NILES, Ohio The State College Spikes swept Mahoning Valley last week and the Scrappers are now one win away from returning the favor.
For the second consecutive night, Mahoning Valley scored late and knocked off the Spikes with a 3-2 victory in a contest that was delayed at the start by rain. With the loss, State College (7-5) dropped a game behind Auburn in the New York-Penn Leagues Pinckney Division.
The Spikes built a 2-0 lead through six innings, led by an outstanding start from Joely Rodriguez. The lefty allowed three hits and a walk, while striking out three in five scoreless innings.
State College broke through for a run in the third, but the Spikes could have plated more. Jordaneli Carvajal led off with a single, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Chris Diaz singled, stole second, moved to third on Barrett Barnes single and scored on a groundout by Samuel Gonzalez. With Barnes at second, Jacob Stallings lined out to end the inning.
The Spikes, now 2-5 on the road, added a run in the fourth. Yhonathan Barrios led off with a single, swiped second base and moved to third on Walker Gourleys fly out. Barrios raced home on Jared Lakinds groundout.
Held scoreless, Mahoning Valley (5-7) ended the drought in the seventh against reliever Adrian Sampson. With one out, Joseph Wendle singled and raced home on Hunter Jones double to left field. Jones moved to third on the play on shortstop Diazs throwing error and scored on Aaron Siligas single.
The Scrappers won it an inning later thanks to an error. Tyler Naquin reached on a two-base error by first baseman Lakind. He moved to third on a bunt and scored on Charlie Valerios sacrifice fly.
Reliever Jacob Lee (1-0) retired the Spikes in order in the ninth to complete 22/ 3 innings of hitless relief. Lee struck out five, including the final two batters.
Stallings double was the lone extra-base hit for the Spikes, who added five singles. Wendle had three of Mahoning Valleys seven hits.
Right-hander Jake Burnette (0-1) will face Scrappers righty Luis DeJesus (0-0) in the series finale at 6:05 p.m. tonight. State College returns home Sunday, with left-hander Luis Heredia on the hill against Batavia.