Niles, OH- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers saw their division lead slip to just 1.5 games after dropping a 4-3 decision to the State College Spikes on Thursday night at Eastwood Field. The Scrappers stranded 11 runners on base and were unable to hold on to an early 3-0 lead.
The Scrappers jumped on top in the bottom of the second inning. Nolan Jones singled to start the inning and moved to second on a single by Jesse Berardi. A Mike Rivera sac bunt would move both runners up a base. Simeon Lucas followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to score Jones for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning the Scrappers would add two more runs on RBI hits from Will Benson and Berardi.
State College would tie the game in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs and a run on the board Yariel Gonzalez doubled to centerfield to score two to tie the game at 3.
Gonzalez struck again in the top of the ninth inning. Once again with two outs and a runner at third, Gonzalez singled to drive in the eventual game winning run.
Francisco Perez started and took a no decision in 5.2 innings. Perez allowed three earned runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out one. Riley Echols followed and went 2.1 innings in relief. He allowed a hit and struck out one. Kyle Nelson (3-2) took the loss in 1.0 inning of relief. Nelson allowed an unearned run on two hits. He struck out one.
The Scrappers and Spikes continue their series on Friday night at 7:05. Sam Hentges will start for Mahoning Valley. Friday is the final Friday Night Fireworks of the season. Call the Scrappers box office at 330-505-0000 to get your tickets or get them online at www.mvscrappers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.