NILES, Ohio — The State College Spikes entered Thursday’s series finale with Mahoning Valley with the New York-Penn League’s top batting average, but the offense was shutdown and shut out as the Scrappers blanked the Spikes 2-0 at Eastwood Field.
Luis Lugo, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound lefty, pitched five dominant innings for the Scrappers (5-6). Lugo (1-1) allowed just one hit and struck out five for the victory. The Cleveland Indians signed the 19-year-old pitcher from Venezuela in 2011. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.
Each pitching staff did enough to win, but offense was sparse. The Spikes (6-4) managed just two hits to Mahoning Valley’s six.
Nick Petree (0-1) threw well in defeat. The ninth-round pick in 2013 went four innings and only surrendered a run on three hits, a walk and four strikeouts.
The State College bullpen, as it has been this season, was stout in relief.
Manuel Boscan (1-for-3) got to Petree in the fourth with an RBI single, but Victor De Leon pitched two innings in relief, gave up two hits and got a strikeout. Jeff Rauh also put in two innings, but surrendered a solo home run to Claudio Bautista (1-for-4) in the eighth that put the Scrappers up 2-0.
The Spikes staff kept the team close, but Lugo and co. scuttled the Spikes’ offense.
Cesar Valera (1-for-4) and Brian Vigo (1-for-3) had the only hits for State College. As a team, the Spikes struck out nine times and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Trevor Frank relieved Lugo in the sixth, gave up a hit and fanned two. Manuel Carmona (2) got the save for the Scrappers.
State College began the game with a .291 team batting average and by night’s end saw that number dip.273, still good for second in the NY-PL behind Staten Island’s .275.
The Spikes still lead the Pinckney division because Jamestown (5-4) was suspended at Batavia due to rain. Williamsport (5-4) was also suspended at Auburn.
Right-hander Andrew Pierce (0-0) will start for State College when it heads to Batavia Friday for a three-game set at Dwyer Stadium. Helpi Reyes (0-1) will start for the Muckdogs.