State College Spikes

State College Spikes take win streak to 3, hold off Staten Island Yankees

The State College Spikes saw their win streak extended to three Sunday evening after a 4-3 victory over the Staten Island Yankees.

Juan Perez (2-0) pitched five strong innings, Ronnierd Garcia was 2 for 4 and the Spikes took care of all their scoring in the fourth inning.

After starting the season 1-5, State College has been undefeated on its current road trip, winning the first two games at Mahoning Valley, with the third game Saturday rained out, and the first of a three-game series on Staten Island.

Perez gave up three hits and one earned run, walking four and striking out two, over five innings.

Both teams were limited to just four hits, but the game’s eight pitchers combined to walk 18 batters and hit another.

Yoel Espinal (1-1) took the loss in his first start after two relief appearances, retiring the first nine batters he faced before getting chased in the fourth.

The Spikes took the lead for good when Garcia’s one-out single with the bases loaded plated one run. Garcia made a hard turn and raced to second, not seeing the two runners ahead of him had stopped, and Leobaldo Pina took the opportunity to race home and everyone was safe. With the bases again loaded, a Jesse Jenner single and a walk to Craig Aikin brought home two more runs.

Staten Island got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, the only score off Perez, on a Drew Bridges solo home run. It was the first run allowed by Spikes pitching in 24 innings.

The Yankees cut into the lead some more in the seventh against relievers Max Almonte and Brennan Leitao, each of whom were making their professional debuts. With the bases loaded, two walks from Leitao made the lead 4-3 with one out.

Pedro Echemendia then came in to earn the save, inducing a pair of fly outs to preserve the lead.

In the ninth inning, with the tying run on third with two out, Garcia made the final big play of the day, scooping up a slow-roller down the line with his bare hand to gun down Jake Hernandez for the final out.

The teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. Monday, with State College right-hander Landon Beck (0-0) meeting Staten Island righty Domingo Acevedo (0-0).

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