The Vermont Lake Monsters scored seven runs to build a comfortable six-run lead in the fifth inning.
But the big inning wasn’t enough to coast to victory.
The State College Spikes scored five runs in the eighth inning, then tied it in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. The Lake Monsters regained the lead in the next inning and held on for a 9-7 win over the Spikes in 10 innings Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Brett Siddall’s two-run double to the wall in center field in the top of the 10th inning proved to be the difference.
Seth Brown’s grand slam highlighted Vermont’s seven-run fifth inning.
Spikes starting pitcher Jorge Rodriguez pitched four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He threw four straight balls to start the inning, walking Vermont’s Steven Pallares. Brett Siddall followed, sending an 0-2 curveball up the middle for a single. After a popout, Jesus Lopez was jammed and sent a soft liner past the mound for an infield single to load the bases.
Vermont tied it 1-1 when Trace Loehr singled on an 0-2 pitch to drive in Pallares.
That’s when Spikes reliever Tyler Bray replaced Rodriguez on the mound.
He gave up a four-pitch walk to Richie Martin to allow the go-ahead run to score. He then got ahead 0-2 against Brown before hanging a breaking ball.
Brown hammered it over the right-center field fence for a grand slam, giving the Lake Monsters a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Vermont added a seventh run on Pallares’ inning-ending double play. Pallares grounded to second, and Nick Collins stopped in the basepath to force Spikes second baseman Josh Swirchak to throw to first for the first out, allowing Chris Iriart to score. Collins was then tagged out in a rundown to end the inning.
The Spikes rallied in the eighth inning.
State College scored five runs to pull within 7-6 and had runners on second and third for Jhohan Acevedo. But Acevedo lined out to right field to end the inning.
The Spikes loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and scored the tying run on Swirchak’s RBI single to left field. With the bases still loaded, Cole Lankford grounded into an inning-ending double play.