State College Spikes

State College Spikes struggle to score runs in loss to Auburn Doubledays

The State College Spikes got on the board in the first inning, but didn’t score again until the ninth in a 4-2 loss to the Auburn Doubledays on Saturday at Falcon Park.

State College finished 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base in the setback.

Spikes starting pitcher Juan Perez took the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits in 52/3 innings. Perez had three strikeouts and two walks.

State College’s Casey Grayson finished 2 for 4 with an RBI. Grayson raised his New York-Penn League-leading batting average to .415 and extended his on-base streak to 15 games. He has also recorded hits in 13 games this season.

Thomas Spitz went 2 for 5, scored a run and drove in another for the Spikes (6-9), and teammate Brian O’Keefe went 2 for 4 with a double.

The teams traded runs in the first inning.

Spitz led off the top of the first with a single and stole second before scoring on Grayson’s two-out single.

It was the lone run Auburn starting pitcher Erick Fedde allowed in five innings. Fedde also struck out six and walked none while giving up three hits to earn the win.

The Doubledays (7-8) tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the first after Andrew Stevenson started the inning with a triple and scored on David Kerian’s groundout to second base. Stevenson went 2 for 4 and scored two runs.

Auburn then took the lead on a two-out, RBI single by Luis Guzman in the fourth inning. The Doubledays scored in both the sixth and seventh innings to push their lead to 4-1.

Guzman, who finished 3 for 3, singled to drive in Auburn’s third run in the sixth, and Matthew Page’s one-run single accounted for the Doubledays’ final run.

The Spikes cut into the deficit with two outs in the ninth inning, but it was too late.

O’Keefe doubled with one out before R.J. Dennard popped out to Auburn third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez in foul territory. The Spikes stayed alive on a single by Josh Swirchak, which moved O’Keefe to third. Spitz then singled to score O’Keefe and cut the deficit to 4-2.

With runners on first and second, Mike Pritchard pinch-hit for Craig Aikin and struck out looking to end the game.

Auburn’s Luis Torres pitched the ninth to earn the save.

The Spikes and Doubledays continue their series Sunday at 5:05 p.m.

Landon Beck (0-1, 0.90 ERA) will be on the mound for State College, while Joan Baez (0-1, 13.50) will get the start for Auburn. Beck has allowed one earned run and struck out seven in 10 innings this season.