STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes fell behind early, thanks mostly to a seven-run second inning by the Williamsport Crosscutters, and could not dig themselves out of the hole in a 9-1 setback on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Despite the loss, the Spikes (42-25) remained one game ahead of Jamestown for the lead in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division.
Williamsport (32-35) scored seven runs in a single inning for the second time in three nights against State College (42-25) after accomplishing the feat in the first inning on Monday at Historic Bowman Field. The seven runs are the most the Spikes have allowed in one frame this year.
The Crosscutters' surge was helped by four walks issued by State College pitching, including three by starter Ben O'Shea (3-2). Sam Dove started the barrage for Williamsport with a solo home run - his first of the year - to left field to make it a 2-0 game.
Gustavo Martinez landed the crowning blow with a bases-loaded double to bring in three runs for the Crosscutters.
State College came back with a run in the second on Carson Kelly's double and a Luke Voit RBI single, but could not muster any more runs.
The Spikes lost despite outhitting Williamsport, 9-8, with four different players contributing multiple hits. Steven Ramos, the New York-Penn League's batting average leader, bolstered his average to .356 with a 2-for-5 night that included two stolen bases.
O'Shea took the loss after allowing a total of six runs on two hits, four walks and a hit batsman over 1 2/3 innings. The outing was the southpaw's shortest as a Spike, and marked his return to the mound for State College after a stint with Single-A Peoria.
Crosscutters starter Yacksel Rios (5-2) earned the win after yielding the Spikes' lone run on a total of six hits, a walk and a hit batsman over five innings of work. Rios also struck out five batters. Felix Santos (3) finished the game for Williamsport with four shutout innings to grab the save. Santos gave up three hits and a walk while striking out three.
Today the Spikes begin a big two-night series against the Jamestown Jammers (Pittsburgh Pirates) with a makeshift doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. The two teams will complete a game suspended on June 25, with the Spikes leading, 2-0, in the bottom of the second inning. A seven-inning game between State College and Jamestown will then follow that contest.
State College is set to put right-hander Nick Petree (3-1) on the mound in what will technically be a relief effort. Petree replaces Kevin Herget, who started the June 25 game and pitched two scoreless innings. Right-hander Andrew Pierce (1-2) is slated to start the seven-inning second game.
Jamestown will go back to left-hander Cody Dickson (2-0), who started the June 25 game, to begin the completion of the game. Left-hander Jackson Lodge (4-3) gets the ball for game two.