Spikes defeat West Virginia in close game

From staff reports

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The State College Spikes used productive outs and a solid pitching effort from five different hurlers to stay near the top of the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division with a 3-2 win over the West Virginia Black Bears on Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

State College (36-33) stayed with two games of the division lead held by Batavia with seven games remaining on the regular season slate, and got within a half-game of West Virginia (36-32) for second place in the division.

The Spikes took the lead in the first on an RBI groundout from Terry Fuller, then extended the lead to 3-0 in the second on a run-scoring groundout from Luis Flores and a sacrifice fly from David Vinsky.

Five pitchers combined to make the lead stand up for State College. NYPL All-Star Andre Pallante allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters over three innings in a starting role. Cameron Dulle (2-1) then took over in the fourth and delivered 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball to earn credit for the victory. Dulle yielded one hit and one walk while striking out four batters.

Hector Villalobos then recorded two outs, but loaded the bases in the seventh. Connor Lunn got the Spikes out of that jam with a strikeout and a tremendous diving catch against the tarp by Shane Benes and then pitched a perfect eighth inning.

Jack Ralston (5) then retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out one batter in the process, for his fifth save in as many opportunities.

West Virginia starter J.C. Flowers (0-1) took the loss after giving up three runs, two of them earned, on three hits and a walk while striking out three batters over four innings.

The Black Bears scored both of their runs in the third with a Jared Triolo sacrifice fly and a Kyle Wilkie RBI single. Victor Ngoepe went 2-for-3 with a double to become the only player to produce multiple hits.