BURLINGTON, Vt. - Ryan Hafner earned his first professional victory with five strong innings on the mound and Taylor Lewis collected three hits, including a triple, as the State College Spikes held on for a 5-3 win over the Vermont Lake Monsters on Wednesday night at Centennial Field.
Hafner (1-3), the Pirates' 17th-round draft choice in 2010, allowed two runs, one of them earned, in the first inning, but no more after that. The Missouri native yielded a total of five hits and two walks while striking out two in the win.
Lewis, the Pirates' 10th-round pick in this year's draft, started off a four-run fourth for the Spikes (16-30) with his sixth triple of the season to right-center field. The University of Maine product is now tied with Auburn's Hendry Jimenez for the New York-Penn League lead in three-baggers.
Walker Gourley knocked in Lewis with a RBI single after the triple to score the Spikes' first run. Wes Freeman then produced the first of his two doubles to bring in Gourley and tie the game, 2-2. After Alex Fuselier reached base on an error while laying down a sacrifice bunt, Alex Dickerson hit a sacrifice fly to left that brought in Freeman and made it 3-2. Matt Skirving then completed the fourth-inning burst with a run-scoring single of his own.
State College added a run in the seventh when Lewis came home on a double play ball, but Vermont (24-21) responded with another run in the bottom of the same inning on Chih-Fang Pan's RBI double. Vince Payne, Josh Poytress, and Emmanuel De Leon (3) would close the door after that, though, and preserve the win for Hafner. De Leon earned his third save in as many opportunities with a one-hit ninth inning.
Gourley also had multiple hits for the Spikes, who have won four of their last five games and took a victory at Centennial Field for just the second time in franchise history.
Lake Monsters starter J.C. Menna (2-4) took the loss after allowing four runs, three of them earned, on five hits while striking out two over five innings of work. Menna, who came into the game walking the second-most batters in the New York-Penn League, did not issue a free pass on the night.
Thursday, the Spikes and Lake Monsters finish off their three-game series with a special 11:05 a.m. game at Centennial Field. It will be the second time this season that State College has started a game in the morning, after playing an 11 a.m. game at Staten Island earlier this year. The Spikes will have left-hander Mike Jefferson (1-1) on the mound to start, while the Lake Monsters will go with right-hander Tyler Vail (1-2).