NILES, OH Two early errors and three hit batsmen contributed to an early deficit for the State College Spikes, and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers held on to down the Spikes, 6-1, on Tuesday night at Eastwood Field.
After a scoreless first inning, Mahoning Valley (18-14) plated the first run of the game off of State College (9-23) starter Zack Dodson (0-1) after Jordan Smith was hit by a Dodson pitch, advanced to third on an error by Spikes first baseman Alex Dickerson, and scored on a fielder's choice. The Scrappers would add two more runs in the third inning on an error, two more hit batsmen, a Tony Wolters RBI single, and a John Barr sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.
Mahoning Valley added two more runs off Dodson in the fourth after back-to-back walks and a one-out RBI single by Wolters. After another run for the Scrappers in the seventh, the Spikes scored their lone run in the ninth inning. Derek Trent led off the frame with a double, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on Walker Gourley's RBI groundout.
State College was also dealt a setback in the first inning when starting second baseman Ashley Ponce was struck in the face by a sharp groundball. Ponce left the game under his own power in favor of Gourley.
Trent, Alex Fuselier, and Chris Lashmet all had multiple hits for the Spikes, who fell to the Scrappers at Eastwood Field for the fourth time in as many games this season.
Dodson took the loss after allowing five runs, but only two earned, on four hits, two walks and three hit batters. It was the left-hander's second start of his rehab assignment from Single-A West Virginia. Josh Poytress added three innings of one-run relief, yielding two hits and a walk while striking out one.
Scrappers reliever Harold Guerrero (2-1) picked up the win with four shutout innings backing up starter Will Roberts. Guerrero yielded a hit and two walks, adding four strikeouts. Roberts scattered five hits and a walk while striking out two. Cody Elliott also had three hits to pace the Mahoning Valley offensive effort.
Wednesday, the Spikes and Scrappers finish off their two-game series at Eastwood Field with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College will send right-hander Nick Kingham (1-2) to the mound fresh off of his first professional victory. Kingham threw five scoreless frames, allowing just four hits while striking out one, to earn the win over Staten Island on Friday in New York City. Mahoning Valley will go with left-hander Danny Jimenez (1-1) on the mound.
The Spikes next homestand at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park will open this Thursday, July 21 with the first of two games against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians' affiliate), followed by a three-game set against the Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets' affiliate) from Saturday the 23rd through Monday the 25th.