Jammers clinch berth, will face Spikes in semis

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. – The State College Spikes fell to the same team they will play in the upcoming New York-Penn League semifinals Wednesday, dropping their regular-season final to the Jamestown Jammers, 9-4, at Russell Diethrick Park.

By virtue of the victory, Jamestown (43-32) earned the NYPL Wild Card berth, and will face the Pinckney Division champion Spikes (48-27) in the best-of-three series starting Friday. State College holds home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and will host Game Two and, if necessary, Game Three on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Jammers will host the opener Friday.

Jamestown took advantage of State College wildness on the mound as the Spikes walked a total of eight batters. The Jammers sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning and scored three runs thanks to two hits and three walks.

The Jammers extended their lead to 4-0 on a solo home run from Austin Meadows in the third inning, but the Spikes struck back in the fourth. Luke Voit knocked in a run with his first double of the night and Michael Schulze delivered an RBI single to cut the margin to 4-2.

Voit added a two-run double in the eighth inning, but it only gave the game its final score.

The two teams engaged in an on-field shouting match in the seventh inning after Carson Kelly was hit in the head by Jamestown reliever Henry Hirsch. Hirsch was ejected, while Kelly, after being evaluated, stayed in the game. The ensuing brouhaha saw both benches and bullpens empty, with Spikes manager Oliver Marmol and Jammers manager Dave Turgeon both ejected along with Spikes hitting coach Ramon Ortiz.

Dante Rosenberg went 2-for-4 and scored a run to record his first multiple-hit game as a Spike.

State College starter Willy Paulino (2-3) took the loss after yielding four runs, three of them earned, on three hits and four walks over three innings of work.

The first home playoff contest in Spikes history will be played Saturday at 7:35 p.m. Sunday’s potential third game would be at 7:05 p.m. Ballpark gates both nights will open at 6 p.m.

Because Saturday’s contest falls on the same day as Penn State’s home football opener, which has a noon kickoff, the Spikes will be announcing special fan parking and traffic information later in the week. Fans should visit “Playoff Central” at statecollegespikes.com for the latest information.

The winner of the Jamestown-State College series will face the winner of the league’s other semifinal series between the McNamara Division champion Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore Orioles) and the Stedler Division champion Tri-City Valley Cats (Houston Astros).