After an opening-day loss, the State College Spikes rebounded on Tuesday by edging out the Williamsport Crosscutters on the road by a score of 5-3.
Daniel Castano, a 6-foot-4 pitcher, grabbed the win by scattering eight hits over six innings. He struck out six, walked one and allowed three runs.
State College never trailed in the game. It struck first in the second inning, took a 3-1 lead in the fourth frame and then added two insurance runs in the sixth to seize the 5-1 advantage. The bullpen was especially strong, combining for four strikeouts and allowing just two hits in three innings of relief.
Closer Robbie Gordon picked up the save with two perfect innings — no hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
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Player of the game
State College shortstop Edwin Figuera: Despite batting in the No. 9 spot, the Venezuelan had the biggest night at the plate. He finished with a game-high three hits in four plate appearances, and he had two doubles to go along with two RBIs. He was 0 for 2 Monday night, so the performance proved to be a nice turnaround.
Bottom of the Spikes’ order: Figuera was our MVP, but he wasn’t the only player at the bottom of the order to come up big. Overall, batters No. 7-9 combined for six of the Spikes’ eight hits, all five of their runs, all three of their extra-base hits and half of their four RBIs. Catcher Joshua Lopez was 2 for 2 with two runs, and designated hitter Matt Davis finished with a double and a run in three at-bats.
Top of the sixth: State College held a 3-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but its two insurance runs in the top of the sixth gave it a nice cushion to work with. Lopez singled to lead off and, with one out, Figuera then doubled to drive him in. Figuera advanced to third on the throw to get Lopez out and then, after a wild pitch against the next batter, Figuera was able to cross home plate. That inning served as the turning point, but the wild pitch might’ve been the nail in the coffin. State College led 5-1 after that.
Batavia at State College, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: The Spikes return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a three-game homestand against the Muckdogs.