STATE COLLEGE - Wes Freeman and Matt Skirving each homered as the State College Spikes withstood an early flurry from the Lowell Spinners to produce a new season-high single-game run total and sweep the series with an 11-8 win on Monday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Freeman delivered a solo shot to left field to tie the game, 2-2, in the second inning, while Skirving homered off the top of the outfield bleachers in right field to extend the Spikes' lead in the fifth inning. Both players also collected three hits as the Spikes (15-29), who swept a three-game series for the first time since July 1-3, 2010, against the Williamsport Crosscutters.
After Lowell (19-25) scored the first two runs of the game in the first inning, State College responded with a run in the first and Freeman's home run. Seth Schwindenhammer then gave the Spinners a 5-2 lead in the third with his home run over the bleachers off of Spikes starter Trent Stevenson.
The Spikes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, however, matching the team's most runs scored in an inning. State College took advantage of two walks, three passed balls, an error, and a wild pitch in the frame to put up the quintet of runs. In all, the Spikes were helped by five passed balls by Lowell catcher Tim Roberson and three Spinners errors.
Samuel Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with three RBI for the Spikes, while Freeman added two stolen bases in his third straight game as a leadoff hitter.
Orlando Castro (2-0) got the win for State College, allowing three runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings of relief. Joan Montero pitched a one-hit ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Raynel Velette (1-2) took the loss for Lowell, compiling five of the team's seven walks and yielding six runs, four of them earned, on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. Velette also struck out two.
Tuesday, the Spikes head to Burlington, Vt., to start a three-game series with the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics) at Centennial Field. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature State College right-hander Matt Benedict (2-2) on the hill against Vermont righty Seth Frankoff.