UNIVERSITY PARK — State Colleges luck seemed to be changing against Auburn on Wednesday night, as the Spikes rolled to an early three-run lead.
Adrian Sampson gave the Spikes five strong innings on the mound, but the Pinckney Division-leading Doubledays again clubbed State Colleges bullpen, changing the games momentum with three runs in the sixth en route to a series sweep with a 6-4 victory at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
We were going to win that game, Spikes manager Dave Turgeon said. The guys had a very positive vibe in the dugout after a great workday. We just missed a couple breaks. Thats the way it happens.
Sampson, who threw in the mid 90s for most of the night, gave up three runs on four hits in five innings of work and was headed to the dugout with a chance to earn his first professional victory.
Sampson also struck out four and walked four batters.
The Spikes offense also started out strong in the first. Center fielder Walker Gourley led off with a bloop single to left field and advanced to third after a single to center from Chris Diaz. Gourley scored the games first run on Jacob Stallings RBI flyout.
The Spikes battered Auburn starter Will Hudgins for two more runs in the second before getting another in the third off reliever Cody Davis in for a 4-1 lead.
Gourley, Jon Stallings, Schwind and Yhonathan Barrios all had RBIs for the Spikes in the stretch, while Hudgins was tagged for three runs on four hits in just 12/ 3 innings of work.
The Doubledays cut their deficit to 4-3 after beginning the fourth and fifth frames with leadoff walks. In the fourth, Estarlin Martinez walked to open the frame and later scored Auburns second run of the game on Carlos Alvarezs RBI flyout. Mike McQuillan then drew a walk from Sampson to open the fifth and scored on Shawn Pleffners RBI groundout to first.
Ahead by a run in the sixth, Isaac Sanchez replaced Sampson on the hill and walked Martinez to open the inning on four pitches. Four batters later, Auburns Narcisco Mesa doubled to shallow left field to plate Martinez and tie the game 4-4, negating Sampson the victory.
We battled hard, said Sampson, a fifth-round pick in Junes amateur draft. The offense did a great job setting the tone in the beginning. We just had one bad inning. Auburns a great ball club that took advantage of some of our mistakes.
McQuillan then swung the momentum to the Doubledays with a two-run triple with two outs off Sanchez.
State College looked to get right back in the game in the bottom of the sixth, when Auburn right-hander Travis Henke walked and hit the first two batters he faced in relief. With nobody out, Henke forced Jared Lakind to bunt foul on a third strike, before whiffing Yhonathan Barrios and Gourley.
Henke struck out three more Spikes over the next two innings.
State College, which has lost four of its last five games, heads to Jamestown tonight to open a four-game set with a doubleheader, before returning to Medlar Field to finish the season against Williamsport and Mahoning Valley.
You cant live in the past with this game, it takes away all your energy, said Turgeon. Well come tomorrow ready to work, thats what were all about.