State College Spike Down Cyclones in 11 Innings

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – In the second-longest home game in club history, the State College Spikes lost a five-run lead, but came back to beat the Brooklyn Cyclones, 9-8, in 11 innings on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The four hour, 30 minute affair ended when Dylan Tice was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Josh Swirchak with the winning run. Swirchak led off the frame with a single to right before the Cyclones (6-7) tried to nab the lead runner on consecutive bunt attempts by Danny Hudzina and Anthony Ray, and were unsuccessful each time.

With the win, the Spikes (9-4) held on to first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division. State College has now won seven of its last eight games.

The Spikes had staked themselves to a 7-2 advantage after three, with five first-inning runs powering the offense. Tice drilled a two-run homer to the right field bleachers, his first of the year, off Brooklyn starter Merandy Gonzalez to start the State College scoring.

Ricardo Bautista and Hudzina followed the long ball with RBI singles, and a Brooklyn error allowed the fifth run to come in as 10 batters came to the plate for the Spikes in the frame. The Spikes then got a two-run double from Vince Jackson in the third to extend the lead.

However, the Cyclones were able to stay in the game in the sixth when Arnaldo Berrios drove in two runs with a single to trim the deficit to three. In the seventh, two hits and a walk set things up for a Brandon Brosher grand slam off Spikes reliever Greg Tomchick, the first home run allowed by a State College hurler this year.

The Spikes then tied the game in the seventh on Ryan McCarvel’s RBI single before the late heroics.

Jackson went 3-for-6 with two doubles and a stolen base for the Spikes, while Hudzina and Swirchak also produced multi-hit games.

Brosher added two singles to his seventh-inning slam, while Jay Jabs collected two hits, including a triple.

Both teams went deep into their respective bullpens, with six pitchers used by State College and seven by the Cyclones.

Brooklyn starter Merandy Gonzalez was chased out of the box after two innings, giving up five runs, four of them earned, in the process. Gonzalez yielded seven hits and three walks while striking out one

Brooklyn reliever Alejandro Castro (1-1) took the loss after yielding the winning run in his only inning of work without retiring a batter.

State College starter Steven Farinaro went four innings on the mound, tossing 86 pitches and 51 strikes in the process. Farinaro gave up two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two batters.

Bob Wheatley (1-0) finished the game with two scoreless innings for the Spikes to earn the win. Wheatley allowed one hit and one walk while striking out two batters.

The two teams combined to draw 19 walks, with Brooklyn receiving 10 free passes and State College nine.

The game was 30 minutes shy of the longest in Spikes history, a 15-inning, five-hour contest on August 30, 2014 against Batavia at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Thursday, the Spikes and Cyclones return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park after a brief respite for a 7:05 p.m. matchup to conclude their three-game series. Right-hander Ronnie Williams (1-1) gets the ball for State College, while Brooklyn will turn to left-hander Joel Huertas (0-1).

Fans can enjoy the return of two ballpark traditions on Thursday, starting with the first Bark in the Park Night this season, presented by Metzger Animal Hospital and NEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC.

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