Nicacio Struggles From Mound As Spikes Fall To Scrappers


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Brady Whalen drove in four runs to help lead a State College Spikes comeback, but the Mahoning Valley Scrappers grabbed a 9-7 win on Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Whalen went 2-for-4 and brought in the Spikes’ (6-11) first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field in the opening frame. The Vancouver, Washington native then smashed a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double to right-center field in the fourth to bring State College within a run.

The Spikes started to make up a 7-2 deficit with a four-run fourth inning in which Whalen’s two-bagger served as the linchpin. State College then tied the game in the fifth when Stanley Espinal singled and came in to score on Matt Duce’s sacrifice bunt and a subsequent Scrappers (12-4) error.

Mahoning Valley regained the lead in the sixth, though, when Tyler Freeman tripled and stole home on an attempted appeal play at second base. The Scrappers tacked on another run on Richie Palacios’s RBI single in the ninth to seal the victory.

Lars Nootbaar drove in the Spikes’ second run with an RBI single in the first. Walker Robbins went 2-for-4 with a double to help the State College offensive effort.

Spikes reliever Troy Montemayor (0-1) allowed just one run on three hits over three innings, but he ended up taking the loss. Montemayor struck out two batters in the effort.

Starter Winston Nicacio faced just five batters in the first inning before being lifted. Nicacio was charged with four runs on two hits, a walk and two hit batsmen.

Mahoning Valley reliever Dakody Clemmer (2-0) picked up the win after allowing one unearned run on three hits while striking out four over 2 2/3 innings. Erik Algarin (3) pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout for the save.

Freeman went 3-for-4 and scored four runs for Mahoning Valley. Clark Scolamiero went 2-for-5 with four RBI.

The Spikes and Scrappers will finish up their three-game series with a 7:05 p.m. rubber match at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Tuesday night. Right-hander Angel Rondon (0-2) is set to make the start for State College. Mahoning Valley will go with right-hander Luis Oviedo (2-0), who has earned the first two New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week honors of the 2018 season.

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