Spikes fend off Yankees’ rally, win 6-5

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The State College Spikes built a three-run lead going into the ninth inning and needed every bit of it to withstand a furious ninth-inning rally by the Staten Island Yankees and take a 6-5 victory on Wednesday night at Richmond County Bank Ballpark to extend their winning streak to a team record-tying nine games.

The string ties the franchise’s best run ever. State College last won nine in a row from June 26-July 4, 2007.

With Jamestown’s loss, the Spikes also draw within one game of the lead in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division while maintaining a one-game advantage in the Wild Card race.

Brett Wiley hit his first home run for State College (29-19) – a solo shot in the ninth inning – to extend the margin to three. Staten Island (19-29) bounced back and load the bases with one out, then scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and walk to get within a run.

However, Jeff Rauh (4), who let in both runs, recovered to strike out both Eric Jagielo and Yeicok Calderon and nail down the win.

State College used a big sixth inning to take the lead back for good. Michael Schulze doubled in a run and Cesar Valera knocked in two more with a bases-loaded single as part of a four-run frame.

Steven Ramos, the NYPL’s batting leader, also contributed a double.

Jhonny Polanco (3-2) earned the win in relief with two scoreless innings in support of emergency starter Victor DeLeon. Polanco gave up just one hit while striking out two.

DeLeon went four innings in the start after Andrew Pierce was scratched just prior to the game.

Rauh earned the save, his fourth in six opportunities, after making a ninth-inning appearance for the second night in a row.

Staten Island reliever Cole Coshow (0-2) took the loss after yielding all four of the Spikes sixth-inning runs on a total of five hits and two walks while striking out one over two innings of work. Giovanny Gallegos worked four innings after having his start moved up a day. Gallegos allowed one run on three hits, a walk and a hit batsman while striking out three.

Jagielo, Derek Toadvine and Mike Ford each produced multiple hits for the Yankees.

The Spikes go for the sweep and a club record tenth straight win today as they face the Yankees in a special 11 a.m. game to complete the three-game set at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Right-hander Juan Bautista (1-3) is due to get the ball for State College. Staten Island, after changing up its rotation, will go with right-hander David Palladino (1-2) on the mound.