AUBURN, N.Y. — State College failed on a chance to gain ground on first-place Auburn as the Pinckney Division leaders knocked off the Spikes 5-3 in New York- Penn League baseball play on Thursday.
State College (26-25) dropped to 41/ 2 games behind the Doubledays (30-20) and fell to third
behind Batavia (26-24) in the division standings.
Auburn took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against State College starter Joely Rodriguez. With two outs, Estarlin Martinez doubled and trotted home on Brandon Miller’s triple to center field. Miller scored on Khayan Norfolk’s RBI single.
The Spikes struck back in the second. With one out, Chris Diaz walked and Derek Trent blasted his first home run of the season, a shot over the right-field fence. Jesus Vasquez then singled and raced to third on Jared Lakind’s single. Vasquez scored on Jordaneli Carvajal’s groundout.
But from there, the Spikes managed just five more hits against three Auburn pitchers. Starter Ivan Pineyro (2-1) allowed six hits, walked two and struck out five over six innings. Travis Henke pitched
two scoreless innings of relief to set up Derek Self, who struck out two in the last inning to earn his 10th save of the year.
Auburn tied the contest again the fourth. Wes Schill singled, stole second base and scored on Narciso Mesa’s single.
The Doubledays took the lead for good in the sixth against Ryan Hafner. Carlos Lopez led off with a single and eventually scored on Mesa’s groundout.
The Doubledays added an insurance run an inning later. Pinch-hitter Shawn Pleffner walked, stole second and scored on a single by Martinez.
Diaz and Lakind had two hits each for the Spikes, who were outhit 12-8. Lopez had three hits to pace the Doubledays.
Spikes right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-0) will face lefty Blake Monar (2-3) in tonight’s final game of the short two-game series.
Notes:Hafner was added to the Spikes’ roster after being demoted from Class A West Virginia. Spike right-hander Orlando Castro was promoted to West Virginia. ... After tonight’s game, State College heads to Jamestown for a two-game series before the league All- Star break. State College returns home on Wednesday.