UNIVERSITY PARK — There was no waiting in this one Sunday.
The State College Spikes picked up right where they left off from Saturday night’s 7-0 win over the Auburn Doubledays.
They sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring five runs and six hits, and cruised to a franchise-best 10th straight victory with a 10-5 romp over Auburn. The win kept the Spikes two games clear of Jamestown, a 4-1 winner over Williamsport, in the New-York Penn League’s Pinckney Division race.
The Spikes trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the first, but the fireworks started when Steven Ramos walked and Cesar Valera chased him to third with a single. Ramos scored courtesy of a Brett Wiley sacrifice fly to right field to tie the score.
It would not remain deadlocked for long as David Washington and the first baseman ripped his 17th double of the season to right field to plate Valera to score. A trio of RBI singles by Ronald Castillo, Mason Katz, and Matthew Young capped off the explosive start for the Spikes’ and gave them a commanding 5-1 lead after the first.
“These guys are locked in, they’re playing for something,” the Spikes’ manager Oliver Marmol said of his club’s division chase. ““They’re playing for the team (and) coming to the park just locked in. As soon as that first pitch is thrown, you can tell they’re ready to play, they got energy. At this time of the year, there’s a lot of guys that are tired and kind of going downhill. These guys seem like they’ve got some life to them and they’re ready to play, they’re ready to finish strong.”
The Spikes’ struck again in the bottom of the third inning when Carson Kelly led off the inning with a home run. In the first pitch of his at-bat, the Spikes’ third baseman ripped a ball down the left field line and it hooked foul. Two pitches later he straightened it out and drilled one over the left field wall for his third homer of the season.
The squad would add a pair in both the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to cruise to victory.
Katz smacked a two-run single to plated Wiley, who tripled, and Washington, who walked< in the seventh. Wiley doubled home Young in the eighth and scored on Washington’s RBI single as the Spikes finished off the homestand a perfect 5-0.
Over those five games, the Spikes’ scored 39 runs on 66 hits, with players producing runs all over the lineup.
The tandem of Washington, the team’s cleanup hitter, and Kelly, No. 6 in the lineup, have made it rough for opposing pitching. During the 10-game win-streak, they have combined for 28 base hits (including nine doubles), 13 RBIs and have scored 16 runs.
With this type of production, Marmol can’t help but be pleased with what he is seeing on the field.
“It’s good to see,” Marmol said. “We want these guys to be climbing uphill at this point of the year and to see all of these guys locked in the way that they are. Kelly has five (straight) multi-hits games, he’s hitting the ball hard, it’s not like he’s getting soft hits. He’s using the middle of the field, that double to center field and then he pulls a hom erun (Sunday night). Washington is just crushing the baseball all over the park, so it’s good to see, it’s fun to watch.”
With hopes of consecutive win No. 11 tonight in Williamsport, Kelly said that the Spikes are going to approach it like every other game and just try and have fun on the field.
“Keep doing the same thing, keep having fun and just keep doing our routines before the games,” Kelly said.