NILES, Ohio - Carlos Mesa hit a solo home run in the 10th inning, his second homer as a professional and his third hit of the night, to help the State College Spikes rebound from losing their lead in the ninth inning to defeat the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 5-4, on Wednesday night at Eastwood Field.
Mesa, the Cuban defector playing his first pro season in America with the Spikes (10-23), took a 2-1 pitch from Mahoning Valley (18-15) reliever Will Krasne (1-1) deep to left field with one out in the first extra frame for what proved to be the game-winning run.
The Scrappers had tied the game in the 10th inning with a pair of runs off State College closer Mitch Fienemann (1-2) thanks to Tony Wolters's RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Jake Lowery.
Fienemann would come back to get the first out of the 10th inning, however, before giving way to Vince Payne (1), who recorded his first save of the year by retiring the last two Mahoning Valley batters of the game.
State College took the initial lead of the game when Chris Lashmet followed Walker Gourley's base hit with one of his own to give the Spikes a 1-0 lead. Lashmet would then lead off the fourth inning with a single, and came around to score on a groundout by Samuel Gonzalez, with Mesa plating another run on a subsequent wild pitch to extend the State College edge to 3-0.
A pair of Mahoning Valley solo home runs, the first by Alex Lavisky in the fifth inning and the other by Todd Hankins in the seventh, bookended Matt Skirving's RBI groundout in the sixth inning to bring Mesa home and made it 4-2, Spikes, going into the ninth inning.
Nick Kingham made another solid start for State College despite not factoring into the decision. Kingham threw five innings and allowed four hits, including Lavisky's homer, and a walk while striking out three. The right-hander has now thrown 10 innings against the Scrappers in 2011 while allowing just one run. Mike Jefferson also contributed 2 1/3 innings of relief for the Spikes.
Fienemann allowed a total of two runs on three hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings, but picked up his first win of the 2011 season.
Walker Gourley joined Mesa as Spikes with three hits in the game, marking the sixth time in his career he has notched a three-hit night.
Krasne came on for the Scrappers starting in the ninth inning, and took the loss despite allowing only the Mesa home run and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three in defeat.
Thursday, the scene shifts to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park as the Spikes begin a five-game homestand with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Scrappers. State College will go with right-hander Matt Benedict (1-1) on the mound, while Mahoning Valley will counter with right-hander Rob Nixon (1-3). Benedict earned his first pro win against the Scrappers on June 29 of this year, while Nixon allowed three runs over six innings of work in a no-decision against the Spikes on June 30.