For Spikes starter Paul Balestrieri, the third inning of Sunday night’s game was suboptimal.
Balestrieri allowed five runs in the frame, putting State College in a hole it couldn’t dig out of as the Spikes fell to Vermont 9-4 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
State College (29-24) couldn’t finish off its sweep of the Lake Monsters (28-25). The Spikes are two games out of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.
It wasn’t a bad start by the Spikes. Despite Balestrieri surrendering a run in the first inning, singles by Wood Myers and Brandon Benson gave State College a 2-1 lead in the second.
Then the third inning hit. Balestrieri walked in two runs and gave up a two-run double. The scoring in the frame finished when one more crossed home on a passed ball.
Sunday was a continuation of iffy form for Balestrieri. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 8.31 ERA despite a 2-2 record in his last four starts.
Player of the game
Vermont outfielder Logan Farrar: The Lake Monsters had three players with two RBIs — but only one hit a home run.
Farrar blasted a solo homer in the eighth inning, his third hit of the night. He also chipped in an RBI single in the sixth frame.
Farrar owns a .314 batting average this season.
State College at West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: The Spikes have a few days off with the New York-Penn League All-Star Game taking place on Tuesday. A franchise record six Spikes were selected to play for the South team: infielder Yariel Gonzalez, catcher Josh Lopez, outfielder Scott Hurst and pitchers Andrew Summerville and Daniel Castano. Former State College infielder Evan Mendoza, who was promoted to Single-A Peoria on Thursday, would’ve played, as well. Spikes manager Joe Kruzel will direct the South squad.