Walk-off win for Spikes

STATE COLLEGE — Alexis Wilson scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth as the State College Spikes drew to within two games of first place in the New York-Penn League Wild Card race with a 3-2 walk-off win over the Auburn Doubledays on Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The victory was the Spikes’ (33-32) sixth walk-off win of the season. State College is now one of five teams within two games or less of the Doubledays (35-30) in the hunt for the league’s lone Wild Card berth.

Wilson started the Spikes’ late surge with a single to center, then advanced to third on Imeldo Diaz’s double down the third-base line. After an intentional walk to Jonatan Machado and a strikeout, Nector Ramirez (1-3) uncorked the wild pitch that plated Wilson to end the game.

Eli Kraus made a strong start for State College, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out eight batters over 5 1/43 innings. Kraus struck out the first five batters he faced, and retired the first 10 Auburn batters of the night in order.

The Spikes took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Lars Nootbaar’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Delvin Perez. Following Jose Sanchez’s run-scoring single to draw the Doubledays within a run in the fifth, Auburn tied the game in the eight on a two-out single from Carson Shaddy.

Kevin Hamann (1-1) picked up his first relief win of the season after tying for the NYPL lead with nine saves to start the year. Hamann allowed one hit and two walks, one of them intentional, but gave up no runs in the ninth. The righty also struck out one batter.

Ramirez recorded two outs, one via strikeout, before taking the loss in relief for Auburn.

Diaz doubled twice for the Spikes.

State College also stayed within 3 ¢ games of the NYPL Pinckney Division lead held by Mahoning Valley with the win.