UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - In a game that featured the first-ever fog delay in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park history, Ricardo Bautista 's two-run walk-off homer gave the State College Spikes an 8-6 win over the Auburn Doubledays on Tuesday night.
The fog, which rolled in at the beginning of the seventh inning, grew thicker as the inning progressed. After Zach Kirtley doubled to center field through the mist to tie the score at 6-6, the game was halted for seven minutes to allow the fog to clear.
Following the resumption of play, the Spikes (40-33) and Doubledays (28-45) battled until the bottom of the ninth, which Kirtley began with a single before being retired at second on a bunt fielder's choice from J.D. Crowe .
Two batters later, Bautista sent a 3-1 pitch from Auburn reliever Angel Guillen (0-3) deep to right-center field for his fourth home run of the year to give State College its third walk-off win of the season.
The Spikes fell behind early in a back-and-forth game, giving up a pair of runs in the first on a Kameron Esthay single and a Jake Scudder double. State College tied it up in the second on Bryce Denton 's double and Caleb Lopes 's RBI groundout before Esthay sent a 1-0 pitch from Johan Oviedo over the right field bleachers for his fifth homer of the year to make it 3-2, Auburn.
State College jumped ahead in the fourth on RBI singles from Lopes and Joe Gomez, but Auburn plated three runs in the fifth to retake the lead.
Denton then drove in his second run of the game with a single in the fifth to draw the Spikes within one.
The much-anticipated pitchers' duel between State College's Oviedo and Auburn's Seth Romero did not quite materialize. Oviedo allowed all six Doubledays runs, four of them earned, on nine hits and two walks while striking out three batters over five innings.
Romero, the Nationals' 2017 first-round draft choice out of the University of Houston, struck out a career-high 10 batters, one shy of a ballpark record for a visiting pitcher, but gave up five runs on four hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings.
Jesus Cruz (1-0) got the win in relief for the Spikes with a one-hit ninth inning, striking out three batters in the frame.
Guillen went 1 2/3 innings in a losing effort, yielding a total of four hits while recording three strikeouts.
The Spikes now head into their final series of the season as they take on the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies) in a two-game set at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. opener will feature right-hander Jonathon Mulford (2-5) on the hill for State College, while Williamsport is set to send NYPL All-Star left-hander Kyle Young (6-2).
It will be another Half-Craft Wednesday, presented by 93.7 THE BUS, with half-price craft beers available from 6-8 p.m. and half-price regular sodas available all game long. Plus, all Outfield Bleacher seats will be half-price.
The Spikes will bring back a new wrinkle to Wednesday's activities as well with half-price wine and spirits from 6-8 p.m. Fans can enjoy the half-price mixed drinks at Good Hops on the third base side and half-price wine and mixed drinks at Bottom of the 5th on the first base side. Plus, fans have the chance to win big at a Winner Wednesday at the ballpark, presented by the PA Lottery.
In addition, college students across Central PA can enjoy even more value during every remaining Spikes home game with the College 3-2-1 Special. The College 3-2-1 Special offers any college student presenting a valid student ID at ticket and concessions windows $3 off their seat in any ballpark section, excluding Pepsi Picnic Pavilion and suites, plus $2 medium sodas and $1 hot dogs all game long.
The 2017 Spikes season finishes on Thursday with a Jesse James Bobblehead Giveaway presented by The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel and FIREWORKS presented by Penn State Health as part of the 7:05 p.m. game. It will also be the last $1 Beer Thursday of the year, presented by BIG Froggy 101, with 12-oz. domestic drafts just $1 apiece from 6-8 p.m.
Tickets for Wednesday and Thursday's games are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting in person. Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.
Catch all of the action on Wednesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 6:35 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes' radio broadcast can also be heard worldwide through the "Listen Live" link on StateCollegeSpikes.com, provided by the club's flagship radio home, Newsradio 1390 WRSC, as well as the TuneIn Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.