Spikes even score then fall to Vermont
STATE COLLEGE — The State College Spikes battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but Aaron Arruda’s double in the ninth inning gave the Vermont Lake Monsters a 4-3 victory on Friday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The Spikes (11-16) took advantage of Vermont (14-13) mistakes to net all of their runs. Trailing in the fifth inning, State College used a Wadye Ynfante single, a wild pitch, a walk and an error to score its first run. Nick Dunn then drove in another run with a groundout in the fifth to draw the Spikes within 3-2.
State College then tied the game in the seventh when Walker Robbins reached base on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on another error.
Arruda gave the Lake Monsters a lead they would not relinquish, though, as he doubled in Anthony Churlin after Churlin had led off the ninth with a two-bagger of his own.
Vermont had taken the lead in the opening inning on Jonah Bride’s single, then tacked on two more runs in the fourth on Marcos Brito’s single and a Joseph Pena sacrifice fly.
Spikes starter Chris Holba went a career-long five innings and yielded three runs, two of them earned, on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Holba also struck out five batters.
Michael Baird (0-1) allowed just one run and struck out five batters over three-plus innings, but took the loss. Baird gave up a total of three hits during his time on the mound.
Vermont starter Chase Cohen tossed three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four batters, before giving way to Juan Mora (1-1) the rest of the way. Mora earned the win after giving up three unearned runs on one hit and three walks over six innings of work. The right-hander also struck out seven batters.
Ynfante and Brandon Benson had the lone hits for the Spikes, who were held to two hits for the second time in the series.
Saturday, the Spikes face the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros). State College will send left-hander Jacob Schlesener (0-1) to the mound for his first start of the 2018 season in the opener of the three-game series. Tri-City is set to go with right-hander Edgardo Sandoval (0-0), who makes the first appearance of his rehab assignment with the ValleyCats.