* * 2016 * *
NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Spikes lead series 1-0
I - SCS 3; SIY 0
Staten Island Yankees
State College Spikes
Medlan Field at Lubrano Park
Staten Island Yankees: A loss by any other name is still a loss.
Situations become dire in the blink of an eye during the New York-Penn League's short post-season format. Just ask the Yankees, who suddenly face elimination after dropping Wednesday evening's series opener against the State College Spikes.
Last year's NYPL champs are this year's wild card qualifier after finishing 2nd behind the Hudson Valley Renegades. The Baby Bombers now need two straight victories on State College grounds if they are to advance and defend their title.
Easier said than done.
The Pickney Division champs are on a roll of late, seemingly picking up where they left off. Winners in seven of their last ten regular season games, they are this year's only NYPL team to post a 50 win season.
Following that trend, Game One concluded with little surprise.
Opening pitch to shortstop Tommy Edman is a strike
A 1st inning RBI from DH Ryan McCarvel and a 2-run home run by second baseman Andy Young in the 3rd, all coming against Yanks starter Kolton Mahoney, proved enough for State College.
Combining on a 3-0 whitewashing of the Yankees, Spikes' starter Bryan Dobzanski and reliever Jordan DeLorenzo limited the Yankees to just five hits, while fanning eight.
The Yanks first two hits of the game set up their finest scoring chance in the 3rd. But with 2-outs and the bases loaded, right fielder Timmy Robinson flied out harmlessly ending the threat.
Despite fine middle relief work from Spencer Mahoney (three scoreless innings, three strikeouts), the Yanks lineup could manage little else.
If Staten Island fails at turning this series around in Spikes country, the Yankees as we know them will be finished. They are adopting a new identity next season.
Branding is one thing, but elimination is another. Trouble by any other name still means trouble.
In tandem with Wednesday's loss, the junior Yankees are indeed fading before our very eyes.
The Ballpark at St. George