Mendoza helps Tigers snap skid

Connecticut Tigers starting pitcher Clemente Mendoza entered Thursday’s game against the State College Spikes with a 1-3 record and a 7.88 ERA, disappointing numbers for a player who had led the Oneonta Tigers in ERA the previous season.

Clemente Mendoza pitched 8 scoreless innings to shut down the Spikes offense

If Thursday night’s performance is any indication, Mendoza is back on track.  The 19-year-old right-hander baffled the Spikes, pitching eight innings of two-hit ball while recording seven strikeouts.  In the process, Mendoza helped the Tigers snap a four-game losing streak.

Spikes starting pitcher Zack Dodson held the Tigers scoreless through the first two innings, but the Connecticut offense broke through with two-out rally in the third.

Alexander Nunez got the Tigers offense going by crushing a double to deep left center field.  Matt Perry followed with single that was just deep enough to score Nunez, who dove head-first into home plate to slip under the tag.

Chris Sedon worked a walk to keep the rally going.  Then Perry and Sedon moved up 90 feet after a passed ball by Spikes catcher Matthew Skirving.  Julio Rodriguez walked to load the bases for James Robbins, who sharply hit a ground ball up the middle for a two RBI single.

Robbins added a third RBI to his total with a fifth-inning double that scored Perry from third base and gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers would add a fifth and final run in the eighth inning when Ryan Soares scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Londell Taylor.

Tigers relief pitcher Antonio Cruz finished the game using a 90-91 mph fastball and a high 70s slider to navigate through the heart of the Spikes’ batting order in the ninth inning.

The Tigers will conclude their series with the Spikes at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at Dodd Stadium.  Patrick Cooper (1-1, 4.09) is expected to get the start for the Tigers.  He will be opposed by Quinton Miller (0-0, 5.40) of the Spikes.

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