Spikes nearly finish epic comeback

Down 8-0 and 12-4, Spikes force extras but fall to Doubledays

(Steve Manuel)

By State College Spikes | July 10, 2017 12:32 AM ET

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Down eight runs on two different occasions in the game, the State College Spikes rallied to score six runs, five with two outs, in the ninth inning to force extra frames against the Auburn Doubledays on Sunday night. However, the Doubledays pulled out a 13-12 victory over the Spikes in 12 innings at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The Spikes (11-9) trailed 8-0 as late as the fifth inning, and fell behind 12-4 in the eighth. However, Zach Kirtley 's two-run double in the ninth, his second of the game, tied it up at 12-12.

Auburn (7-13) would score the only run of extra innings on Kameron Esthay 's one-out solo homer in the top of the 12th.


Ricardo Bautista 's two-run homer to right, his second of the year, started the Spikes' comeback in the eighth. State College then started its ninth-inning surge with an RBI single from Dennis Ortega , and then got a two-out bases-loaded walk from Yariel Gonzalez Imedo Diaz stepped up after Gonzalez and singled in another run, with a wild pitch then scoring Bautista to draw the Spikes within two.

The four hour, 46 minute game was the second-longest by time in Spikes history, and the 25 combined runs for both teams were the most ever in a Spikes game. Only a five-hour, 15-inning, 12-11 win over Batavia on August 30, 2014 was a longer contest for the Spikes.

The Doubledays jumped out to the early lead thanks to a pair of runs in the first and six more in the third. Kirtley's first two-run double, followed by a Josh Lopez RBI single, got the Spikes on the board in the fifth.

Lopez then brought in another run on the seventh-inning fielder's choice, but four Auburn runs crossed the plate in the eighth to bump the margin back to eight before the Spikes' rally.

Scott Hurst produced his second consecutive three-hit game to aid the State College cause.

Eight different pitchers appeared for the Spikes, with Andrew Summerville recording six strikeouts and allowing just one hit over three innings of relief. Spencer Trayner (2-1) took the loss after yielding Esthay's home run and a total of two hits over 1 2/3 innings. Trayner struck out two batters in the effort.

Auburn sent six pitchers to the mound, with Max Engelbrekt (1-1) tossing the last 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Engelbrekt gave up one hit and one walk while striking out three batters.

Randy Encarnacion had three hits for the Doubledays.

After an off day on the New York-Penn League schedule Monday, the Spikes will embark on a six-game road trip to visit the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros) and Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets). The jaunt begins with a 7:00 p.m. matchup against the ValleyCats on Tuesday at Joseph Bruno Stadium. State College will send right-hander Anthony Shew (2-1) to the mound against an as yet unnamed Tri-City starter.

Catch all of the action on Tuesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Health, at 6:45 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Joseph Bruno Stadium. 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.

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