LOWELL, Mass. - The State College Spikes ended a 20-inning streak without scoring a run against the Lowell Spinners, but the Spinners manufactured just enough offense late to top the Spikes, 2-1, on Monday night at LeLacheur Park.
State College (23-19) starter Luis Heredia allowed the first run of the game in the third inning. Mike Miller was hit with a pitch with one out, and then stole second base. One batter later, Matthew Gedman followed with an infield single, and Miller then broke for home and scored on Jodaneli Carvajal's throwing error to make it 1-0, Lowell (16-26).
Heredia would allow three hits, two walks and the hit batsman over 4 1/3 innings of work. The 17-year-old right-hander's tenure on the mound represented his shortest outing since his Spikes debut on June 20, but he was not a factor in the decision.
In the seventh inning, the Spikes broke through for their first run of the series. Chris Diaz was hit with a pitch with one out, and Derek Trent's subsequent hit-and-run single sent Diaz to third base. Yhonathan Barrios then dropped down a well-placed suicide squeeze bunt that scored Diaz to tie the game, 1-1.
However, the Spinners would have the last response in the game in the bottom half of the frame. Aneury Tavarez got the inning going for Lowell with a leadoff single, and was bunted to second base. Miller would then follow with a base hit up the middle to plate Tavarez with what would prove to be the game-winning run.
With the defeat, State College was swept in a three-game series for the fourth time in the 2012 season. Three of those have followed an occasion where the Spikes took a three-game sweep of their own from the previous opponent.
Trent went 2-for-3 for the Spikes in just his second appearance in the lineup since returning to the club from the Disabled List on July 18.
Both Samuel Gonzalez and Barrett Barnes also had long fly balls down the left-field line called foul, with Gonzalez's coming with one out in the ninth inning.
Dalton Friend (2-1) took the loss in relief for the Spikes, allowing the Spinners' seventh-inning run on a total of three hits and striking out three over two frames of work. Orlando Castro was the bridge between Heredia and Friend, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings and notching a strikeout in his first Spikes appearance since coming off of the Disabled List two days prior.
Lowell reliever Jacob Dahlstrand (1-2) picked up the win despite allowing the Spikes' game-tying run. Dahlstrand gave up three hits and two walks while hitting two batters and striking out one over five innings backing up starter Pat Light. Light struck out four hitters in two innings of work. Braden Kapetyn (2) yielded two walks, but pitched two shutout frames for the save.
Miller reached base three times for the Spinners, collecting a pair of hits and stealing a base as well.
After an off day on Tuesday, the Spikes return home on Wednesday to start a six-game homestand with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay Rays) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. 19-year-old right-hander Clay Holmes (4-1), whose 0.80 ERA is the lowest in the New York-Penn League, will get the ball for State College. Hudson Valley's starter for the first game of a three-game series is as yet unannounced.