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Spikes avoid sweep; tops Spinners 6-3

By Kenny Varner

 

UNIVERSITY PARK – After losing their first two games in their series against the Lowell Spinners, the State College Spikes were looking to salvage the last game of the series to remain 2 ½ back in the race for the New York/ Penn League Wild Card race.

Mission accomplished.

It wasn’t an easy one for the Spikes but they scrapped and clawed their way to the 6-3victor.y

State College handed the ball for Ian McKinney to take to the mound while Lowell retaliated with Javier Rodriguez.

Rodriguez got in trouble in the first inning when the Spikes opened the game, loading the bases. Thomas Spitz led off with a walk.

Mike Pritchard put runners on first and second as he hustled out a soft infield grounder.

State loaded the bases when Lebaldo Pina walked, setting things up for Casey Grayson.

Grayson grounded to first, scoring Spitz on the RBI fieders’ choice, making it 1-0.

With two out, Cole Lankford kept the inning going walking to load the bases once again.

Jhohan Acevedo’s base clearing double to left field upped the Spikes’ lead to 4-0.

State College chased Rodriguez late in its first at bats for Daniel Gonzalez.

Riley Drogesen, with a little help from Spinners third baseman, reached to put runners on first and third.

Champ Rowland followed with a walk to load the bases for the third time in the inning.

However, that would be all the Spikes could manage, leading 4-0 going into the second inning.

McKinney had his stuff working in the first two inning, quickly collecting 4 strike outs and no hits.

State College added yet another run in the bottom of the second, Grayson picked up his second RBI on another fielders’ choice as Pritchard motored his way home from second, making it 5-0.

In the third, McKinney got into a little trouble, allowing the first two runners to board.

But the lefty settled back in and left the two stranded, keeping the shut out in place.

After holding the Spikes in order in the third, the Spinners started to threaten in the top of the fourth, getting the bases loaded with none out.

Victor Acosta led off the inning with a seeing-eye double.

Tate Matheny followed with a single while teammate Josh Ockimey loaded the bases via a walk.

Kyri Washington put the Spinners on the board roping a 3RBI double into the left centerfield gap, closing the deficit to 5-3.

McKinney left the game in the top of the fifth after striking out seven.

Luke Harrison came in for the Spikes in the sixth inning and didn’t allow any runs.

State College added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Orlando Olivera singled in Spitz, upping the SC lead to 6-3.

In the eighth, State College once again went to its pen to preserve the lead, going to Pedro Echemendia.

En route to the victory, the Spikes pounded out seven hits.

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