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Spikes rally falls short in contest with West Virginia

From staff reports

GRANVILLE, W.V. – The State College Spikes were unable to overcome a 5-0 first-inning deficit as they took an 8-5 loss at the hands of the West Virginia Black Bears on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.

Dariel Gomez reached base four times for the Spikes (6-4) with a single and three walks. Gomez also scored two runs.

West Virginia (6-4) used a two-run double from 2019 second-round draft choice Matt Gorski and a Jared Triolo two-run homer to take the lead. Cory Wood was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to complete the Black Bears’s five-run first.

Gomez then scored on Cameron Knight’s double and a subsequent error by Gorski in center field to put the Spikes on the board.

In the fifth, Moises Castillo took advantage of some wildness on the part of West Virginia reliever Grant Ford (1-0) to drive in a run with a bases-loaded walk. Stanley Espinal then brought in another run with a fielder’s choice to make it a 5-3 game.

Nick Patten’s two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole put the Black Bears back on top by four in the fifth. Andres Luna doubled home two runs in the sixth to draw State College back within to runs, but Patten’s third RBI on a single to left in the sixth completed the scoring.

Starter Jacob Schlesener (0-1) took the loss for the Spikes after allowing a total of seven runs on six hits, four walks and three hit batsmen. Schlesener also struck out three batters in the effort.

Ford earned the win in his pro debut for West Virginia despite walking the first four batters he faced on 16 consecutive balls outside the strike zone. The right-hander, a 2019 fifth-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates out of the University of Nevada, allowed a total of three runs five walks over 1 2/3 innings but did not yield a hit.

Reliever Noe Toribiio (1) earned the save with three innings of scoreless, no-hit ball for the Black Bears. Toribio allowed two walks while striking out two batters to finish out the game

The Spikes will now have an off day on Monday before a six-game homestand from Tuesday, June 25 through Sunday, June 30. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians) and Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) both come to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for three games apiece.

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