State College finished its six-game New York road trip with a whimper, falling 9-2 at Brooklyn in the team’s largest margin of defeat this season.
Jamestown’s 11-5 loss at Tri-City helped the Spikes (30-22) stay put in the division, but Lowell’s 3-1 triumph over Staten Island cut State College’s lead to a half game in the wild-card race.
With an off-day Monday and the New York-Penn League All-Star game Tuesday, some Spikes will get a much-needed break after going .500 on the road trip.
That rest came a day late for Jimmy Reed however, pitching on five days rest for the first time as a pro and giving up a season-high five runs and tying a season-high with seven hits allowed. Reed (2-2) took the loss. Carlos Valdez (2-2) picked up the win for the Cyclones. The Cyclones’ left-hander finished with a season-high eight strikeouts and allowed five hits and a run in six innings.
The Spikes’ pitching staff was condensed because Andrew Pierce was scratched with shoulder issues before Wednesday’s start at Staten Island.
Fourteen of Brooklyn’s 16 hits — the most for a Spikes’ opponent this season — came from five players. The Cyclones also went 6-for-14 with runners in position.
L.J. Mazzilli went 4-for-5, scored three runs and drove in two more. Alex Sanchez went 3-for-5 and hit a two-run home run in the eighth. Edward Rohan went 2-for-4 with two doubles, both off Reed. Matt Oberste went 3-for-5.
In contrast, State College didn’t have a player with multiple hits. Luis Perez and Mason Katz had the team’s two extra-base hits (both doubles).
State College’s Ronald Castillo made his first appearance since injuring his left shoulder July 21. Castillo started in left field and went 0-for-1 batting ninth before being replaced in the fourth inning.
Steven Ramos actually gave State College a short-lived lead in the third after bunting for a single in which two throwing errors allowed the speedster to score on the play.
But Brooklyn answered emphatically with four in the home half of the inning, highlighted by back-to-back doubles by Rohan and Chavez to start the inning. Chavez knocked in Rohan and then scored on a Gavin Cecchini fielder’s choice. Mazzilli’s single scored one more and a Cesar Valera error allowed another run.
Rohan doubled again in the fourth and later scored on a bunt by Patrick Biondi.
Kevin Herget relieved Reed in the fifth but didn’t fair much better. Herget started on Friday but pitched just one inning because of two early rain delays. The right-hander scattered six hits in three innings and gave up an unearned run. Michael Aldrete entered in the eighth and gave up the homer to Sanchez and Mazzilli’s second RBI.
The Cyclones bullpen went three innings and allowed just two hits. David Winn gave up both hits in relief of Valdez, while Cristian Chivilli and Juan Urbina each pitched hitless innings.
State College returns to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Wednesday when Mahoning Valley comes to town. Pitchers will be decided following Tuesday’s All-Star game.
Five Spikes, the most in franchise history, were named to the National League affiliates' All-Star squad, which will be held at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. First baseman David Washington and outfielders Steven Ramos and Ronald Castillo will start, while Valera and outfielder Jimmy Bosco were selected as reserves.