In his strongest pitching performance to date, State College’s Johan Oviedo allowed just two hits over eight innings to guide the Spikes to a 3-1 victory Saturday night over the Williamsport Crosscutters at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Oviedo struck out nine, walked one and allowed just one run in the victory. Prior to the game, opponents averaged a .297 batting average when facing him. But, on Saturday, he was nearly unstoppable — he faced just 27 batters over eight innings and needed just 97 pitches to get through them.
Closer Will Latcham came in the ninth to get the save with two strikeouts and a popout.
Oviedo’s performance comes just one day after teammate Andrew Summerville allowed one hit over seven innings against the Crosscutters. He struck out seven.
With the win, the Spikes improve to 34-30 on the season while the Crosscutters fall to 29-32.
Player of the game
Spikes starter Johan Oviedo: There’s no question about this one. Oviedo was absolutely dominant. It was one of State College’s top pitching performances of the season and, if not for a wild pitch in the fifth inning that plated Jake Scheiner, Oviedo would’ve easily picked up the shutout.
Sixth inning: With the game tied 1-1 after the fifth, the Spikes were in need of some run support to help Oviedo. They got some. With two outs and a base-runner on third, Wood Myers smacked an RBI triple on a fly ball to left — and Zach Kirtley then drove Myers in on a ground-rule double to right. That gave the Spikes a two-run cushion and, with the way Oviedo was pitching, that’s all they needed.
Williamsport Crosscutters at State College Spikes, 6:05 p.m. Sunday: The Spikes’ Jonathon Mulford (2-5, 4.31 ERA) is set to take on Williamsport’s Ramon Rosso (0-0, 6.00 ERA). Rosso, a 21-year-old right from the Dominican Republic, is making his third appearance for the Crosscutters. He went three innings on Aug. 13 and allowed no hits but, on Aug. 21, he was dinged for four runs over three innings. Sunday will double as “Fireworks Night” for the Spikes.