NILES, Ohio — The State College Spikes used the longest outing of Pat Ludwigs professional career to snap their four-game losing streak.
Ludwig pitched 2 2/3 scoreless relief innings as the Spikes escaped Mahoning Valley with an 8-6 victory Wednesday at Eastwood Field.
Ludwig, the Pittsburgh Pirates 10th-round draft pick, replaced Josh Smith with one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth inning. Smith had allowed three runs, but Ludwig prevented further damage by striking out Robel Garcia and Jairo Kelly. The Scrappers led 6-5 when Ludwig entered the game.
The Spikes (15-15) grabbed the lead by scoring three runs in the eighth. Two runs came with two outs as Alex Fuselier hit an RBI single and scored on Barrett Barnes double to left field. Yhonathan Barrios hit a ground-rule double and scored earlier in the inning.
Ludwig pitched through the eighth inning to improve to 2-0. The right-hander from Yale had never worked more than two innings in a professional game until Wednesday. Kyle Haynes struck out three in the ninth to earn his third save.
The Spikes collected 10 hits off Mahoning Valley starter Josh Martin and reliever Luis Morel. Barnes, Jodaneli Carvajal and Jacob Stallings each had two hits. Barnes also stole two bases.
The game marked the first time this season the Spikes and their opponent both scored at least six runs.
Luis Heredia, a 17-year-old prospect from Mexico, allowed six hits and a sea-son-high three runs in five innings. The right-hander allowed his first New York-Penn League homer to former West Chester standout Joe Wendle in the first inning.
Heredia, who has lasted five innings in his past five starts, struck out three and walked one. The outing raised his ERA to 1.86.
Jeremy Lucas went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs for the Scrappers (15-15), who entered the game with a 4-0 home record against State College. The Spikes were playing in Mahoning Valley for the last time this season.
The Spikes begin a four-game series tonight against Williamsport at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The series includes two games in State College and two games in Williamsport. The other home game is Saturday.
Notes: The Pirates placed catcher Ryan Hornback on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to July 17. Hornback left Mondays game against Brooklyn after being hit by a foul ball in the midsection. Catcher Derek Trent, who hit .197 in 44 games with the Spikes last season, was added to the active roster.