STATE COLLEGE - A five-run eighth inning spelled the end of the State College Spikes' 10-game home winning streak as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers took a 7-2 decision on Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
However, State College (31-23) did not lose any ground in the New York-Penn League playoff races. With losses by both Jamestown and Lowell on Thursday, the Spikes remained in the New York-Penn League Wild Card lead by a half-game and stayed just two games back of Jamestown heading into a series with the division leaders this weekend.
Brett Wiley had another big game for the Spikes with three hits, including a run-scoring triple in the fifth inning. Wiley also added a walk to reach base four times on the night. Jimmy Bosco added a double for State College, with an error on the play allowing the tying run to score in the sixth.
Mahoning Valley's (23-30) big frame broke open a game that was tied, 2-2, going into the eighth. The Scrappers' surge was keyed by Josh McAdams's two-run double to extend the margin to three. Manuel Boscan followed with a two-run single on a ball that landed between three infielders to finalize the score.
Jhonny Polanco (3-3) took the loss in relief for the Spikes. Polanco gave up four runs on two hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings, striking out one in the process. State College starter Arturo Reyes delivered a quality outing, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings of work.
Scrappers reliever Kyle Blair (1-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Blair yielded two hits and two walks while recording two strikeouts. Mahoning Valley starter Caleb Hamrick gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits, three walks and two hit batsmen over six innings on the mound.
State College left 13 runners on base in the game, including five innings in which they stranded multiple runners. The Spikes had not lost a home game since July 22 before Thursday's contest.
Friday, the Spikes begin a big road series with the Jamestown Jammers - and their own former Major League Baseball parent Pittsburgh Pirates - at Russell Diethrick Park. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Willy Paulino (2-2) toeing the slab for State College, with Jamestown sending right-hander Shane Carle (1-0) to the hill. The Spikes and Jammers face each other a total of eight times, including the completion of a game suspended on June 23, over the final 21 games of the season.