They clinched the division title on Saturday, but the State College Spikes’ hopes of improving their New York-Penn League playoff seeding took a hit Sunday with a 5-2 loss against Jamestown on Sunday at Russell Diethrick Park.
The Spikes, who secured their second consecutive Pinckney Division crown, are third in the playoff chase. State College (41-27) trails McNamara Division leader Hudson Valley (44-24) by three games and Stedler Division leader Tri-City (43-24) by 2 1/2 games with eight games remaining. The Spikes conclude their regular season with two games against Mahoning Valley (30-37), four against Williamport (31-37) and two against Batavia (31-35).
Sunday’s contest against the Jammers (31-35) was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth against State College starter Fernando Baez (2-2).
Carl Anderson led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Jordan Luplow’s single to center field. Luplow took second on the late throw home. Baez nearly got out of the jam, but Chase Simpson stroked a two-out double to right to make it 2-0.
The Spikes cut the deficit in half an inning later. With one out, Brett Wiley walked, moved to second when Luiz Cruz reached on an error and scored on Collin Radack’s single. With runners at first and third, Tyler Eppler fanned Darren Seferina and got Danny Diekroeger on a grounder.
Jamestown got the run back in the bottom of the frame. Tyler Filliben led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to Erik Lunde and scored on Anderson’s single to center.
The Jammers tacked on two more against reliever Joe Scanio in the sixth. Simpson led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Filliben was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Lunde then grounded to second baseman Seferina, who threw the ball away to allow Simpson to score. Filliben scored on Elvis Escobar’s sacrifice fly to left.
The score stayed 5-1 until the ninth.
A possible State College rally got off to a good start against reliever Eric Karch. Cruz, Radack and Serefina singled to open the inning. But the rally fizzled as Karch got Diekroeger to ground into a double play and Nick Thompson to ground out to end the game.
Eppler (2-2) dominated for the Jammers. He held the Spikes to three hits, walked one and struck out four over six innings.
Wiley and Radack each had two of the Spikes’ eight hits. Diekroeger had a triple in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, tying the club record. State College went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.
Anderson, Luplow, Simpson and Filliben had two hits apiece for the Jammers, who finished with nine.
State College opens a two-game series at Mahoning Valley before coming home for two games against Williamsport and Auburn. Trey Nielsen (3-2, 2.20 ERA) will start for the Spikes against the Scrappers’ Juan Santana (1-7, 4.83).