University Park, PA--Thanks to a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning by catcher Adrian Nieto, the Auburn Doubledays won their second straight game and improved to 3-0 on the road in a 7-6 win at State College Monday night.
Nieto, whose league leading second home run broke a three-all tie in the seventh, finished 2 for 4 at the plate with four RBIs. He is now 5 for 9 at the plate this year.
Auburn took an early lead in the first inning off of 2010 secound round draft pick Stetson Allie. Second baseman Khayyan Norfork singled, stole second, and scored on Nieto’s RBI double down the right-field line to give the Doubledays an early 1-0 lead.
Control problems by Allie in the third helped the Doubledays increase their lead. After Ortega led the inning off with a bloop single to right, Allie walked three of the next four batters he faced, walking in a run, and putting Auburn up 2-0. A pitching change brought Cliff Archibald out of the Spikes’ pen, but he walked in another run before getting out of the inning, trailing by three runs.
Unfortunately, the Doubledays couldn’t hold the lead. In the bottom half of the third, Kirk Singer led off with a double and scored later in the inning when Samuel Gonzalez singled him home. Auburn starter, Kelvin Lopez, was chased from the game in the fourth after putting men at the corners on a base hit and walk. Alex Kreis came out of the ‘pen but couldn’t prevent the Spikes from scoring, giving up a sac fly to Taylor Lewis and an RBI single by Justin Bencsko that tied the game at three runs apiece.
But just like they did in their two previous wins, the Doubledays found more offense in the late innings. With two outs and the bases clear in the seventh, Russell Moldenhauer launched a double into right-center field and scored a batter later on Adrian Nieto’s second home run of the season, a two-run shot. It was also the second time this year that a Nieto home run gave the Doubledays the lead.
State College would counter with a run in the bottom half, taking advantage of a single, stolen base, and error that led to a sac fly, making it a 5-4 Auburn lead. The Doubledays added two more runs in the eighth when Rick Hughes walked, stole second, and then scored 3 batters later on a fielding error by the State College shortstop, Kirk Singer. Seth Bynum would add a double down the left-field line, scoring Seth Bynum, and putting Auburn up 7-4. The Spikes added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to make things interesting against Manuel Rivera, but he struck out Exicardo Cayones looking for the third out in the ninth, giving Auburn their third win of the year.
Richard Mirowski got the win for Auburn in his first appearance with the Doubledays, pitching two innings of one-hit baseball. Manuel Rivera recorded his first save of the season in the 7-6 win.
- The game started 52 minutes late because of a rain delay.
- The Doubledays will meet State College again tomorrow night at 7:05pm. You can listen to the broadcast live at www.auburndoubledays.com starting with the Doubledays’ Pre-Game Show at 6:50pm.