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Spikes battle til late in the night, fall 9-7



UNIVERSITY PARK – Mahoning Valley brought the offense early, scoring seven runs in the first two innings, then had to fight off a never-say-die State College Spikes squad for the 9-7 win Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.


In a strange night that saw six hit batters, five errors, and numerous base-running blunders, Mahoning Valley scored the winning run in the sixth when Tyler Freeman, who tripled off the left-field wall, stole home while State College was appealing a call that Freeman didn’t touch second on his way to third.


The Spikes (6-11) had their three-game winning streak snapped, while the Scrappers remained on top of the Pinckney Division with a 12-4 record.


Mahoning Valley came out on fire scoring four runs in the first, chasing State College starting pitcher Winston Nicacio after only five batters. Nicacio called for the trainers and left the game replaced by Gabe Genter.


The Scrappers got things going when Jose Fermin singled to left and Freeman got hit by a pitch. A wild pitch by Nicacio moved runners to second and third. Richie Palacios walked to load the bases and Mahoning Valley scored its first run when Mitch Reeves was hit by a pitch, plating Fermin. Clark Scolamiero followed with a two-run single to left and Jason Rodriguez made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly to right.


State College answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Nick Dunn singled to left, Edwin Figuera walked, and a wild pitch by Juan Mota moved runners to second and third. Brady Whalen plated Dunn with a sac fly to center and Lars Nootbaar singled home Figuera to cut the deficit to 4-2.


Mahoning Valley upped its lead to 7-2 with three runs in the second. Fermin led off with a knock to right, Freeman singled to right, and Palacios walked to juice the bases. Scolamiero, who had two hits and four RBIs, ripped a two-run base hit to right and Palacios came home on an error.


The Spikes battled back to tie it with four runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth. In the fourth, Imeldo Diaz went to first after being hit by a pitch, while Walker Robbins and Nick Dunn singled to right to load the bases. Diaz came home on a wild pitch and Whalen, who had two hits and four RBIs, delivered with a three-run double to right.


State College tied it at 7-7 in the fifth when Stanley Espinal singled and scored after a Duce sacrifice bunt produced two throwing errors by the Scrappers that plated Espinal.

Mahoning Valley added an insurance run in the ninth when Freeman singled to left, went to second on an error, and scored on an RBI single down the right-field line by Palacios.


Dakody Clemmer (2-0) picked up the win for the Scrappers in relief with Erik Algarin getting his third save of the season. Troy Montemayor suffered his first loss of the year for the Spikes.


Dunn, Figuera, and Robbins had two hits each for the Spikes. Freeman had three hits and Fermin two for the Scrappers. State College out-hit Mahoning Valley 12-11.


The rubber game of the three-game set between State College and Mahoning Valley begins at 7:05 tonight with fireworks after The game.

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