After a coach’s visit to the mound, Spikes reliever Jordan DeLorenzo stared down West Virginia’s Matt Diorio.
It was DeLorenzo’s first appearance for State College, and with two runners on and two outs, Diorio represented the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth.
But rather than cave under the pressure, DeLorenzo stood firm.
DeLorenzo struck out Diorio, ending the Black Bears’ comeback bid and securing a 3-1 win on Sunday at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Spikes (7-3) triumphed over the Black Bears (6-4) for the second day in a row and extended their winning streak to five games.
State College was powered by the pitching of DeLorenzo and starter Bryan Dobzanski, coupled with a trio of runs in the top of the first inning.
The Spikes gave Dobzanski a nice cushion before he even took the hill thanks to some opportunistic baserunning.
In the same at-bat, West Virginia starter Luis Escobar threw two wild pitches, allowing Danny Martin and Jose Martinez to score. Later in the frame, Ricardo Bautista plated Dylan Tice on a sacrifice fly.
As far as scoring, that was it for the Spikes.
But it was more than Dobzanski needed.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander tossed eight innings, allowing one earned run and six hits. He only struck out one while walking one, but Dobzanski attacked the strike zone, as 68 of his 92 pitches (73.9 percent) were strikes.
DeLorenzo picked up where Dobzanski left off, earning his first save of the 2016 season. DeLorenzo walked Will Craig to start the top of the ninth, retired the next two batters, and allowed a Kevin Krause single to center field.
With runners on first and second, DeLorenzo faced Diorio, and after working a 2-2 count, the West Virginia outfielder went down swinging on the sixth pitch of the at-bat.
It was DeLorenzo’s second strikeout of the inning.
State College wraps up its series with West Virginia at 7:05 p.m. Monday before returning home for a six-game homestand.