State College Spikes

State College Spikes: Katz fuels win over Brooklyn

Despite two rain delays that spanned an hour and 26 minutes, State College kept the pressure on Brooklyn and clipped the Cyclones 4-1 Friday at MCU Park.

The win is the Spikes’ tenth in 11 games and with Jamestown’s 10-4 loss at Tri-City; State College (30-20) is just a game back of the Pinckney division leaders. The Spikes also kept their advantage in the wild card standings.

Mason Katz tripled and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. The fourth-round pick in June is now 8-for-15 in his last four games with five extra-base hits.

Steven Ramos went 2-for-5 and extended his New York-Penn League leading batting average to .364.

Mitch Harris (3-1) took the win for State College in his longest appearance this season. Jacob Booden earned his second save of the season.

Brooklyn’s Miller Diaz (4-2) took the loss.

The Cyclones did not have a multi-hit player, however each player except one notched hits.

Despite being outhit eight to seven, State College pressured the Cyclones by getting leadoff men on base in six of nine innings.

Rain caused a 28-minute delay after one scoreless inning and resumed in time for the Spikes to take a 1-0 lead after Alex De Leon’s sacrifice fly scored Katz, who doubled to start the inning.

Ten minutes later however, rain delayed play another 58 minutes.

The second delay ended starter Kevin Herget’s night. The righty had a chance to earn a NY-PL leading sixth win. Instead, he pitched just one inning.

When play resumed, Ramos singled home Brett Wiley, who was hit by a pitch.

The Spikes tallied two more in the fourth after Carson Kelly started the inning with a double to left. Katz followed with a triple to center that scored Kelly and made it 3-0 Spikes.

Wiley scored Katz later on a single to right that made it 4-0.

Harris pitched a season-high four innings. The right-hander allowed two hits, added two strikeouts and didn’t allow a run. Harris has allowed just one earned run in 24 1/3 innings (14 appearances). His ERA is 0.37.

The Spikes bullpen bent but wouldn’t break. The combination of Harris, Jhonny Polanco and Booden combined to allow seven hits, but gave up just one run. The trio had all eight State College strikeouts.

Polanco gave up two hits, one run and had four strikeouts.

Booden entered in the eighth and gave up three hits and struck out a pair.

Miller Diaz started for Brooklyn and pitched just 1 1/3 innings because of the rain. The right-hander gave up two runs on one hit and two walks.

Brooklyn’s Akeel Morris had perhaps the most impressive pitching performance. The 6-foot-1 right-hander pitched three innings and struck out the last six Spikes he faced.

The Cyclones finally scored in the seventh when L. J. Mazzilli led the inning with a double to left off Polanco.

Frustration boiled over in the Cyclones’ dugout as hitting coach Bobby Malek was ejected in the seventh by home plate umpire Matt Winter for arguing balls and strikes.

The series resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. when State College sends Willy Paulino (2-1) to the mound. Brooklyn will counter with John Gant (3-2).