State College Spikes

State College Spikes win 5th straight, move into lead in wild card standings

There was a little added drama in the final inning, but the State College Spikes still managed to extend their win streak to five games.

Orlando Olivera continued his torrid hitting with a solo home run while Jhohan Acevedo, Casey Grayson and Cole Lankford had three hits each in a 7-6 win over the Brooklyn Cyclones on Wednesday night at MCU Park.

With the longest current win streak in the New York-Penn League, the Spikes (27-24), who moved three games over .500 for the first time this season, started the three-game series in the final set of the season they will play outside the Pinckney Division.

Coupled with Batavia’s win over Lowell, the Spikes also moved into the lead for the league’s wild card berth playoff.

Landon Beck (2-3), who was selected to the league’s all-star game on Saturday, struck out seven over five innings for the win, allowing five hits, four runs and two walks. Pedro Echemendia earned his eighth save of the season by getting the final two outs.

State College held a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning with Kevin Alexander on the mound. Two walks, sandwiched around a wild pitch, gave the Cyclones life, and a ground out moved the runners to third before Echemendia replaced Alexander. The right-hander then uncorked a wild pitch, and catcher Riley Drongesen’s throw back to the plate was wild to allow both runners to score.

But a fly out and strike out ended the threat and preserved the win.

Acevedo tripled and scored on Leobaldo Pina’s fly out in the first to start the Spike scoring. An Emmanuel Zabala two-run single put Brooklyn ahead in the bottom of the first.

Olivera homered to lead off the second, his fourth long ball of the season, to tie the game. He is batting .353 on the season and has 17 RBIs in 20 games with the Spikes.

The Cyclones took the lead again in the third when Zabala scored on a Beck wild pitch and Jose Garcia added an RBI single.

State College got a run back with a Lankford RBI single in the fourth, and they took the lead with a three-run sixth thanks to a two-run double from Ronnierd Garcia and an RBI ground out from RJ Dennard. Garcia’s RBI double in the eighth added an insurance run.

Tyler Badamo took the loss as he and Nicco Blank combined to allow 14 State College hits.

The teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, with right-handed pitcher Carson Cross (1-2, 3.29 ERA) facing Cyclone lefty Kevin Canelon (4-3, 4.20)