Spikes fall short in bid for sweep

STATE COLLEGE — The State College Spikes’ win streak was stopped at five with a 3-2 loss to the West Virignia Black Bears on Friday night.

A crowd of 4,923 saw the Spikes (24-30) take the opening lead of the game on Stanley Espinal’s RBI single in the first inning. State College then extended the lead to 2-0 with Justin Toerner’s bases-loaded fielder’s choice in the second.

In the fourth, West Virginia (19-35) got on the board with a fielder’s choice from Melvin Jimenez. The Black Bears then took the lead in the seventh when Jimenez scored on New York-Penn League All-Star Travis Swaggerty’s single and Swaggerty crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

NYPL All-Star Nick Dunn contributed a double for the Spikes.

Starter Jacob Schlesener delivered another strong start, allowing just one run on four hits, four walks and a hit batsman over six innings for State College. Schlesener struck out eight batters one start after putting up a season-high nine whiffs at Mahoning Valley on Sunday.

Spikes reliever Hector Villalobos (1-2) took the loss after yielding both West Virginia runs in the seventh. Vilallobos went a total of two innings and gave up two hits and two walks, one of them intentional. The left-hander also struck out one batter.

Black Bears reliever Argenis Romero (1-0) picked up the win in his debut with the club. Romero threw two scoreless innings, allowing one walk and striking out three batters.

The Spikes will now hit the road for a two-game mini-series at Falcon Park against the Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) starting today. Right-hander Franyel Casadilla (1-1) gets the ball for State College in the opener and will be opposed by Auburn left-hander Tim Cate (2-2).

The Spikes host the 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

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