Baseball: Spikes Outslug Monsters 10-9

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Delvin Perez went 4-for-4 including a two-out, two-run ground-rule double in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the State College Spikes a 10-9 New York-Penn League victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters Thursday night at Medlar Field.

Vermont led 9-8 and retired the first two batters of the eighth, but then a walk, single and wild pitch put two runners in scoring position. Perez then lined a 2-1 pitch from Bryce Nightengale (0-1) over the head of leftfielder Payton Squier that one bounced into the leftfield stands to give the Spikes the 10-9 lead. Marcos Brito led off the ninth with an infield single for the Lake Monsters, but a Squier double play and strikeout ended the game.

Earlier Jose Rivas gave the Lake Monsters a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a two-run homer just inside the leftfield foul pole. It was the ninth home run of the season for Vermont, while Rivas was the seventh different Lake Monster with a home run.

State College, which was held to just two hits in a shutout loss on Wednesday, built a 6-2 lead with four runs on five hits off Lake Monsters starter Rafael Kelly in the second and two more runs on three hits in the third. Vermont got a run back in the fourth on three straight singles from Alfonso Rivas, Jonah Bride and Jameson Hannah.

The Lake Monsters rallied to take an 8-6 lead with five runs in the top of the fifth, the seventh time that Vermont has scored five or more runs in an inning this season. Four of the five runs came on one play as Jonah Bride lined a bases loaded two-run single to leftcenter, then Alfonso Rivas and Bride scored on a pair of throwing errors on the play. Vermont added another run in the inning on a Jose Rivas sacrifice fly.

The runs kept coming as State College got a sacrifice fly in bottom fifth before Vermont restored two-run lead in top sixth as Noah Vaughan led off with a triple and Alfonso Rivas later had a two-out RBI single for an 9-7 Lake Monsters advantage. The Spike again cut deficit to one with a run in bottom sixth before scoring the tying and go ahead run on the Perez double in the eighth.

Alfonso Rivas and Bride each had three hits for the Lake Monsters, the second straight three-hit night for Rivas and Bride 8-for-13 at the plate over the last four games. Jose Rivas was 2-for-3 with a double, homer and three RBI, while Jameson Hannah 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI as Vermont (13-13) recorded 13 hits for the second straight game (40 hits in last three games raising team average from .221 to .239).

Along with Perez’s 4-for-4, four other Spikes had two hits in the State College 14-hit attack. Edwin Figuera was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI, while Joe Gomez 2-for-3 with two RBI. Cory Malcom (1-0) tossed two hitless innings of relief for the win, while Kevin Hamann a scoreless ninth to earn fourth save for State College (11-15).

The Lake Monsters and Spikes wrap up the three-game series at State College 7:05 pm Friday before Vermont heads to Connecticut for a three-game series Saturday-Monday. Lake Monsters return home to Centennial Field for a three-game series vs. Staten Island starting Tuesday.