The State College Spikes took another step toward locking up their division with a 5-4 victory over the Williamsport Crosscutters on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark.
Vincent Jackson, Jeremy Martinez and Bladimil Franco hit RBI singles in the seventh inning to put the Spikes (39-19) ahead for good, giving them an 8 1/2-game lead over Williamsport in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division. State College’s magic number to clinch the division is 11.
Martinez and Franco each collected three hits in the 13-hit attack.
Dewin Perez (3-3) pitched six strong innings for the win, allowing five hits and two runs with two walks and six strikeouts. Brady Bowen pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit to earn his eighth save.
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Jake Kelser (1-1) took the loss.
A Jackson RBI double in the third plated the team’s first run, and Franco’s RBI double in the fourth accounted for the other Spikes run.
Williamsport took an early lead with a two-run single by Lucas Williams in the first. The Cutters added two more runs in the seventh on RBI singles from Juan Luis and Emmanuel Garcia.
The teams close their three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday.