It may have taken 15 innings, but the State College Spikes finally got the ending they hoped for Friday night.
In what tied for the longest game in their short history, the Spikes defeated the West Virginia Black Bears 5-2 thanks to a three-run homer by Scott Hurst in the top of the inning at Monongalia County Ballpark in Granville, W.Va.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Hurst launched his second strike over the left field wall to give the Spikes the three-run lead. State College closer Robbie Gordon then struck out three straight Black Bears to end the inning and record his first win of the season.
The Spikes are now 30-26 with the win; the Black Bears are 33-23.
Player of the game
State College center fielder Scott Hurst: He struck out more than any other Spike — he went down swinging three times — but he hit when his team needed it the most. Hurst hit the game-winning three-run homer with two outs in the 15th. He finished 2 of 7 Friday night but, with that homer, he solidified himself as the player of the game.
Turning point (Besides the obvious)
Bottom of the 14th: State College’s Gordon escaped quite the jam in the bottom of the 14th. He tossed eight straight balls against the first two batters to walk them both and, after a sacrifice bunt, Gordon faced runners on second and third with just one out. But he escaped the inning after striking out the next batter and then forcing the next to fly out. The game could’ve easily gone a different way Friday had it not been for Gordon rebounding against those two batters.
State College Spikes at Auburn Doubledays, 6:05 p.m. Saturday: The Spikes’ Paul Balestrieri (3-2, 5.30 ERA) will take on a pitcher to be determined against the Doubledays. Balestrieri boasted a 2.70 ERA on before July 28, but he’s struggled in his last four outings — allowing a combined 16 runs over 17 1/3 innings. State College will return home Tuesday, when they take on West Virginia.