Vermont’s No. 9 hitter Yairo Munoz delivered the decisive blow against State College on Thursday night.
Munoz cracked a home run off Spikes reliever Jacob Booden to start the bottom of the eighth inning, breaking a tie to help the Lake Monsters top the Spikes 8-6 at Centennial Field. Booden took the loss, allowing two runs in two innings. The setback snapped a six-game winning streak for the Spikes, who are now 13-3 in July.
Danny Diekroeger went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Collin Radack hit his first professional home run, a three-run shot.
Vermont (12-21) tallied 11 hits in a back-and-forth game that saw State College jump out to an early four-run lead. Lake Monsters reliever Michael Fagan struck out four in two scoreless innings to earn the win.
Diekroeger singled to drive in the game’s first run in the first inning, and Radack belted a three-run home run to left field in the top of the second to put State College up 4-0.
The Spikes’ lead didn’t last long.
Vermont got on the board in the bottom of the second on Scott Masik’s two-out RBI single. The Lake Monsters then broke through against State College starter Cody Schumacher, plating four runs in the third to move ahead 5-4. Schumacher went five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
The Lake Monsters sent eight batters to the plate in the big inning that started with Max Kuhn’s solo home run to right-center field.
Vermont later loaded the bases with one out after an error by State College first baseman Jake Stone. Lake Monsters catcher Seong-min Kim followed with a double to left field to score two runs and tie the game 4-4. A groundout by Munoz drove in the final run of the inning.
The Spikes (24-9) regained the lead with two runs in the top of the sixth, but Vermont tied it in the bottom half.
The teams remained knotted 6-6 going to the bottom of the eighth.
Munoz led off with the homer to left field. Masik was then hit by a pitch and came around to score on a single by Jose Brizuela.
Notes: The Spikes finish their series against Vermont on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ... Will Anderson (3-1, 2.12) will start for State College, while Jerad Grundy (0-3, 2.84) will be on the mound for Vermont. Anderson has won his last three starts, allowing five runs in 19 2/3 combined innings. ... Jake Stone extended his hitting streak to 12 games after going 1 for 4.