Spikes drop playoff opener, 6-5

JAMESTOWN, N,Y, – The State College Spikes nearly erased a 6-0 deficit with a five-run sixth inning, but the Jamestown Jammers stifled the Spikes over the final three frames to take Game One of the New York-Penn League Semifinal Series, 6-5, on Friday night at Russell Diethrick Park.

State College trailed 6-0 after three innings, but jumped back into the game with its big frame. All five of the Spikes’ runs in the sixth were scored with two outs, beginning with a Carson Kelly RBI single. Mason Katz then delivered a bases-loaded, three-run double to clear the bases, and Jimmy Bosco knocked in Katz with a double of his own to draw State College within a run.

However, Jamestown relievers Will Kendall and Brett McKinney held the Spikes to just one hit over the final three innings to preserve the Jammers win.

Jamestown built its big lead thanks mostly to the bat of Austin Meadows. The 2013 first-round draft choice of the Pirates gave the Jammers their first lead of the game with his three-run home run to right field in the first inning. After Jamestown plated another run in the second, Meadows tripled and scored on Edwin Espinal’s single in the third to make it a 5-0 game.

Adam Landecker would go on to knock in Espinal to extend the margin to six before the Spikes’ sixth-inning rally.

Nick Petree (0-1) suffered his roughest outing as a Spike in taking the loss. The right-hander allowed a career-high six runs on nine hits and a walk over three innings of work. Petree added a strikeout.

Relievers Kevin Herget and Jhonny Polanco stabilized the State College mound efforts over the last five innings as the Spikes did not allow another run the rest of the way. Herget tossed three frames and allowed two hits while striking out three batters. Polanco walked two batters, but struck out two as well, over two innings.

Jammers starter Buddy Borden (1-0) earned the win with five scoreless innings on the mound in which he yielded three hits and struck out seven. McKinney, the NYPL’s regular season saves leader, pitched a perfect ninth inning to notch his first postseason save.

Jamestown pitchers recorded a total of 14 strikeouts on the night, the most by any Spikes opponent this season.

Katz, Steven Ramos and Luke Voit each produced multiple hits for State College. Espinal went 3-for-4 at the plate for Jamestown.

Saturday, the two teams head to State College for a 7:35 p.m. showdown at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in Game Two of the best-of-three series. State College will have left-hander Jimmy Reed on the mound to face former Spikes right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas of Jamestown.