Anderson, O’Keefe, Wick lift Spikes to weekend victories

From staff reports

STATE COLLEGE – Will Anderson pitched seven strong innings and Brian O’Keefe hit his first professional home run to help the State College Spikes stretch their winning streak to five games with a 5-2 victory over the Jamestown Jammers on Sunday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Anderson (2-1) followed his record-setting seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance last Sunday against Williamsport with another solid performance against Jamestown (8-15). The right-hander from Pleasanton, CA allowed two runs on five hits while striking out four. Anderson, the Cardinals’ 26th-round draft choice last year out of Cal State-Monterey Bay, also ran his streak of innings without giving up a walk to 15.

O’Keefe’s two-out two-run homer to center field in the fourth inning gave the Spikes (16-7) their first lead of the game at 3-2. The Cardinals’ 2014 seventh-round draft choice was also behind the plate for each of Anderson’s last two starts.

Danny Diekroeger and Jake Stone each contributed multiple hits for State College, with Diekroeger smashing a triple. Stone’s single in the third inning plated the Spikes’ first run and upped his RBI total to nine over the last four games.

Rowan Wick also knocked in his New York-Penn League-leading 28th run of the year with a single in the eighth to plate a State College insurance run. Ronnierd Garcia followed with a sacrifice fly to close out the scoring.

Kyle Grana (2) pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his second save of the year in as many opportunities.

The Spikes have not only won their last five games, but also their last five games at home. State College also held on to first place in the NYPL Pinckney Division by one game over Batavia with the win.

Jamestown starter Tyler Eppler (0-1) took the loss in his third meeting against the Spikes this year. Eppler gave up three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings of work.

Chase Simpson drove in a run for the Jammers with a second-inning sacrifice fly, while Carl Anderson brought in the other Jamestown run with a third-inning single. Anderson went 2-for-3 on the night with a triple. The loss ran Jamestown’s losing string to seven games.

Spikes 3, Jamestown 2

STATE COLLEGE – The State College Spikes pitching staff stranded 12 runners on Saturday night, holding the fort as an eighth-inning wild pitch enabled the Spikes to run their winning streak to four games with a 3-2 victory over the Jamestown Jammers at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Rowan Wick scored the winning run in the eighth for the Spikes (15-7) after reaching base with a leadoff walk. Wick then moved to second on Jake Stone’s walk, and to third on an errant pickoff throw by Jamestown (8-14) catcher Taylor Gushue. Jerry Mulderig (0-3) uncorked a pitch wide of the plate two batters after the error to allow Wick to score.

State College pitching forced Jamestown hitters into a 1-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position, and twice caused the Jammers to leave the bases loaded.

Jacob Booden (1-1) earned the win in relief for the Spikes, tossing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. The right-hander hit two batters, which, joined with an error, loaded the bases in the seventh. However, Booden got out of the jam with two strikeouts sandwiched around a forceout at the plate. Booden struck out a total of three batters during his time on the mound.

Josh Lucas (5) pitched a one-hit ninth to finish his second straight game for the Spikes and earn his fifth save in as many opportunities.

Starter Austin Gomber also escaped a bases-loaded situation for the Spikes in the first, but emerged without allowing a run. Gomber threw four shutout innings despite yielding four hits and four walks. The southpaw struck out three batters as well.

Wick went 2-for-3 to bring his batting average back to .403 on the year, and contributed a double. Jake Stone drove in his eighth run in the last three games with a double in the second inning.

Mulderig took the loss in relief for the Jammers, walking three batters but allowing no hits in his only inning on the hill.

Chase Simpson hit a solo home run for Jamestown in the sixth to close the deficit to one and Michael Fransoso tied the game with a triple in the same frame. The loss was the Jammers’ fifth in a row.