The Doubledays were visited by an old friend Sunday as Wil Crowe, the Nationals second-round draft pick of last year’s draft, made a rehab start during this afternoon’s matchup against the Black Bears. He put up a 2.61 ERA in seven starts for Auburn in 2017 and deservingly skipped Class-A ball all together to start the 2018 season in Advanced-A Potomac.
The familiar face – owner of a 2.44 ERA with the P-Nats this season and a 9-0 record – put up familiar results in his three innings of work against West Virginia. Crowe allowed just two hits and zero runs, setting the table for a solid all-around outing by the Doubledays’ (13-9) pitching staff in a 4-3 win over the Black Bears (10-13).
Crowe was put in an awkward situation his very first batter when leadoff hitter Michael De La Cruz popped a bunt his direction. With no chance to throw De La Cruz out, Crowe let the ball go, hoping for it to roll foul, only for it to stay fair.
His defense picked him back up quickly, however, as two groundouts and a caught stealing ended the inning. Crowe then had a three-up, three-down outing in the second and just allowed a single walk in the third before inducing an inning-ending groundout to end his night.
The Doubledays offense took off shortly after as their speedsters did major damage in the third inning. Right fielder Cody Wilson set the table with a single and then scored from second on a one-out single by Juan Pascal. Pascal stole second base with Phil Caulfield batting and followed suit by scoring from second on a single by Telmito Agustin. Then, like clockwork, Agustin stole second and scored on yet another RBI single.
West Virginia was able to get a run back in the home half of the fourth when Tim Cate – coming in to relieve Crowe -threw a wild pitch to allow Brett Kinneman to score from second on a throwing error from Nic Perkins.
We’re cracking open a #ShaddyLight with the boys at 4:05 when Auburn takes on the @WVBlackBears! pic.twitter.com/YvInjNmCzt
— Auburn Doubledays (@Doubledays) July 8, 2018
It wasn’t a great night for Perkins, who went 0-for-3 after pinch running for starting catcher Israel Pineda in the second inning. Pineda was plunked in the hand and was pulled after a meeting with three coaches.
The Black Bears wouldn’t go down easily, putting up another run in the sixth to cut the Doubledays’ lead to 4-2 and then adding another one in the ninth to make it a one-run game. But after two mound visits in the inning, David Smith was able to retire the last out of the game to give Auburn it’s 4-3 win.
By Chris Valentino Tril / Auburn Doubledays
The Doubledays will be back in action Monday at 7:05 for the rubber match against the Black Bears. Listen LIVE exclusively on FingerLakes1.com Radio.