Lightning delayed Sunday’s New York-Penn League baseball contest between State College and Mahoning Valley, but the Spikes delivered the thunder when the game resumed.
Nick Thompson, Collin Radack and Chase Raffield each belted homers and the Spikes turned back a late Scrapper rally for an 8-5 triumph at Eastwood Stadium.
One night after getting just four hits in a 7-1 home loss to Auburn, State College cracked 13 hits. Led by Radack’s three hits, eight of the Spikes’ nine starters had at least one hit in the contest.
Lightning halted the game for 30 minutes in the bottom of the second inning. Mahoning Valley (18-25) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth, but the Spikes (30-13) scored in their next four at-bats.
Thompson walked to open the fifth, moved to third on Radack’s single and scored on Darren Seferina’s sacrifice fly to center field to tie the score.
The Spikes took the lead for good an inning later as the power surge started. With one out, Alex De Leon reached on an error. Thompson followed by blasting his third home run of the season, a shot to left-center field off of reliever Dominic DeMasi (0-2).
In the seventh, leadoff hitter Brian O’Keefe was hit by a pitch from Luis Gomez. Radack followed with his second homer of the season, another blast over the left-center field fence.
The Spikes struck for three more in the eighth after Gomez struck out the first two batters. Thompson walked and stole second. He then trotted home as Raffield blasted his first homer, a shot to center field.
Pinch-hitter Luis Cruz, Radack and Serefina followed with singles, with Seferina’s grounder to right scoring Cruz.
The Scrappers made things interesting from there. Shane Rowland had a RBI single in the eighth and Taylor Murphy smacked a three-run double in the ninth before Spikes reliever Joseph Scanio got the final two outs.
State College starter Daniel Poncedeleon allowed three hits in three shutout innings, striking out four with no walks. Brandon Lee, who joined the team Saturday, picked up his first win by allowing two hits and a run over three innings.
Thompson scored three runs and extended his team-leading RBI total to 24. Seferina and Raffield each had two hits and two RBIs.
The Scrappers wasted an excellent start by Cameron Hill. The right-hander allowed four hits in four scoreless innings that lowered his ERA to 1.24.
Murphy had two hits to lead the Scrappers. Steven Patterson, Greg Allen and Martin Cervenka added doubles. Mahoning Valley was 4 for 23 with runners in scoring position.
The game also featured five players (two Spikes, three Scrappers) who were struck by pitches.
The triumph extended the Spikes’ lead in the Pinkney Division to nine games over Batavia and Williamsport.
The three-game series with Mahoning Valley continues Monday. State College right-hander Trey Nielsen (3-1) will start against Scrapper lefty Sean Brady (2-1)