CARY — It’s not often that you lose a game in which your pitching staff allows just two hits but the rarity of such a feat was no solace to Garner Tuesday in Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League action.
Despite starting pitcher Colin Pippen and reliever Alan Robinson silencing the Cary bats for much of the night, the Buccos spoiled Garner’s impressive tandem pitching performance with a pair of late runs in a 2-0 defeat.
Greg Jones dealt the biggest blow with a RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth inning that scored Spencer Haroldson, who led the inning off with a walk.
Jones would later score on a Garner error but one run was all the Buccos would need as the Blue Jays could not come up with the big hit when they absolutely needed it.
Cary reliever Michael Sweeney plunked consecutive batters in the back and walked Nick Gallogly to load the bases with just one out in the top of the seventh.
However, Haroldson entered the game and promptly recorded the contest’s final two outs on a groundball to third base and a deep fly to left field.
In all, the Blue Jays (4-7) ended the night 0-for-6 at the plate with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners over the seven innings.
J.C. Barringer pitched five scoreless innings for the Buccos and recorded the only other hit all night for Cary.
Cary (5-5) had similar issues getting anything going offensively thanks to Pippen and Robinson.
Pippen tossed three hitless innings while striking out four and walking none. Robinson struck out two batters in his three innings and allowed just the one earned run on two hits to keep the Blue Jays in the game.
“Colin Pippen did great, worked quick and didn’t give up any hits and Alan Robinson also did really well,” Garner coach Derik Goffena said. “We walked the leadoff guy in the sixth inning and he came around to score.
“We only walked one or two, made a couple errors that hurt but both pitchers did very well.”
A young Garner club that needed to call up four players from its jayvee team to fill in for players fulfilling other commitments threatened to score on several different occasions.
The Blue Jays managed to get runners on second and third base with one out in the second before a popup and one of Barringer’s seven strikeouts wrecked the opportunity.
Nick Gallogly reached base in the fifth on a walk and advanced to third on a Buccos error but Garner could not cash in with two chances to bring him home.
Trevor Blalock recorded two hits for the Blue Jays while Jack Elliott and Logan Torruella accounted for the other two Garner base hits of the night.
“We’ve got a real good group of young players coming up,” said Goffena. “They’re coming along decently. We had some young guys making some good plays defensively and having some good at bats.
“We need to hit the ball better but I thought the effort was pretty good.”