STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes had a run taken off the board in the first inning, which proved to be the difference as the Auburn Doubledays scored the only run that counted in the fifth to take a 1-0 decision on Friday night in front of 4,225 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
State College (29-28) got things going right off the bat, as Walker Gourley delivered a one-out double and D.J. Crumlich followed with an infield single. The next batter was Jacob Stallings, who launched a fly ball to center field that Wander Ramos reeled in.
Gourley then tagged and went home, with Crumlich attempting to advance to second. The throw from center and tag got Crumlich for the third out of the inning, with home plate umpire Scott Costello ruling that Gourley did not cross the plate before the tag, depriving the Spikes of a run.
Auburn (33-23) would not be able to take advantage until the fifth inning. Doubledays catcher Spencer Kieboom started the offensive effort by drawing a two-out walk from Adrian Sampson (0-1). After Mike McQuillan reached base on an error, Lance Breedlove entered the game for the Spikes on the mound. Tony Renda then singled to center field to score Kieboom, with McQuillan getting thrown out on the play for the final out of the frame.
State College got brief signs of a comeback in the fifth inning, leaving two runners on base with one in scoring position, and in the seventh, when new Spike Jon Schwind tripled to center field. However, State College could not fully take advantage of these opportunities, and went down to defeat.
Tyler Gaffney was hit with his league-leading 18th pitch of the year, placing him just six shy of the New York-Penn League record of 24, set in 2004 by Christopher Gimenez of Mahoning Valley.
Sampson took the loss, getting tagged with the unearned fifth-inning run. The 2012 fifth-round draft choice of the Pirates yielded a total of four hits and a walk over five innings, striking out three in the process. Clario Perez finished the game with four scoreless frames of relief for the Spikes, giving up one hit and two walks while striking out one batter.
Doubledays starter Ivan Pineyro (3-1) earned back-to-back wins against the Spikes thanks to five shutout innings in which he allowed four hits and a walk. Pineyro also struck out three Spikes hitters. Relievers Travis Henke and Robert Benincasa (2) finished off the shutout, with Benincasa tossing a one-hit ninth inning and striking out two for the save.
Saturday, 18-year-old right-hander Luis Heredia gets the ball for the Spikes as they complete their two-game mini-series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. Heredia, now 3-1 on the year, allowed two runs on three hits and four walks to earn the win at Jamestown in his last outing. Heredia is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five home starts so far this year.
Auburn will go with left-hander Blake Monar (2-3) on the mound.