Auburn Doubledays pitcher Nick Raquet, a State College grad and Boalsburg native, tossed six impressive innings Monday afternoon to guide his team to a 4-1 victory over the State College Spikes — which mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention.
The Spikes opened the day two games behind in both the Pinckney Division and the wildcard race. But with just three games now left in the season, and with Monday sweeps from Hudson Valley and Mahoning Valley, the defending New York-Penn League champ Spikes are out of the 2017 postseason.
Raquet, who made his second start this season at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, remained on top of his game. In six innings of work, the Washington Nationals’ third-round draft pick scattered five hits while allowing no earned runs and no walks. He struck out one, hit one and watched one run cross the plate in the sixth, when a fielding error advanced the runner.
The hometown kid picked up the pitching win to improve his record to 3-2. He holds a 2.45 ERA on the season.
With the Auburn win, the Doubledays are now 28-44 while the Spikes are 39-33.
Player of the game
Auburn pitcher Nick Raquet: This isn’t hometown bias at work; Raquet earned this honor. Auburn never scored more than one run in a given frame, and no batter finished with more than a single RBI. Raquet was solid from beginning to end, as 54 of his 70 pitches went for strikes. He showed good command and walked off the mound with a 3-1 lead.
Play of the ... season?
Triple play: In one of the rarest plays in baseball, Spikes’ second baseman Zach Kirtley and first baseman Matt Davis combined to turn a triple play Monday — the first in Spikes history — in the sixth inning. With runners on first and second, Kirtley snagged a line drive off Auburn’s Nic Perkins, stepped on second base to get the second out and then threw to Davis at first to get the third out.
Auburn at State College, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday: The Spikes’ Johan Oviedo (2-2, 4.25 ERA) is scheduled to take on the Doubledays’ Seth Romero (0-1, 4.02 ERA). Tuesday will also serve as the promotion “Cinco de Septiembre,” a ballpark fiesta.