Spikes on hold after grand slam Saturday

From staff reports

STATE COLLEGE – Heavy rain and thunderstorms in the State College area forced the Spikes and Connecticut Tigers to halt their game on Sunday evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park just before the bottom of the fifth inning was to start, with Connecticut leading, 2-1.

The two teams will resume the contest on Monday as part of a doubleheader starting at noon with the completion of the suspended game to be followed by a seven-inning game between the Spikes and Tigers.

The Tigers (12-20) took a 2-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings thanks to the long ball, with solo home runs by Austin Schotts in the first inning and Tyler Gibson in the third inning. Carson Kelly drove in the lone Spikes (17-14) run in the fourth inning with a double.

State College reliever Jhonny Polanco is the current pitcher of record for the Spikes after pitching the top of the fifth inning. Arturo Reyes made his first start for State College on Sunday after two relief appearances. Reyes allowed both Tiger runs on a total of three hits over four innings of work.

Connecticut starter Joe Mantiply held State College hitless through three innings, giving up three walks and striking out two. Jonathan Maciel took over for the Tigers in the fourth and is the current pitcher of record for Connecticut.

The probable starters for Monday afternoon’s game were right-hander Willy Paulino (1-1) for State College and right-hander Jonathon Crawford (0-1) for Connecticut. Crawford is the Detroit Tigers’ first-round pick this year out of the University of Florida.


Spikes 8, Connecticut 5

STATE COLLEGE – David Washington smashed the first walk-off grand slam in Medlar Field history to give the State College Spikes an 8-5 win over the Connecticut Tigers in a wild back-and-forth contest on Saturday night.

Washington drove the 0-1 pitch from Tanner Bailey (0-3) over the center field wall for the game-winner in the ninth. The grand slam was his second of the 2013 season, making him the only player in Spikes history with two in one year. Washington ended the ninth 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles to go with his late heroics and a total of five runs batted in.

The 6-5 big man now has six homers and 28 RBIs in 30 games this year.

State College had to come back from a deficit going into its final at-bat, as Ben Verlander, brother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, hit an RBI single in the top half of the frame to give Connecticut (12-20) a 5-4 lead.

The Spikes set the table for Washington’s heroics with a leadoff single by Jimmy Bosco, an error on a Cesar Valera sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice by Bruce Caldwell, and an intentional walk to Ronald Castillo.

Alex De Leon hit his second home run as a professional to right field off Hunter Scantling in the seventh inning to tie the game, 4-4.

The Spikes held a 3-0 lead after three innings, but saw the Tigers come back with a two-run homer by Patrick Leyland in the fourth and additional runs in the fifth and sixth to take a 4-3 lead.

Bosco, Caldwell, De Leon and Mason Katz also had multi-hit games for the Spikes, with De Leon adding two runs batted in. Katz added a double while Bosco led off the bottom of the first with a triple.