone here feels the same way.”
Marrero’s father, Eli, was a major league catcher, outfielder and first baseman, who spent 10 seasons in The Show playing for the Cardinals, Braves, Royals, Orioles, Rockies and Mets.
“I do talk baseball with him,” said Marrero. “I try not to ask him too much. You don’t want to ask your dad for too much information. I kind of go out and do my thing, and he helps me out whenever I need it.”
Xavier LeGrant chipped in with three hits, including a triple, double, two-RBI and two runs scored. Nick Northcut had an RBI-double and scored a run. Cole Brannen chipped in with a double and scored a run. Grant Williams had a single, scored a run and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly
“We swung the bats well,” said Wimberly. “We got pitches in the zone to hit and put good swings on them.”
The Spinners took charge early, building a 5-0 lead after three innings.
Hunter Haworth earned the win on the mound, improving his record to 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA. Haworth entered the game as the NY-PL leader in batting average against, holding opposing hitters to a .155 average heading into Saturday’s start.
“Haworth came out and set the tone,” said Wimberly. “He gave us a chance early on, and we were able to give him some run support.”
The Spinners will close out the 2018 season with home games against Connecticut Sunday at 5:35 p.m. and Monday at 12:35.