STATE COLLEGE — The State College Spikes are still in search of their first win of the season, as they fall to the Auburn Doubledays, 4-1, Friday night at Field at Lubrano Park.
Chad Rice tripled in the seventh inning to plate the Spikes’ lone run. State College center fielder David Rubinstein also kept the game close with a tremendous over-the-shoulder snag off a John Del Campo fly ball at the center field warning track.
State College (0-3) also got more offensive contributions from first baseman Calvin Anderson. The Seattle native went 2-for-4 with his second double of the year to extend his average to .462 on the year.
The crowd of 3,689 was the 43rd time that a crowd that size packed Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Legendary former Penn State defensive coordinator and Second Mile founder Jerry Sandusky and former Penn State defensive end and Detroit Lion Justin Kurpeikis were on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitches of the game.
Auburn (4-0) took the lead in the third when Chris Hopkins tripled to right field to score Steve Condotta. Auburn extended its lead in the fourth with an RBI single by Condotta. In the fifth, David Cooper doubled home Hopkins to make it a three-run Doubledays lead, and Adam Amar’s sacrifice fly completed the Auburn scoring one batter later to give Auburn a 4-0 lead.
Rice’s seventh-inning triple drove in Jeremy Farrell to give the game its final tally. Farrell also had a scary moment in the ninth when, for the second time in four days, he was hit directly in the head with a pitch. Farrell, who went 2-for-3 in the game, left the field under his own power.
Joel Carreno (1-0) earned the win for Auburn, going four innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out seven. Justin Cryer picked up his second save for the Doubledays with a one-hit ninth.
Maurice Bankston (0-1) took the loss for State College, although he allowed only one earned run on one hit and two walks. The right-hander struck out four in 3.2 innings.
Saturday night, the Spikes and Doubledays meet again in the second game of a three-game set. The first 2,500 fans through the gates at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park get a 2008 Spikes promotional poster.