UNIVERSITY PARK — In just a little more than an hour and three quarters Friday, the pitching performances reached stellar heights and the strikeout totals climbed into the double digits.
In the end, the State College Spikes and Jamestown Jammers combined to play the quickest nine-inning game since the Spikes moved into Medlar Field at Lubrano Park six years ago.
Officially, the 1-0 Jamestown win took just 1:49, 10 minutes quicker than the previous record. It couldn’t have been done without aggressive pitching and consistent, off-the-mark swings.
“I was pleased with every phase of our game other than the offense,” Spikes manager Dave Turgeon said. “We didn’t do a good job offensively. I thought we were passive early and let (Jamestown starting pitcher Mason Hope) settle in because he was working ahead in the count all the time.”
The Spikes (30-34) didn’t record their first hit until third baseman D.J. Crumlich drilled a two-out single past diving Jamestown shortstop Yeison Hernandez in the bottom of the fourth.
By that time, Hope had retired 11 batters — four via strikeouts — and the Jammers (28-35) had scored the only run they would need.
“Next thing you know, he settles in and gets three pitches going on you. We didn’t do a good job offensively. Period,” Turgeon said of his team which racked up 13 strikeouts with just three base hits on the night.
The Jammers had their own offensive struggles.
They managed six hits but also struggled to hit the ball for much of the game. Jamestown hitters whiffed seven times and the Jammers advanced just two baserunners into scoring position all night.
Pitcher Luis Heredia and the bullpen were highlights for the Spikes.
Heredia, who struggled in his previous two starts, surrendering a combined six runs off nine hits in 81/ 3 innings, bounced back
nicely in his 12th start of the season. He lasted five innings, struck out four and gave just three hits. Of his 61 pitches, 42 were strikes.
“He did an outstanding job,” Turgeon said. “He showed his slider is developed, put away a couple of guys with it. Pleased to see that. Pitched in for effect well, made big pitches working on controlling the running game. He has come a long way in his development becoming a pitcher.”
Heredia stymied Jamestown until the top of the fourth when Jammers outfielder Cody Keefer led off the frame with a double to left field. Anthony Gomez’s sacrifice bunt moved Keefer to third and Viosergy Rosa had the game’s lone RBI with a sacrifice fly to deep left to plate Keefer.
The Spikes’ 18-year-old righty would stay in the game and retire four of the next five hitters before yielding the mound to right-hander Lance Breedlove.
Heredia said after the game he was encouraged by his ability to switch between his pitches — a fastball that touched 92 mph, a deceptive change-up and a slider — and work effectively with leadoff batters reaching base in three of his five innings.
As State College batters failed to hit Hope, Breedlove took the mound and continued to pound the strike zone. Breedlove threw 22 strikes in 29 pitches and gave up two hits over three scoreless innings.
“(I was) just throwing strikes down in the zone, getting ground balls and letting my defense work behind me,” Breedlove said of State College’s error-free night. “They made some great plays.”
But State College couldn’t convert offensively.
After lefty Josh Smith shut Jamestown down for good in the top of the ninth with two strikeouts, the Spikes quickly made two outs in the bottom of the frame.
Crumlich reached base on an infield single to bring the go-ahead run in Jacob Stallings to the plate. Stallings worked a full count, at one point staring down homeplate umpire Scott Costello after Costello called strike two on a ball that Stallings thought was high and out of the zone.
Before Spikes fans could finish booing the call, Stallings swung on and missed a Jheyson Manzueta pitch for strike three.
Notes: Olympic gold medalist wrestler Jake Varner was one of a handful of people who threw out first pitches. … Varner was interviewed before the game on the field and showed his gold medal to Spikes players in the dugout before the game. … Heredia fell to 3-2 on the season with the loss. … Clay Holmes (4-3) is expected to start for State College against Drew Steckenrider (1-1) when the teams meet tonight. … All Or Nothing Wrestling will stage a four-bout card on the field following tonight’s game.