Late surge, Hipwell's homer not enough for Spikes vs. W'port

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – After a seven-run fourth inning gave the Williamsport Crosscutters a big lead, the State College Spikes fought back to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning before falling, 8-6, on Friday night at Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

Trailing 8-2 entering the eighth, the Spikes (14-14) started their late flurry as Hayden Moore scored on a wild pitch in that inning. In the ninth, State College then loaded the bases on two walks sandwiched around an A.J. Salgado double through the left side, then scored two runs on Brock Wills’s single to right field to make it 8-5.

Tyson Bass’s fielder’s choice up the middle then brought in Knox Preston to draw the Spikes within two runs, but Jimmy Romano (4) struck out Cam Bufford to end the game.

State College got on the board in the first when Wills crossed the plate on a wild pitch before Robert Hipwell cranked a 380-foot solo shot over the left-center field wall in the second for his first home run as a Spike.

Williamsport (17-7) then tallied a run in the third before their seven-run outburst an inning later.

Crosscutters starter Zachary Murray (5-1), the reigining MLB Draft League Pitcher of the Month for June, earned the win after allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out seven batters over five innings. Jaren Warwick (2-1) took the loss for the Spikes.

The game was the Spikes' first without Samuel Benjamin, who departed to start early preparations for the MLB Draft from June 14-16 while holding the MLB Draft League lead in 10 different offensive categories.

The Spikes now return home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Saturday to start a two-game series with the Frederick Keys at 6:35 p.m. Saturday’s matchup also starts a seven-game homestand for the Spikes through next Saturday, July 13 that will finish out the first half of the MLB Draft League schedule. Right-hander Ben Harris (2-1) is now slated to start for State College, while Frederick will go with right-hander Tom Sun (0-0).

FIREWORKS will light up the skies over Happy Valley after the game on Agriculture Appreciation Night, with plenty of activities in partnership with Happy Valley Agventures. Free Penn State Berkey Creamerymilk will be available to the first 500 attendees on Saturday courtesy of U.S. Congressman and U.S. Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson.

Sunday, the first 500 fans will receive a Spikes Team Autograph Poster presented by Fullington Bus Company, with a Team Autograph Session prior to the game.

For tickets to all of the home games during the seven-game stretch from July 7-13, as well as every remaining home game on the Spikes’ 2024 schedule at the new-look Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, fans can call 814-272-1711 or by visiting the Spikes Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with hours during home game days of 9 a.m. to the end of the game Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to the end of the game on Saturday and Sunday.

Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets 24/7, and view the 2024 promotional schedule, by visiting

Catch all of the action of the Spikes’ game on Saturday via the Spikes Radio Network presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics with Steve Jones and Joe Putnam on the call. The broadcast starts with Spikes Live! presented by Mount Nittany Health on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at approximately 6:35 p.m.

The game can be viewed worldwide on the MLB Draft League streaming platform powered by Pixellot at and the Watch section of the MLB app by scrolling the Watch Now tab, along with the “Listen Live” link on and the TuneIn Radio app.