Spikes triple the fun

From staff reports

STATE COLLEGE – Austin Gomber went a career-long seven innings on the mound for his first professional win as the State College Spikes shut out the Williamsport Crosscutters 6-0 on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The win and Hudson Valley’s loss means the Spikes (44-27) are just one game back of the top seed in the New York-Penn League playoffs with five games remaining. State College is also now a game up on Tri-City for the second seed in the four-team format.

Gomber (1-2) struck out seven batters total and twice struck out the side in order as he scattered four hits in the victory. The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2014 fourth-round draft choice unofficially threw 74 pitches on the night, 52 of them for strikes.

Jeff Rauh finished the shutout with two scoreless innings in which he allowed three hits, a walks and a hit batsman. Rauh loaded the bases with no outs in the eight, but escaped the jam with two foulouts and a groundout.

State College appeared to take the lead in the third inning, but Robelys Reyes was called out for missing first base on what would have been a run-scoring double. The Spikes took the lead for real in the fourth when Nick Thompson tripled for the first time as a professional to knock in Danny Diekroeger. Thompson then scored on Jake Stone’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0, State College.

Diekroeger, who led off the fourth with a single, extended his Spikes-record hitting streak to 21 games with the hit.

The Spikes added two more runs in the sixth on an error and Stone’s first triple of the year, then finished the scoring with a two-out triple from Reyes and another run via an error.

Reyes went 3-for-5 and scored two runs, while Jhohan Acevedo went 2-for-4 on the night.

Williamsport (32-39) starter Alejandro Arteaga (1-8) took the loss despite a quality start in which he yielded four runs, two of them earned, on five hits over six innings of work. Arteaga also struck out three in the effort.

Cord Sandberg and Jose Pujols each collected multiple hits for the Crosscutters.

Thursday, the Spikes and Crosscutters finish their two-game mini-series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College will send right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon (2-3) to the mound to face Williamsport right-hander Ricardo Pinto (1-4).