Diaz homers in Spikes’ 4-2 loss

AUBURN, N.Y. — Imeldo Diaz smashed a solo home run for his first long ball in a State College Spikes uniform but the Auburn Doubledays edged past the Spikes for a 4-2 victory in the finale of a three-game series at Falcon Park on Friday.

The Spikes (8-13) were seeking their first series sweep of the season and halved a 2-0 deficit when Diaz sent the first pitch he saw in the fifth inning over the right-field wall. The blast was State College’s third home run as a team this season.

After Auburn (12-8) responded with solo homers from Israel Pineda in the sixth and Pablo O’Connor in the eighth, the Spikes made one of their patented ninth-inning comeback efforts. Walker Robbins doubled with one out and then scored on Nick Dunn’s two-out single to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Connor Zwetsch (5) forced a groundout to finish the game.

The Doubledays jumped out in front in the opening inning on Nic Perkins’s RBI groundout and a two-out single from Pineda.

Jake Dahlberg (0-1) delivered a quality start on the mound for State College but took the loss. Dahlberg allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over six innings of work. The left-hander struck out three in the effort.

Auburn starter Francys Peguero (2-0) earned the win after yielding one run on three this and a walk while striking out two batters over five innings.

The Spikes notched the first run of the season against Zwetsch, but the Doubledays closer finished the game with two innings of work for his league-leading fifth save. Zwetsch gave up a total of three hits and recorded one strikeout.

Saturday, the Spikes will head west along the New York State Thruway to start a three-game series against the Batavia Muckdogs (Miami Marlins) with a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Dwyer Stadium.

Right-hander Chris Holba (1-1), who earned his first professional win in his last appearance, gets his second start of the year for State College.

Batavia is slated to start right-hander Alberto Guerrero (2-1).