Spikes drop 3rd straight to Scrappers

NILES, Ohio – Jimmy Bosco notched his 12th multiple hit game of the year, but Juan Herrera’s two-run homer proved to be the difference as the State College Spikes dropped a 3-1 decision to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Thursday night at Eastwood Field. It was the Spikes’ third-straight loss to the Scrappers.

Bosco contributed two of the six Spikes (18-18) hits, while David Washington added a ground-rule double and scored the only State College run in the seventh inning. Steven Ramos also collected a single, and the New York-Penn League batting leader now has a hit in 17 of his last 21 games.

The Spikes were behind early, however, as Josh McAdams’s sacrifice fly to right field in the second scored the game’s first run. Herrera then homered to the right-field bullpen in the third inning, clearing the four-foot wall to put Mahoning Valley (15-23) ahead, 3-0.

Luis Perez brought in Washington with a two-out single in the seventh to trim the deficit, but the Spikes would get no closer.

Juan Bautista (1-3) took the loss for State College after allowing all three Scrappers runs, two of them earned, on six hits and two walks. Bautista also struck out four batters over five innings of work.

Mahoning Valley reliever Ben Heller (1-2) threw three shutout innings for the win. Heller yielded three hits while striking out three. Briely Puerta (1) gave up the Spikes’ lone run on a total of two hits and two walks, but struck out five over three innings for the save.

The Spikes have now gone eight straight road games without a win, stretching back to a July 3 victory at Williamsport. State College is 9-3 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park over the same time period.

Tonight the Spikes will look for some more home cooking to do them well, as they host the Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) for the first game of a two-game set. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Kevin Herget (3-0) as the first man on the mound for State College in a “piggyback” setup. Left-hander Chase Brookshire (0-0) will follow Herget for the Spikes. Auburn will send right-hander Deion Williams (0-4) the hill.