Lighting flashed in the distance behind right field at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to audible gasps by patrons, who scurried quickly for cover as black, ominous clouds rushed in from left.
After several more bolts lit what soon resembled a midnight sky, even knocking out the park’s power, State College’s game Tuesday against Jamestown was officially suspended due to the weather about an hour after the first pitch. and will be resumed as part of a doubleheader on Aug. 29.
“That was probably the most significant in-game weather event that we’ve ever dealt with here, no question about it,” said Spikes senior vice president and general manager Jason Dambach.
The suspension was the first at home and sixth overall for the Spikes, with the last one occurring July 26 of last season at Connecticut.
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State College first baseman Alex De Leon was at the plate with the Spikes leading 2-0 when the first flash occurred. The game will resume that way in August, pending roster changes.
“I took a ball on the first pitch and then saw lightning strike and about two seconds later, loud thunder — so obviously it was close,” De Leon said. “By the time I got over to the dugout clouds moved over the stadium and it started raining pretty hard.”
State College (5-3) took the lead in the first inning after Bruce Caldwell doubled to the gap in left, scoring Cesar Valera, who walked. Caldwell scored later when the Jammers misplayed David Washington’s pop fly a batter later.
Kevin Herget started for the Spikes and threw two full innings, allowed four hits and no runs on 37 pitches.
Tuesday’s winner would have taken first place in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division, but with just nine games played the disappointment is in just not getting to compete.
“Absolutely,” said Spikes’ manager Oliver Marmol. “It happens throughout the year and it gives these guys a break, (but) right now they don’t really need one ”
Marmol, a Florida native, shrugged his shoulders when asked if he’s seen comparable weather.
“Yeah, growing up in Florida this is kinda every afternoon during the summer,” he said with a laugh. “It came down pretty good though.”
The Spikes will travel to Mahoning Valley for a two-game set with the Scrappers beginning on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.