Bosco hits for the cycle, leads Spikes to victory

NILES, Ohio – Jimmy Bosco hit for the cycle on Wednesday night to become the first player in State College Spikes history to accomplish the feat and propel the Spikes to a 6-1 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Eastwood Field.

Bosco, the 13th-round draft choice of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Menlo College in California, finished off his night with a double to the right field gap in the eighth inning to etch his name into the State College (6-3) record books. The Spikes’ center fielder had previously tripled in the first inning, crushed a solo home run to right-center field in the third, and singled in the fourth to put him in position for the unprecedented achievement.

In addition to his four hits, Bosco scored two runs and knocked two more in. The Granite Bay, Calif., native has now upped his average to a New York-Penn League-leading .429 for the season, and has increased his slugging percentage to .829 to put him second in the league in that category.

Bosco’s efforts supplemented a strong night for the Spikes’ pitching staff, as starter Ben O’Shea (2-0) tossed six innings for the win and allowed just one run on two hits and walk while striking out six. The only run O’Shea allowed came in the third inning when Mahoning Valley (4-6) third baseman Robel Garcia smashed a solo home run to the left field bullpen.

Jimmy Reed (1) finished the game for the Spikes and earned his first professional save with three innings of two-hit, shutout relief.

Carson Kelly also drove in a pair of runs for State College with a bases-loaded single in the third, and Michael Schulze had a multi-hit night for the Spikes as well.

Mahoning Valley starter Cole Sulser (0-1) took the loss after yielding four runs on six hits and a walk. Sulser also recorded three strikeouts.

The win, combined with a Jamestown loss to Batavia, gave the Spikes sole possession of first place in the NYPL’s Pinckney Division.

Thursday, the Spikes will look to keep the momentum going as they finish their two-game mini-series with the Scrappers in a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Eastwood Field. State College will have right-hander Nick Petree (0-0), the ninth-round draft choice of the Cardinals in 2013, on the mound for his second pro start. Mahoning Valley will give the ball to left-hander Luis Lugo (0-1).