UNIVERSITY PARK — The State College Spikes took control of their home opener on a wild pitch in the sixth inning Saturday night.
One run scored when Williamsport Crosscutters reliever Delvy Francisco’s pitch skipped away from catcher Deivi Grullon. Another run scored when Grullon’s throw to the plate bounced toward the visitor’s dugout on the third base side.
A one-run deficit was suddenly a one-run lead.
State College led the rest of the way in a 6-2 win over Williamsport at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Luis Cruz was 2 for 4 and added an RBI single in the sixth, and Robelys Reyes had three hits to pace the Spikes.
“I’m not sure we made good enough adjustments offensively,” Spikes manager Oliver Marmol said. “We took advantage of that mistake, took an extra base there on the passed ball, which helped us, and then the two-out hit by Cruz was big.”
State College starting pitcher Steven Farinaro went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Spikes reliever Trey Nielsen struck out four in two flawless innings to get the win. The pair combined to retire 17 straight batters during the game.
Williamsport took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
But State College battled back, starting with a leadoff double by Alex De Leon in the fifth. De Leon came around to score to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Spikes then took the lead with the help of the passed ball in the sixth.
“These guys, they’re really poised,” Marmol said. “They’re down in the game early, gave up a couple early, they were able to keep their composure. Not a big deal, still continue to stick to the game plan and had a good approach and took advantage of some mistakes.”