AUBURN, N.Y. - The Auburn Doubledays (30-20) held the State College Spikes (26-25) scoreless over the final seven innings on Thursday, en route to a 5-3 win in front of 1.909 at Falcon Park. The win stretches the Doubledays lead over the Spikes in the Pinckney division to 4.5 games.
Auburn broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth when 3B Carlos Lopez leadoff the inning with a single to right. Lopez advanced to second on a wild pitch and was pushed to third on a single from catcher Craig Manuel. After SS Wes Schill struck out swinging, CF Narciso Mesa grounded into a fielder's choice that retired Manuel at second, but allowed Lopez to score the go-ahead and what turned out to be the winning run.
The Doubledays extended their lead in the seventh when DH Shawn Pleffner, who began the inning by getting a walk, scored from second on a single by LF Estarlin Martinez. It was an RBI single from CF Narciso Mesa that had tied the game at three in the fourth, as his single up the middle drove home Schill from second.
All three State College runs came in the second with the Spikes facing a 2-0 deficit. With one out and a runner at first, catcher Derek Trent lifted a ball over the right field wall for his first homerun of the summer. Back-to-back singles followed to put runners on the corners with still only one out, which allowed 2B Jodaneli Carvajal to drive home the third run of the frame with a groundout to short.
Auburn took its initial two-run lead in the first with a two-out rally that started with a double from Martinez. Martinez's double was followed by a triple from starting RF Brandon Miller, to put Auburn ahead 1-0. Miller scored from third on a bunt single down the first base line by 3B Khayyan Norfork.
RHP Ivan Pineyro (2-1) got the start and win for the Doubledays, going six innings and allowing the three earned runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out five. RHP Travis Henke pitched two scorless innings of two-hit ball to record his third hold of the summer, while RHP Derek Self racked up his 10th save of the year by pitching a perfect ninth. RHP Ryan Haffner (0-1) got tagged with the loss in his first appearance of the summer for State College, as he let up two earned runs on three hits in 2.1 innings.
The Doubledays wrap-up their two-game series with the Spikes on Friday, August 10. Auburn will send LHP Blake Monar (2-3) to the mound for his ninth start of the year. He will take on RHP Adrian Sampson (0-0) for State College. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. There will be a happy hour at the ballpark prior to the game from 5:00pm to 7:00pm that will include special food and beverage discounts. Tickets available by calling the Doubledays box office at 315-255-2489 or by going online to www.auburndoubledays.com.