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Six-run eighth too much for Spikes to overcome, fall 9-3

By Kenny Varner

UNIVERSITY PARK – Setting just ½ game out of the wild card and 5 ½ out of the Pickney Division in the New York/ Penn League, the State College Spikes needed to keep its momentum going if it wanted to keep its playoff hopes still breathing.

But there was a set back for the locals Friday.

Against the Lowell Spinners, the Spikes sent Landon Beck to the mound in hopes of just a win.

Victor Acosta’s 2-RBI double down the third base line proved to be the difference in the ball game as Lowell went onto the 9-3 victory.

Tied at three in the eighth, Lowell’s Jeremy Rivera opened the inning with a simple single to centerfield.

He moved to second on a sacrifice push bunt to the pitcher by Tate Matheny.

With one out, Chad De La Guerra walked, setting the stage for Victor Acosta.

Acosta posted a 2 RBI double down the third base line. He then scored on an RBI triple by Kyri Washington.

When the dust settled in the inning, the whole line up batted and six runs came across, giving the visitors some much needed insurance runs.

Beck started out shaky, giving up a lead off hit and walk in his first two batters he faced which led to an RBI sacrifice fly by Chad De La Guerra that scored Luis Basabe, making it 1-0.

After being held hitless in the first three innings, Mike Pritchard got the Spikes first hit, a single into centerfield.

That would lead to an eventual run as Pritchard motored around the bases and scored on a RBI fielders’ choice by Orlando Olivera, tying it as the two teams went into the fifth inning.

However, Lowell battled back in the top of the fifth, sporting some two-out lightning.

With two down, Brandon Magee sent a shot into the gap between left field and centerfield, placing him at third.

With one swing of the bat by Basabe, he scored Magee and landed second with a ground rule double.

But the Spikes stopped the bleeding, getting Rivera to ground out to end the inning, making it 2-1.

Lowell pitcher Jose Almonte looked strong through five and half, allowing just one hit and striking out six.

Back came the Spikes in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on first and third with only one out.

Thomas Spitz led off the inning with a walk as did Pritchard. Spitz moved over to third on a sacrifice fly by Leobaldo Pina.

In came Matt Kent in relief of Amonte to try to shut down the Spikes.

After setting down Casey Grayson on strikes, Kent gave up a single to Orlando Olivera, putting the Spikes up 3-2 as Spitz and Pritchard scored on the play.

Magee was at it again in the top of the seventh for Lowell as he placed a double into the same gap he picked up his previous triple. He brought home a speedy Tucker Tubbs, who reached on an error earlier in the inning.

Magee had the hot bat on the night, missing just a home run to collect the cycle for Lowell.

On a bright note for State College, Spikes pitching combined for 16 strike outs.


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