State College Spikes: Offense dips in twinbill setbacks

The State College offense dried up on Thursday after Wednesday’s rainout forced the Spikes and Mahoning Valley Scrappers to play a seven-inning, makeshift doubleheader at Eastwood Field.

The Scrappers took both games in eight innings and allowed just two hits in each.

Victor DeLeon walked in the winning run to give Mahoning Valley a 2-1 win in Game 1. Juan Herrera’s sacrifice fly in the eighth inning scored Joel Mejia to give the Scrappers a 1-0 victory in Game 2.

State College entered the day averaging nearly ten hits per game (9.6) and were tied atop the New York-Penn League in batting average with Jamestown (.285). On Thursday, the Spikes went a combined 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

The losses now drop State College (18-17) four games behind first-place Jamestown (22-13) and a game behind second-place Williamsport (19-16) in the Pinckney division.

Three Mahoning Valley pitchers combined to hold State College to just two hits in game one.

DeLeon (1-2) took the loss when his 3-2 pitch to Paul Hendrix missed the mark with the bases loaded. Harold Guerrero (2-0) earned the win in relief.

The Scrappers’ Joel Mejia (2-for-3) was the game’s only multi-hit player. Jimmy Bosco and David Washington had the only hits for State College, which went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. At 1-for-8, the Scrappers were similarly ineffectual.

Jimmy Reed started for the Spikes and went a career-best six innings. The left-hander scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out three.

The sixth-round pick out of Maryland also worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam that kept the game scoreless in the fourth.

Reed’s only blemish was Martin Cervenka’s solo homer in the fifth inning that tied the game after Bosco’s single gave State College a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning.

Mahoning Valley finished with eight hits in the game, the last of which was Claudio Bautista’s single in the eighth that followed a leadoff walk drawn by Cody Ferrell. After DeLeon’s team-leading fifth wild pitch advanced runners to second and third, the right-hander intentionally walked Nellie Rodriguez to load the bases.

Andrew Pierce (0-2) took the loss in game two in relief of starter Nick Petree. Manuel Carmona (2-2) picked up the win in relief of left-hander Luis Lugo, who struck out six and walked two in just more than five innings.

Pierce went more than four innings, gave up four hits and struck out a Spikes’ season high seven batters. Petree struck out five in three innings and allowed just one hit.

Mason Katz and Matthew Young had the only State College hits. The team went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Mahoning Valley’s Josh McAdams was the game’s only multi-hit player.

Jeff Rauh entered after Pierce gave up a single to Sicnarf Loopstok and then walked Joel Mejia. Rauh also walked Claudio Bautista, loading the bases for Herrera, who flied out to Steven Ramos in center.

The Spikes and Scrappers will conclude the series Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Juan Bautista (1-2) will start for State College. Cole Sulser (1-1) is scheduled to start for Mahoning Valley.