. You can forgive the State College Spikes if they prefer not to summer in New England.
The Spikes dropped their fourth straight game and fell to 1-4 on their road trip North with an 11-7 New York-Penn League baseball loss against Connecticut at Dodd Stadium on Sunday.
The Pinckney Division leaders (33-23) fell to 1-8 in the month of August. Their lead shrunk to 6 1/2 games over Auburn (26-29) in the division.
Trailing 2-0, the Spikes rallied to grab the lead in the third inning. Luiz Cruz, Jhohan Acevedo and Darren Seferina smacked consecutive singles to open the inning. Robelys Reyes kept the hit parade going with a two-run single that tied the score at 2-2. Seferina scored on Danny Diekroeger’s groundout and Reyes came home on Chase Raffield’s sacrifice fly to center field to give the Spikes a 4-2 lead.
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Connecticut (30-26) rebounded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Steven Fuentes smacked a RBI double and Garrett Matttage added a RBI single, while another run scored on Trey Nielsen’s wild pitch.
The Spikes got even in the fourth as Acevedo singled and eventually scored on Reyes’ infield hit that third baseman Fuentes threw away for an error.
The Tigers took the lead with a run off of Jeff Rauh in the fourth then blew the game open an inning later.
Rauh actually failed to release the ball on his first attempt, prompt a visit from the trainer and manager Oliver Marmol. Rauh continued and never got an out in the inning.
Michael Gerber doubled to center and strolled home as Fuentes belted a home run to right field to give the Tigers an 8-5 lead. Mattage walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Tim Remes ground-rule double that bounced over the fence in left-center field.
Joe Scanio then replaced Rauh and surrendered a RBI single to Maddox and a sacrifice fly to Joey Pancake to make the score 11-5.
The Spikes managed single runs in the seventh and ninth. Reyes singled and scored on Alex De Leon’s sacrifice fly in the seventh. Seferina reached on an error and scored on Diekroeger’s two-out single in the ninth.
Spikes starter Trey Nielsen, who entered the contest with a 1.32 ERA, gave up seven hits and five earned runs in three innings. Rauh (4-2) allowed four hits and five runs.
Reyes and Acevedo had three hits for the Spikes, who finished with 12 singles. Seferina and Diekroeger added two hits each.
Gerber and Fuentes had three hits each for the Tigers. Connecticut also had 12 hits, but six were for extra bases. The Tigers won despite committing four errors.
The three-game series concludes Monday. Right-hander Fernando Baez (2-1, 3.00 ERA) will start for the Spikes against right-hander Spencer Turnbull (1-2, 4.96).