Spikes fall to Scrappers at home

UNIVERSITY PARK — When the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and State College Spikes hooked up in a New York-Penn League baseball game, it was anything but a classic. As a matter of fact at times, it was downright ugly.

When the final out was recorded, the Scrappers slipped by the Spikes for a 9-7 win.

“That was one of those games where you fell behind early and we gave them some runs,” Spikes manager Joe Kruzel said. “On a ball thrown in from the outfield to the infield, they scored a run on that and then on an appeal play they scored from third and those kinds of things come back to get you.”

The Scrappers broke out of the starting gate with a pair of crooked numbers for a 7-2 lead.

State College scored its first two runs in their half of the first on a single by Nick Dunn, a walk issued to Edwin Figuera, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brady Whalen and an RBI single by Lars Nootbaar.

“You have to give these guys a lot of credit because they fell behind early, came back to cut it (their deficit) in half and they kept fighting and tied the game up in the fifth,” Kruzel said. “We had a few chances later in the game to steal the lead but we couldn’t get it done.”

With Spikes’ pitching holding the Scrappers off the scoreboard for the next three innings, the Spikes made the most of the opportunity as they scored four runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to even the count at 7-all after five innings.

“You have to give a lot of credit to (Gabe) Gentner, (Troy) Montemayor and (Edgar) Gonzalez for holding them down and eating those innings up,” Kruzel said. “They did an outstanding job of keeping us in the game and giving us an opportunity because that game could have gone sideways real quick. You have to tip your hat those guys because those guys combined for an unbelievable performance for us.”

In the fourth, Imeldo Diaz was hit by a pitch, Walker Robbins beat out an infield single, Dunn singled to right and Edwin Figuera was plunked by a pitch.

The big hit in the inning was a bases-clearing double to center field by Brady Whalen.

Mahoning Valley broke the tie with a run in the sixth and they did it with two outs.

Tyler Freeman ripped a triple to left and in yet another weird play in a non-conventional game, Freeman scampered home when the Spikes were caught in the middle of an appeal play.

The two teams will wrap up the 3-game series tonight beginning at 7:05 p.m.