The State College Spikes bullpen collapsed in an extra-innings loss Tuesday night.
The Spikes blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning in a 6-5 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats in 12 innings at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
Spikes relief pitcher Max Almonte allowed one run, two hits and two walks in 2/3 of an inning to take the loss. Fellow relievers Jordan DeLorenzo and Brady Bowen combined to allow four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
State College’s Jose Martinez and Elier Rodriguez each had two hits and two RBIs to pace the Spikes offensively.
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Tri-City’s Sean Stutzman pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
The bullpen’s performance spoiled another gem by State College starting pitcher Ronnie Williams.
The right-hander allowed one run and three hits in 7 1/3 innings. In his last three starts, he has limited opponents to four earned runs in 22 1/3 innings.
The Spikes took the lead in the sixth inning on a two-run single by Rodriguez. Martinez pushed that lead to 4-0 in the seventh with a two-run home run to right field.
Williams allowed one hit in seven shutout innings before the ValleyCats got on the board.
Tri-City’s Randy Cesar led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and moved to second on an error. Jake Rogers then sent an RBI single to left field, pulling the ValleyCats within 4-1 and ending Williams’ night.
DeLorenzo entered in relief and got an inning-ending double play.
The Spikes took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth after Vince Jackson’s RBI single.
But the bullpen couldn’t seal the win.
After DeLorenzo allowed a double, single and hit a batter to load the bases, Bowen replaced him on the mound.
Bowen then gave up a pair of two-run singles to Tri-City’s Stephen Wrenn and Taylor Jones, erasing the lead and sending it to extra innings.
Almonte entered in the 12th and struck out the first two batters he faced.
But a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases. Wrenn then drew a walk to bring in the game-winning run.