STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - In a back-and-forth battle, the State College Spikes took advantage of early wildness by Staten Island Yankees pitching, but the Yankees landed the last blow to take a 6-4 win Thursday at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
Staten Island (21-4) began the 11 a.m. game with a pair of runs on three hits in the first inning against State College (7-20) starter Zack Dodson, who was making his first rehab start with the Spikes from Single-A West Virginia. State College responded with its first bases-loaded hit of the year to tie the game in the second inning, as Matt Skirving singled to center to bring in a pair and make it 2-2.
The Spikes took the lead for the only time in the game in the third inning when Alex Fuselier walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error by Yankees second baseman Angelo Gumbs.
However, Staten Island took back the lead in the bottom half of the frame when Casey Stevenson slugged a two-run home run down to the right field line to make it 4-3, Yankees. State College tied the game when Wes Freeman crossed the plate on an error in the fourth inning, but the Yankees plated a run in the bottom half of the inning on a wild pitch by Vince Payne to take a 5-4 edge. Staten Island then completed the scoring with Stevenson's RBI single in the sixth.
Skirving was the only Spikes player with multiple hits and added two stolen bases as well as two runs batted in. Freeman also stole a base, his third in as many attempts this season.
Fraylin Campos (1-2) took the loss for State College after being charged with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning following a pair of walks. Dodson allowed four runs on six hits in the start, but also struck out five over three innings.
Friday, the Spikes and Yankees finish off their three-game series with a 7 p.m. matchup. State College will send left-hander Mike Jefferson (1-1) to the mound for his third start of the season. The Louisiana Tech alum was rated as the seventh-best pitching prospect in the WAC entering the 2011 MLB Draft.