AUBURN, N.Y. - The State College Spikes erupted for five runs in the third inning of Monday's game against the Auburn Doubledays to take the lead, but a walk-off grand slam by Auburn's Justin Miller in the 10th inning gave the Doubledays a 9-5 win over the Spikes at Falcon Park.
State College (5-13) scored all of its third-inning runs with two outs after Auburn (10-8) plated a pair of runs in the first inning on Matt Skole's double. After a one-out single and subsequent stolen base by Wes Freeman, Brian Sharp was hit with a pitch by Doubledays starter Christian Meza. Kirk Singer followed with his team-leading sixth double of the year score Freeman, and Chris Lashmet singled back through the box to bring Sharp home.
New Spike Billy Nowlin, who joined the team on Saturday after spending the last three years in the Detroit Tigers organization, delivered a two-run double to continue the State College surge. Taylor Lewis's ensuing single then chased Meza from the game, and Carlos Mesa brought in a run via a bases-loaded walk to complete the Spikes' scoring and set a new team high for runs scored in one inning in 2011.
The Doubledays got another pair of runs in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Angelberth Montilla and another RBI double by Skole. In the sixth inning, Auburn tied the game when an error by Nowlin, one of a season-high five by the Spikes, allowed Connor Rowe to cross the plate.
State College kept it a tie game in the eighth inning when Mitch Fienemann (0-2) elicited a groundout to get out of a bases-loaded jam. In the tenth, however, defensive replacement Jeremy Mayo walked, stole second, and advanced to third on an error. Intentional walks to Rowe and Hendry Jimenez then loaded the bases for Miller's home run off Fienemann.
Matt Benedict went 5 2/3 innings, the longest outing of the year for a Spikes pitcher, but did not earn a decision. Benedict struck out a career-high four batters while yielding the first three walks of his pro career.
The Western Carolina product was charged with allowing five runs, two of them earned, on six hits during his tenure on the mound. Jesus Brito was on the mound when the tying run scored in the sixth, but ended up throwing two scoreless frames.
Fienemann allowed one unintentional walk and struck out two in the loss.
Auburn's Manuel Rivera (1-0) got the win.
Miller ended the game 3-for-6 with his two doubles and the game-ending grand slam for the Doubledays.
Tuesday, the Spikes and Doubledays finish up their two-game series at Falcon Park, as well as a stretch of four straight meetings against each other, with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College will send right-hander Ryan Hafner (0-0) to the mound. Auburn will go with right-hander Manny Rodriguez (0-1).