WILLIAMSPORT - The State College Spikes battled the Williamsport Crosscutters into extra innings, and a three-run surge by the Spikes in the eleventh was enough to give them a 5-3 win on Tuesday night at Historic Bowman Field.
State College (42-24) stayed one game ahead of Jamestown in the race for the New York-Penn League's best record and the Pinckney Division lead, despite the Jammers' sweep of Mahoning Valley on Tuesday. The Spikes' magic number to earn their first-ever postseason bid is four.
Carson Kelly knocked in the go-ahead run for the Spikes with a single to left field in the eleventh for his first hit of the game, and an error on the same play allowed another run to score. Luke Voit broke through with an RBI single as well to push the State College lead to 5-2.
Jacob Booden (5-0), in his third inning of relief work, then got the first out of the bottom half of the eleventh before yielding a walk and two base hits that cut the State College advantage to two runs. Jeff Rauh (5) took over for the Spikes and recorded the final two outs to pick up the save and preserve the win.
Williamsport (31-35) took the lead in the first inning when Herlis Rodriguez doubled and scored on an error. State College bounced back with Brett Wiley's RBI single in the sixth. Wiley tied the game again in the eighth inning with a run-scoring groundout before the game went into extra innings.
Steven Ramos was the only Spike with multiple hits, increasing his league-leading batting average to .355.
Arturo Reyes had another outstanding outing for the Spikes, going six innings and allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks. Reyes also notched five strikeouts during his third straight quality start.
Booden got the win after yielding one run on two hits and a walk while striking out two over 2 1/3 innings.
Crosscutters reliever Tyler Buckley (0-2) took the loss after giving up all three State College runs in the 11th, with one of them earned. Buckley allowed a total of three hits and two walks in three innings on the mound, striking out one batter as well.
Drew Anderson started for Williamsport and allowed just two hits while striking out six over five shutout innings before leaving the game.
The loss officially knocked Williamsport out of playoff contention.
Today the two teams head to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to complete their three-game series with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. Left-hander Ben O'Shea (3-1), who returned to the Spikes on Friday after a stint at Single-A Peoria, gets the ball to face Williamsport right-hander Yacksel Rios (4-2). The game will kick off the Spikes' final homestand of the regular season.