UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Yariel Gonzalez punched a single up the middle in the 11th inning to give the State College Spikes a 5-4, walk-off win over the Vermont Lake Monsters on Friday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Gonzalez's game-ending hit was the fifth time he reached base in the game, and finished the contest just 14 minutes before midnight in front of 4,853 fans to give the Spikes (28-23) their first walk-off win of the year.
State College had to battle to stay alive after allowing a run in the top of the tenth on Payton Squier's RBI single. Trailing 4-3 with the bases empty and two outs, Gonzalez then provided a single for his first of two hits on the night. After a Brandon Benson walk, Wood Myers then tied it up with a single to right to score Gonzalez.
In the 11th, Matt Davis led off by getting hit with a pitch, and moved to second on J.D. Crowe 's bunt single. Davis then went to third on a fielder's choice, and after Zach Kirtley was hit with a pitch to load the bases, Gonzalez notched the two-out walk-off hit two batters later.
State College took the lead with a trio of two-out runs in the third as Benson's infield single and an accompanying error plated two runners. Myers then knocked in his first run with a single in the same frame.
Vermont (27-24) then drew within a run in the fifth as Kevin Murrell took home on a double steal. NYPL All-Star Greg Deichmann then tied the game with a solo home run to right field, his third of the year, in the seventh.
Spencer Trayner <(4-1) finished the game with 2 2/3 innings of relief work for the win. Trayner allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out two batters, including a whiff from Deichmann with the go-ahead run on third in the 11th.
Lake Monsters reliever Bryce Conley (0-2) took the loss after yielding the winning run. Conley entered the game in the 11th and recorded two outs while allowing two hits and recording one strikeout.
Crowe finished the night with three hits for the Spikes, while Gonzalez added a stolen base to his already-impressive evening.
The game was delayed 27 mintues by rain at the outset, with an 18-minute mechanical delay between the 10th and 11th innings.
The Spikes stayed three games back of West Virginia for the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division lead, while drawing to within a game-and-a-half of the NYPL Wild Card lead currently held by Mahoning Valley.
Saturday, the Spikes and Lake Monsters meet in the middle game of their three-game series. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature NYPL All-Star left-hander Andrew Summerville (3-0) on the mound for State College, while left-hander Ivan Andueza (6-2) gets the ball for Vermont.
Fans will be looking forward to seeing Tim "Wild Thang" Lepard and Team GhostRiders once again, as the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo comes back to State College for Saturday's game. The return of this unique act, featuring monkeys riding dogs herding sheep in an unforgettably entertaining experience, will thrill fans of all ages.
It's also a Scratch n' Win Saturday, presented by P.J. Harrigan's at the Ramada Conference & Golf Hotel and WOWY 97.1, where every fan is a winner as each fan receives a scratch-off card with a great prize or P.J. Harrigan's discount on it.
After the game, kids can run the bases thanks to Wonderland Charter School.
Tickets for the games on Saturday and Sunday, as well as every game remaining on the Spikes' 2017 home schedule, 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 Saturday 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.