STATE COLLEGE – Danny Diekroeger smashed his third home run of the year, but the State College Spikes were held to four hits and the Auburn Doubledays provided enough offense to earn a 7-1 win over the Spikes on Saturday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
A crowd of 5,013 fans, the third crowd of 5,000 or more at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park this year, saw Diekroeger send a solo shot to the right field bleachers in the fourth inning. The long ball was the Stanford product’s first of the year at home, and cut the Spikes’ (29-13) deficit to 2-1.
However, Auburn (19-22) picked up a run on Brandon Miller’s RBI single in the fifth inning to regain a two-run lead, and then added four runs in the eighth. The final Doubledays burst included three bases-loaded walks.
Diekroeger put together the only multi-hit game for State College. Kenny Peoples-Walls delivered a double for the Spikes.
Despite the loss, the Spikes maintained an eight-game lead over Williamsport in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, and sit just a game back of Tri-City for the best record in the NYPL.
State College starter Austin Gomber (0-2) took the loss after allowing the first two Auburn runs on five hits and a walk. Gomber struck out five on the night in his first pitching appearance since July 11.
Drew Van Orden (1-3) rebounded from a poor performance against the Spikes earlier in the month to earn his first professional win. Van Orden, the Nationals’ fifth-round draft choice out of Duke, had allowed eight State College runs over 3 1/3 innings on July 8, but yielded just one run over five innings on Saturday. The right-hander gave up four hits and struck out three batters.
Jeff Gardner helped the Auburn offense by going 3-for-4 with a double.
-Spikes Media Relations