The Jamestown Jammers have led the Pinckney Division almost the entire New York-Pennsylvania League season, but right now their lack of hitting recently has become a big concern.
A brilliant pitching duel between three pitchers from State College and Shane Carle and Roberto Espinosa of the Jamestown Jammers took place before the Spikes scored twice in the ninth inning for a 2-0 victory on Friday night at Diethrick Park.
The loss was the second straight for the Jammers (33-22) and left them clinging to a one-game lead over State College (32-23).
Batavia (29-24) is also in the pennant chase and has closed to within three games after beating Williamsport, 5-2.
Carle, who has been a relief pitcher for most of the season, got the start for the Jammers was brilliant, allowing no runs, just four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Espinosa then came in for the final two innings and, after a scoreless eighth inning, ran into problems in the ninth for the Jammers and was saddled with his second loss in three decisions.
Steven Ramos started off the Batavia ninth with a bunt single. Cesar Valera was batting when catcher Andrew Dennis tried to pick off Ramos, but threw wildly allowing Ramos to reach third.
Valera was eventually hit by a pitch from Espinosa and then Brett Wiley broke the scoreless duel with a sacrifice fly to left fielder Justin Maffei.
Espinosa tossed a wild pitch followed by David Washington's single to center field. Valera moved to third on the hit and then stole home on the front end of a double steal with Washington for an insurance run.
The Jammers came back with back-to-back singles by Edwin Escobar and Edwin Espinal, but Jacob Booden (4-0) bore down and retired Andrew Dennis on a popup to second baseman Mason Katz, struck out Justin Maffei and got Adam Frazier to ground out.
It was a frustrating night at the plate for the Jammers as they were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and overall stranded 10 batters. Jamestown, which managed just five singles, threatened to score in the sixth and seventh inning as it left runners on second base against Mitch Harris and Booden.
Jamestown plays State College at 7:05 p.m. today with first place on the line. Then on Sunday, Auburn visits for a 4:05 p.m. game and on Monday for a 7:05 p.m. contest.