Johnstown, native Austin Urban stifled the State College offense as the Aberdeen IronBirds beat the Spikes — for the second day in a row — 3-1 Thursday night at Ripken Stadium.
Steven Ramos had a three-hit night for the Spikes, but State College managed just seven hits just one night after tallying three. The Spikes went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The IronBirds went 4-for-13.
With the loss State College (14-10) falls two games behind Jamestown (16-8) in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney division. Aberdeen (14-10) now sits atop the NY-PL’s McNamara divison.
Urban (1-2), a 6-foot-1 right-hander, went five and two-thirds in relief, allowed just two hits and struck out four.
The 21 year old from Richland High School helped hold the Spikes’ top hitters Ronald Castillo and Cesar Valera hitless.
He was originally scheduled to start Thursday’s game, but was lifted in favor of left-hander Jorge Rivera earlier in the day.
Harry Marino (1) tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn the save for the IronBirds.
Andrew Pierce (0-1) started for the Spikes and gave up three runs in two and two-thirds innings in his first professional defeat. Rivera started for Aberdeen and gave up five hits and one run in two and a third.
Second baseman Kris Richards went 3-for-4 for the IronBirds with two doubles and a run scored. Centerfielder Anthony Vega went 2-for-4.
Ramos had two singles and an RBI-double in the Spikes’ leadoff spot and is now 10-for-20 in his last five games. He is now the team leader in batting average at .377.
The Spikes have now dropped back-to-back road games for the first time since a three-game skid from June 27-29.
The three-game series in Aberdeen ends Friday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the IronBirds. Right-hander Juan Bautista (0-2) will start for State College for his team-leading fifth start of the season. Aberdeen will send Dylan Rheault (0-0), a 6-foot-9 right-hander selected by the Orioles in the 19th round of this year’s draft.