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Courtesy of State College Spikes


WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.- The State College Spikes used a five-run eighth inning, with Brady Whalen’s two-run single and a pair of Williamsport Crosscutters errors helping the effort, to vault to a 9-7 win on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.


One night after coming back from four runs down to take a walk-off win in the ninth, the Spikes (5-10) overcame deficits of 3-0 and 7-4 to take a series victory over the Crosscutters (7-7).


Down three runs in the eighth, Wadye Ynfante walked with the bases loaded to start the State College rally. One batter later, Whalen singled to center field to tie the game at 7-7.


Three batters after that, with the bases still loaded, Delvin Perez hit a groundball to third base, but the throw home was dropped by Williamsport catcher Jesse Wilkening and bounced to the backstop to allow two more runs to score.

The error was the second of the frame and fourth of the game for Williamsport.


State College bounced back from a three-run deficit with a three-run third inning as well, with a wild pitch and a two-run single for Stanley Espinal plating the runs.


Espinal, who was the hero of the previous night’s win at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with a pinch-hit, two-run single in the ninth, then knocked in another run with a single in the fifth to round out a 3-for-4 night with three total RBI.


Williamsport notched four runs in the sixth to take the lead. Jonathan Guzman’s RBI triple, Brayan Gonzalez’s run-scoring single, and Wilkening’s RBI double combined with a State College error to bring the Crosscutters the advantage before the Spikes’ last rally.


State College’s five-run eighth inning was its largest single-inning scoring output of the season, and the Spikes pounded out 11 hits as a team, one night after racking up a season-high 13.


Delvin Perez and Lars Nootbaar also recorded multi-hit games for the Spikes.


Reliever Edgar Gonzalez (1-0), the Cardinals’ 2018 sixth-round draft choice out of Fresno State, earned the win for State College with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Gonzalez yielded just one intentional walk and struck out one batter during his mound tenure.


Kevin Hamman (1) then retired six of the last seven batters with two scoreless innings for the save. Hamman gave up just one walk, meaning that Spikes pitchers set down ten of the last 11 Williamsport hitters.

Austin Ross (0-1) took the loss for Williamsport after giving up three runs, one of them earned, on one hit and three walks, two of them intentional, over two innings. Ross struck out two batters in the effort.


Guzman went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and two RBI for the Crosscutters.


The Spikes will now head back home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to begin a three-game series against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians) with a 6:05 p.m. matchup on Sunday. State College will send left-hander Eli Kraus (0-0) to the mound for his first professional start after being drafted by the Cardinals in the 24th round this year.


Mahoning Valley is scheduled to go with left-hander Zach Draper (1-0) on the hill.

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