UNIVERSITY PARK — A combination of some good pitching and a bad day all around for the State College Spikes produced a long night at the ballpark.
Jamestown Jammer pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts and only gave up four hits in a 9-2 thumping Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The Jammers, who also took advantage of three Spikes errors, pounded out 12 hits, with Juancito Martinez leading the charge. Martinez, the Most Valuable Player of Tuesday night’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game, only had two hits but drove in four runs while Yeison Hernandez had a 4-for-5 day at the plate.
“I don’t think we were very good in any phase of the game tonight,” Spikes manager Dave Turgeon said.
The game started late following a rain delay of 1 hour, 22 minutes, thanks to a heavy downpour about a half hour before first pitch.
“It didn’t seem to affect the other club, it did seem to affect our club,” Turgeon said.
“Maybe (we should) probably reassess what we do as a staff. … As professionals you’ve got to go out there and do your job no matter what the circumstances are.”
D.J. Crumlich, an all-star along with Tyler Gaffney and Jacob Stallings on Tuesday, had two of State College’s four hits including a double.
Starter Drew Steckenrider struck out eight over four innings and reliever James Wright (2-4) struck out four more over three hitless innings to earn the win.
The loss didn’t affect the Pinckney Division standings, with the Spikes remaining 31/ 2 games behind first-place Auburn after the Doubledays lost to Mahoning Valley on Wednesday.
The Spikes had a rough second inning and it left them in a big 5-0 hole.
Anthony Gomez began the frame by ripping a single right back up the middle, and after an out a perfect hit-and-run put him on third when Spikes shortstop Chris Diaz left his position to cover second and Hernandez hit a soft liner that went right to Diaz’s spot. Martinez then hit a grounder to Diaz that could have been a double play, but second baseman Jodaneli Carvajal mishandled the throw to leave everyone safe.
“Pitching and defense does go hand-in-hand, but sometimes the defense has to pick up the pitching, sometimes the pitching’s got to pick up the defense, come back and get the next guy,” Turgeon said. “It didn’t seem to work out for us tonight. It did seem to snowball for us.”
After a walk to Michael Main, Cody Keefer hit a grounder up the middle that Diaz fielded, bobbled momentarily and then stepped onto second base, though his relay to first was too late for the double play and the Jammers plated another run. Then State College starter Jason Creasy got wild, with a hit batter and walk to force in a run before Matt Juengel lofted a ball that dropped between three players behind first base, scoring two more.
Creasy was pulled after that, and Tom Harlan got Gomez, the 10th batter of the inning, to fly out to end the misery. Creasy (0-4) took the loss, lasting just 12/ 3 innings while giving up five runs, although only one was earned. He walked three and gave up four hits with one strikeout as the first of five State College pitchers for the night.
State College was able to respond a little in the bottom of the second, with a walk to Diaz and a Samuel Gonzalez single setting up a perfect sacrifice bunt for Carvajal, who beat the throw to load the bases. Gaffney then hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Viosergy Rosa, who erased Carvajal at second but the Jammers could not complete the double play as Diaz scored, and with Jamestown infielders not paying attention, Gaffney took off for second before a timeout was called. A Walker Gourley ground out then brought home a second run.
Jamestown added to the margin in the fifth by loading the bases on an error, walk and single, with Martinez bringing two home by bouncing a single through the infield and another coming home on a double play.
“We got it back to 5-2, we put a couple of zeros up (on the scoreboard),” Turgeon said. “Then boom — give up another big inning. You can’t let that happen.”
Another run came home in the seventh with a walk and Hernandez pop-up single, with both runners moving up when left fielder Gourley took his time getting to the ball that dropped just inside the foul line. A Martinez fly to right then brought a run home.
“I would like to come back (today) and play good baseball,” Turgeon said. “I’d like to take care of the baseball, I’d like to be strike one on hitters, I’d like to hit situationally, I’d like to see guys being aggressive on fastball counts — get back to playing the way we can. It was not a very good baseball game tonight in all phases of the game.”
Notes: During the rain delay, fans were treated to a pair of rainbows that arced beyond the wall from left to right fields, and some Spikes players played soccer in their bullpen to pass the time. … The teams complete their brief two-game series at 7:05 p.m. today. The contest is highlighted by the “Bark in the Park” promotion, with dogs and their owners invited to the stadium. … State College entered the game with a 10-2 home record against teams in the NY-PL’s Pinckney Division. … Wednesday’s game began a stretch of 22 straight games without a scheduled day off to end the season, with 16 of those games against teams in the Pinckney Division. … The start for Creasy was his team-leading 11th of the year. … While the announced attendance was 3,134, only a few hundred were still in the stands by the sixth inning.