State College (36-25) started its eighth-inning rally with singles by Jhohan Acevedo and Robelys Reyes, followed by a Danny Diekroeger sacrifice fly. After Nick Thompson’s infield single, Alex De Leon walked to load the bases. Jake Stone then knocked in a run with his single down the left-field line, and an error on the play scored another run to give the Spikes a 3-1 lead.
Following an intentional walk to Brett Wiley, Brian O’Keefe then increased the advantage with another bases-loaded single, with another error making it 5-1, Spikes. Raffield’s fourth home run of the year, a towering shot to right on a 3-2 pitch, finished off the scoring.
The surge bolstered a strong State College pitching effort, starting with Daniel Poncedeleon. Poncedelon gave up just one run on two hits and two walks while striking out two over a career-long six innings of work.
Josh Lucas (1-1) then earned the win with two perfect innings of relief, including two strikeouts. Jacob Booden finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two as well. The Spikes did not allow a baserunner after the fourth inning.
Diekrogers went 2-for-3 and was hit by a pitch, while De Leon reached base three times on a hit and two walks. O’Keefe also produced a multi-hit game with a double, Wiley added a triple, and Acevedo went 2-for-4 for the Spikes.
Auburn (26-33) took the lead in the third inning when Destin Hood, on rehab assignment from Triple-A Syracuse, doubled in a run.
Doubledays reliever Mario Sanchez (5-1) took the loss after being charged with six runs on four hits and two walks, one intentional, while striking out two over 1 1/3 innings. Starter Robbie Dickey tossed five shutout innings for Auburn, yielding four hits and striking out four batters.
The Spikes now lead second-place Jamestown, and have two games in hand on the Jammers, with 15 games remaining on the NYPL slate.
Saturday, the Spikes and Doubledays meet in the second-game of their three-game series at Falcon Park. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Trey Nielsen (3-2) on the mound for State College against Auburn right-hander Anderson Martinez (1-1).
-Spikes Media Relations
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