The Spikes were four outs away from avoiding back-to-back losses. But instead of holding firm, State College caved.
The Spikes fell to Auburn 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Falcon Park after surrendering three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
State College (30-28) is now 3 1/2 games out of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, while the Doubledays (23-33) — despite owning the league’s third-worst record — have won three straight.
The Spikes would’ve snapped that mini-streak if it weren’t for a crushing eighth frame.
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With two outs and a runner on second, Spikes reliever Jason Zgardowski surrendered an RBI single, tying the game at 3-3.
Things didn’t improve for Zgardowski. He walked Auburn’s Chance Shepard, let up an RBI single to Jake Scudder and then threw two wild pitches within one at-bat — allowing Shepard to score.
With a couple of singles and poor control by Zgardowski, the Spikes’ lead was gone.
Spikes starter Andrew Summerville — a 21-year-old southpaw out of Stanford — has put together a remarkable run recently, and it continued Sunday.
Summerville allowed four hits and two runs while striking out five. In seven starts this season, it’s only the third time he’s surrendered two runs.
Surprisingly, two runs is the most Summerville has given up in a 2017 outing. He owns a 1.90 ERA this season with a 1.66 mark over the course of his seven starts.
Leaving them stranded
The Spikes had plenty of chances to score, but they didn’t capitalize.
State College was 3 of 15 with runners in scoring position and left 10 players stranded.
Meanwhile, Auburn was 3 of 6 with runners in scoring position.
State College at Auburn, 7:05 p.m. Sunday: The Spikes are looking to avoid a sweep when they wrap up a six-game road trip. Johan Oviedo will start for State College. The 19-year-old Cuban owns a 5.32 ERA since joining the Spikes in late July.