Spikes eliminated from playoff hunt after extra-inning defeat

Crosscutters take 3-2 decision in 10 innings to oust Spikes

Jacob Schlesener tied the Spikes' single-season strikeout record at 81 with seven K's on Saturday. (Steve Manuel)

By State College Spikes | August 31, 2019 11:21 PM

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - The State College Spikes took advantage of Williamsport Crosscutters miscues to come back on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, but Nate Fastnacht's game-ending single in the 10th gave Williamsport a 3-2 win that ended the Spikes' hopes for a spot in the 2019 New York-Penn League playoffs.

The Spikes (38-36) are now two games behind both Batavia and West Virginia in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division with two to play, but lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to both clubs.

State College trailed 2-0 entering the eighth inning but started its comeback after Terry Fuller led off the inning by reaching base on a dropped catch by Williamsport (32-42) left fielder Hunter Hearn . Fuller then moved to second on a walk to Pedro Pages , with a wild pitch sending them to second and third.

Matt Duce drove in Fuller with an RBI groundout to make it 2-1 and send Pages to third base. After back-to-back strikeouts, Dariel Gomez 's fly ball to center field was dropped by Johan Rojas to let Pages home with the tying run.

In the tenth, however, Fastnacht hit a 1-1 pitch down the left field line to score designated runner Nicolas Torres with the winning run.

Fastnacht, who went 2-for-3 on the night, also knocked in the Crosscutters' first run with a single to right in the second. Williamsport scored again in the sixth when Jacob Schlesener 's pickoff throw to first went over the head of Gomez, allowing Jake Holmes to score all the way from first.

Schlesener was dominant throughout much of his relief outing for the Spikes, though. The left-hander tied the Spikes' single-season strikeout record on Saturday, as his seven whiffs increased his season total to 81, matching fellow southpaw Daniel Castano 's performance in 2017. Schlesener yielded one hit, one walk and one hit batsman over 3 1/3 innings, with the lone run he allowed marked as unearned.

Pages reached base three times for State College on one hit and two walks, increasing his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 23, which is the longest for any Spikes player this season. The Florida Atlantic product will be just shy of the franchise record, though, as he does not have enough games remaining this season to match Rowan Wick 's string of 26 straight games reaching base in 2014.

NYPL All-Star right-hander Andre Pallante started and wen the first 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits and a hit batsman while striking out two batters.

Fabian Blanco (3-1) took the loss in relief. Blanco allowed just one unearned run in the tenth and yielded only one hit and one walk over two-plus innings of relief. The right-hander also struck out two batters.

Vinsky and Espinal also produced multi-hit games for the Spikes.

With their postseason hopes dashed, the Spikes now head back home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for their regular season home finale on Sunday against Williamsport. The 6:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Adrian Mardueno (3-2) on the mound for State College against Crosscutters left-hander Junior Tejada (2-1).

The Spikes' 2019 regular season home schedule will go out with a bang on Sunday, as Lion Country Kia presents the chance for one "LuCKy" fan to drive home a winner with a lease on a new Kia as part of LuCKy's Kia Lease Giveaway II, and all fans will enjoy a fantastic FIREWORKS show after the game.

Plus, fans can bring their dogs to the ballpark as well for the fourth and final Bark in the Park Night of the year, presented by Metzger Animal HospitalNEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC and the Centre Daily Times. Complete Bark in the Park policies and procedures are available online at StateCollegeSpikes.com.

The Spikes will also wear their special Bark in the Park Jerseys for the last time, featuring a collage of dog photos submitted by fans earlier this year. The jerseys have been up for bids throughout the 2019 season via the Spikes' partnership with LiveSource, and fans can place their bids through the end of the sixth inning on Sunday via the LiveSource app, available on Google Play and the App Store. Proceeds from the Bark in the Park Jersey Auction will benefit local animal rescues thanks to the Spikes' partnership with Metzger Animal Hospital.

It's also THON Night on Sunday, as Four Diamonds families and THON members will celebrate the start of the drive towards THON 2020. Fans can use the promo code THON when purchasing their tickets to donate a portion of the price to THON.

In addition, college students across Central PA can enjoy even more value with the College Student 3-2-1 Special. The College Student 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 the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion and Geisinger Champions Club, plus $2 regular sodas and $1 hot dogs all game long.

Tickets for Sunday's game are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting the Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-gamedays Monday through Friday.

Fans can also buy and download tickets for Sunday's game by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.

Catch all of the action on Sunday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 5:35 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.

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