AUBURN, N.Y. Back-to-back three-run innings boosted the State College Spikes to a 7-5 New York-Penn League victory over the Auburn Doubledays on Thursday night.
Carson Kelly pounded two of the team’s five doubles among their nine hits to pace the offense as the Spikes (3-1) stayed in a first-place tie in the early Pinckney Division standings.
Alex De Leon also had a pair of hits including a double. and two RBIs.
Ben O’Shea (1-0) earned the win on the mound, giving up seven hits, three runs and one walk while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings. Jhonny Polanco struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of relief, and Brady Adamek earned his first save in pitching the final two innings as the trio combined for a dozen strikeouts.
Deion Williams (0-1) took the loss as five Doubleday pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.
Wilmer Difo and Jean Carlos Valdez each had two hits for Auburn, with Difo cracking a solo home run in the third and Valdez belting a double.
State College got on the board first, with Ronald Castillo drawing a leadoff walk, stealing second and scoring on a Trevor Martin two-out single. Martin was erased when he tried to stretch the hit into a double.
Difo then tied the game with his homer in the third, before the Spikes offense got cranked up.
After a Kelly double to lead off the fifth, the Doubledays got two outs before a De Leon single scored Kelly. De Leon stole second and scored on a Jimmy Bosco double, and Cedar Valera followed with a double to plate Bosco.
In the sixth, David Washington singled and Kelly doubled to put two runners on, with a wild pitch bringing Washington home. Following a Matthew Young walk, Young stole second, with the throw dropped by Difo, the second baseman, to let Kelly score. Young later scord on De Leon’s double.
Auburn chipped away with RBI singles for Wilman Rodriguez and Cody Gunter in the bottom of the sixth. Rodriguez thought he had a grand slam, but umpires ruled the ball hit the wall in left field and not a tree just beyond the fence, drawing an argument from Auburn manager Gary Cathcart.
A Valdez RBI single in the seventh and a Jordan Poole RBI double in the eighth brought the Doubeldays within two runs before Adamek closed the door in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.
The teams continue their three-game series Friday night at Falcon Park, with Nick Petree making his professional debut for the Spikes. The right-hander was a ninth-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Missouri State two weeks ago.