Four-run third drives Spikes

STATE COLLEGE – Bolstered by a strong offense, Jimmy Reed and Andrew Pierce combined for a superior mound effort to help the State College Spikes to a 6-2 win over the Tri-City ValleyCats on Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Reed (2-1), who was coming off a career-long six-inning start against Mahoning Valley this past Wednesday, began the game and went five innings before handing it off to Pierce (1), who went four frames to finish the evening.

Each man allowed a single run over the course of the night. Reed, the sixth-round draft choice of the Cardinals in 2013, yielded five hits and a walk while striking out three. Pierce, the eighth-round pick of the Cardinals this year, gave up just three hits while striking out six.

State College (22-19) broke the game open with a four-run third inning, capped by Carson Kelly’s two-run triple to left-center field, to take a 4-1 lead. Steven Ramos also returned to form, going 3-for-4 and scoring a run.

Kelly, Ramos and Matthew Young each produced multiple hits for the Spikes, with Young extending his hit streak to eight games in the process.

Tri-City (26-17) starter Randall Fant (1-2) took the loss after yielding all four State College runs in the third inning on a total of seven hits. Fant also struck out one batter in his three innings on the hill.

The Spikes took the victory in just 2 hours, 14 minutes, one night after a 2-1 win at Batavia took 13 innings and 4 hours, 21 minutes to play.

State College remains one game behind Lowell in the New York-Penn League Wild Card race.

Wednesday, the Spikes and ValleyCats meet at Medlar Field in the second game of a three-game series. The 7:05 p.m. matchup is set to feature right-hander Juan Bautista (1-3) on the mound for State College. Tri-City is scheduled to send left-hander Evan Grills (3-0) to the bump.