Spikes defeated by rival Williamsport

State College gives up three home runs

Sentinel photo by RALPH WILSON
Spikes David Vinsky slips past the attempted tag by Crosscutter shortstop Kendall Simmons at second during their game in Williamsport on Sunday.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Kendall Simmons hit a grand slam and Bryson Stott added two home runs as the State College Spikes fell to the Williamsport Crosscutters, 10-3, on Sunday night at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

Stott sent his first home run over the left-center field wall in the opening frame off State College (27-28) starter Junior Gonzalez (2-4) to put the Spikes behind, 1-0. Williamsport (22-34) then added six more runs in the second, capped by Simmons’s slam to center field, to increase the lead beyond the Spikes’ reach.

In the fourth, Stott, the Phillies’ first-round draft choice in 2019, increased his homer count to five this season with a two-run homer to right field off Gonzalez.

State College did show signs of life on offense throughout the game, starting with Stanley Espinal driving in his team-leading 27th run of the season on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly. Pedro Pages also produced a multi-hit game and knocked in a run with his singles in the sixth. Brandon Purcell completed the State College scoring by bringing in Brylie Ware with a single following the latter’s ground-rule double to lead off the seventh.

Purcell and David Vinsky each produced to hits for the Spikes.

Mitch Edwards, Jake Holmes and Johan Rojas also knocked in runs for the Crosscutters.

Gonzalez took the loss for State College after yielding nine runs, eight of them earned, on seven hits and a walk over four innings. The right-hander also struck out one batter.

Williamsport reliever Victor Vargas (1-0) earned credit for the win in his debut with the club. Vargas took over for starter Tyler Burch in the fifth and allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three batters over three innings.

Despite the high score, the game lasted just two hours, 16 minutes, matching the Spikes’ July 2 contest at Batavia for the shortest nine-inning game they have played this season.

The Spikes and Crosscutters will meet for the middle game of their three-game series on Monday night at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Enmanuel Solano (1-7), who leads the Spikes with four quality starts of six or more innings and three or less earned runs against him but is 1-3 in those contests, gets the ball for State College. Williamsport will go with right-hander Brett Schulze (0-0).

The scene will then shifs to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the series finale at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, which starts an eight-game, seven-day homestand for the Spikes that continues all the way to Monday, August 19.