The State College Spikes may be out of the New York-Penn League’s playoff chase, but they’re not giving up on the season.
Ricardo Bautista cracked a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for an 8-6 victory over the Auburn Doubledays on Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The league’s top offense in both batting average and scoring pounded out a dozen hits and scored at least eight runs for the 17th time this season. Bryce Denton was one of four Spikes with a pair of hits, knocking in two runs, scoring twice and stroking a double. Caleb Lopes and Zach Kirtley also had a single and double at the plate, with Lopes knocking in a pair of runs.
State College (40-33) was eliminated from both the Pinckney Division and wild card races with a loss to the Doubledays on Monday.
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Jesus Cruz (1-0) struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning and earned the win in relief. Auburn’s Angel Guillen (0-3) took the loss.
The Doubledays’ Kameron Esthay was 3 for 5 with a double and solo home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
The game was delayed for seven minutes in the seventh inning when a layer of fog enveloped the stadium.
Player of the Game
Ricardo Bautista: The Spikes’ center fielder, who is batting just .198 this season, ended the game with his shot to center field, his fourth homer of the season. Kirtley singled to start the inning, but was erased at second when J.D. Crowe bunted to try to advance the runner. A strikeout then set the stage for Bautista’s winner.
Williamsport at State College, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: The Spikes begin a two-game series with the Crosscutters to end the season, with Jonathon Mulford (2-5, 4.01 ERA) schedule to pitch for State College against Kyle Young (6-2, 2.75 ERA).