State College and Jamestown have played each other five times in the last seven days, but the Spikes and Jammers now must battle again for at least two more games.
Jamestown’s 9-4 victory in the final game of the regular season clinched the New York-Penn League wildcard playoff spot and the Jammers will face the top-seeded and Pinckney Division champion Spikes in the best-of-three opening round beginning Friday at Diethrick Park. The Spikes (48-27) will host Game 2 at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday and if necessary Game 3 at 7:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Because Saturday’s home playoff game falls on the same day as a Penn State home football game, the Spikes will be announcing special fan parking and traffic information prior to the game. Fans should visit “Playoff Central” at the Spikes website for updated parking and traffic information for Saturday’s game.
The winner of the Jamestown-State College series will face the winner of the league’s other semifinal series between the McNamara Division champion Aberdeen IronBirds and the Stedler Division champion Tri-City Valley Cats.
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If the Spikes-Jammers playoff series needed anything to give it a boost, it sure got it during the top of the seventh inning on Wednesday.
State College’s Carson Kelly was plunked in the head to lead off the inning and the fireworks began as both benches cleared. Before it was over State College manager Oliver Marmol, Spikes hitting coach Ramon Ortiz, Jamestown manager Dave Turgeon and Jammer pitcher Henry Hirsch were all ejected by homeplate umpire Erich Bacchus.
Before the seventh, Jamestown (43-32) built an 8-2 lead.
The Jammers struck for three runs off State College starter Willy Paulino (2-3) in the bottom of the first.
After Jamestown loaded the bases on two singles and a one-out walk, Edwin Espinal plated the first run with a sacrifice fly. Paulino then walked the next two batters to drive in a run and another scored on catcher Dante Rosenberg’s passed ball.
Jamestown added another run in the third on Austin Meadow’s home run, a blast to right-center field off Paulino.
State College cut the four-run deficit in half with two runs in the fourth. Cesar Valera was hot by a pitch and raced around to score on Luke Voit’s double to left. Voit came home on Michael Schulze’s two-out single.
The Jammers took control in the sixth. Reliever Michael Aldrete gave up a walk and two singles to open the inning and then walked in a run to make it 5-2.
Jamestown netted an unearned run in the seventh before State College concluded the scoring with two runs in the eighth on Voit’s two-run double.
Voit and Rosenberg each went 2 for 4 to pace State College’s eight-hit attack.
Chad Kuhl (3-4) went five innings, allowing five hits and two runs, to earn the win.