UNIVERSITY PARK — Jimmy Bosco stepped to the dish in the bottom of the 11th inning with two runners on and two outs.
The State College Spikes right fielder delivered and cashed in the game’s winning run with an RBI single to right field that plated Carson Kelly for a 4-3 victory Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
With the victory, coupled with a Jamestown Jammers loss to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Spikes (38-23) are alone atop of the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division. It is the first time in franchise history the Spikes have held the division lead this late in the season.
The game was delayed for more than 90 minutes because of rain, and State College had to come from behind all evening, but in the end Bosco delivered and helped the Spikes’ notch their seventh-straight win.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the fourth, the Spikes’ first baseman David Washington quickly tied the game with a deep home run to right field in the bottom half of the inning. It was the 10th round-tripper of the season for Washington, extending his team record, and made him the third player in the league with double-digit home runs this season.
The moon shot to left was also Washington’s 44th RBI of the season, which increased his lead over the rest of the league in that category and tied him with Nathan Southard for the Spikes’ franchise record of RBI’s in a season — a mark that has been held since the 2006 season.
Two runs for Williamsport in a high-energy top of the sixth inning, which featured plunked batters and the ejection of manager Oliver Marmol, put the Spikes in another hole.
Marmol had exchanged words with both umpires all evening, as he was not pleased with the way the game was being called. There were multiple instances in which the Spikes’ skipper ran across the diamond to discuss bang-bang plays that resulted in Spikes’ players being called out. He was finally tossed from the game by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout in the top of the sixth inning on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded. Before he left he voiced his opinion and gave the umpires an earful.
It worked, apparently, because his squad rallied to knot the game up in the bottom of the sixth.
With two outs, Ronald Castillo slapped a double down the third base line and was brought around to score by a Kelly RBI single to center field. The next batter, Mason Katz, laced a single to left field and Luke Voit followed suit with an RBI single to left that knotted the game up at 3-3.
Both squads cruised through four straight innings until Bosco drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
With the completion of the three-game sweep over the Crosscutters, the Spikes will turn their attention to the Auburn Doubledays and their upcoming three-game series this weekend. The first game of the series is slated to begin at 7:05 pm Friday.