STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes and Auburn Doubledays each battled through drizzling rain on Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, and despite Jesus Vasquez keying another State College run, the Doubledays' seven-run first inning carried them past the Spikes in a 12-1 decision.
Auburn (40-27), the leading team in the Pinckney Division, came out firing against State College (31-35) in the opening frame. A total of 12 batters came to the plate in the inning, and the offense got rolling following a pair of one-out hits and a walk to Brandon Miller to load the bases. Estarlin Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate the first run of the game. After reloading the bases with a walk, Spikes starter Jason Creasy (0-5) then hit Carlos Alvarez with a pitch to bring in another run and make it 2-0.
Creasy then left the mound after 2/3 of an inning, having given up two hits, two walks and a hit batsman while striking out one. Clario Perez took over on the mound, and Carlos Lopez gave him a rude welcome by dropping a 3-2 pitch in between three fielders in left-center field for a bases-clearing single to extend the lead to five runs, all of which were charged to Creasy. Narciso Mesa then doubled to plate a run and Mike McQuillan knocked in a run with a single to finish off the first-inning barrage.
The Doubledays added to their advantage in the second inning as Miller led off with a triple and Martinez doubled behind him to make it 8-0. Alvarez then contributed a sacrifice fly, putting the lead at 9-0.
Drizzling rain then started to fall, and would continue on and off for much of the game, but both teams played on through the drops without delay.
After Auburn scored its 10th run on a Wes Schill sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth, the Spikes got on the board in the bottom of the fifth thanks to Vasquez. The State College right fielder began the frame with a ground-rule double to left field and advanced to third on a groundout. Jared Lakind brought him home with another groundout to draw the Spikes within nine runs again.
However, Auburn added a marker in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk to McQuillan and another on Shawn Pleffner's solo home run to right-center field in the ninth inning to cap the scoring.
Yhonathan Barrios and D.J. Crumlich notched the other hits for the Spikes, who were held to three hits total in the game.
Perez gave up a total of five runs in relief on six hits, two walks and two hit batsmen over four innings. The right-hander also struck out two batters. Logan Pevny tossed 2 1/3 one-run innings, while Dalton Friend added a scoreless eighth for the Spikes.
Auburn starter Pedro Encarnacion (5-1) earned his second straight win against State College, going six innings and yielding one run on two hits and a walk. Encarnacion struck out four for the victory six days after beating the Spikes at Falcon Park.
Pleffner and Lopez each collected three hits for the Doubledays, who saw every starting position player but McQuillan score at least one run. Martinez added a pair of doubles to the Auburn cause.
With the win, the Doubledays now lead the Spikes by 8 1/2 games in the Pinckney Division. The Spikes have 10 games remaining on their 2012 regular season schedule.