State College Spikes Notebook: 2013 Week 2

The State College Spikes cooled off in week two but still hold a three-way tie for first place. Starter Chris Perry is among the club's hot hurlers.

After a strong opening week, the State College Spikes have cooled down of late, but are in a three-way tie for first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division with a 6-4 record.

The Spikes dropped Saturday and Sunday's contests after failing to keep the Doubledays and Jammers off the board, before Chris Perry threw seven masterful innings to blank Jamestown on Monday. State College missed two games due to rain this week, but split their two game series in Mahoning Valley to bring their record on the week to 2-4.

June 22 at Auburn, Loss 6-4

State College had won the first two games of their road series with the Auburn Doubledays, but couldn't complete the sweep. State College scored four runs in the fourth inning, but could not keep the Doubledays off the board, and allowed two runs in the fourth and sixth, and single runs in the fifth and seventh.

Carson Kelly launched a three-run homer off of the scoreboard in left-center field, his first with the Spikes, while Steven Ramos was the sole Spikes player to collect multiple hits in the contest.

June 23 vs. Jamestown, Loss 6-5

State College put up five runs over the first four innings, but it wasn't enough, as the Jammers outslugged the Spikes 6-5 in the first of a three game home stand against Jamestown.

The first three batters in the Spikes lineup went a combined 4-for-11, but the bottom two thirds of the order went a combined 2-for-21 on the night.

Jimmy Bosco, Cesar Valera and Bruce Caldwell, the Spikes top three, did nearly all of the club's damage on the evening. Bosco led off the game with a triple, and went 2-for-5 on the night, while Valera collected two RBI on the evening, and Caldwell went deep for the first time as a member of the Spikes.

Juan Bautista struggled again for State College. The right-hander (0-2), lost his second straight start after giving up nine hits and five runs, two earned, in 5 1/3 innings of work.

June 24 vs. Jamestown, Win 6-0

The Spikes avoided their first three-game losing streak on the young season behind a stellar pitching performance from Chris Perry, who earned his first professional win. Perry hurled seven shutout innings, allowing only four base runners on two hits, a walk and an error in his seven frames of work. State College put up three runs in the first inning, and cruised to victory behind Perry's pitching and a strong defensive effort.

While Perry was the star of the evening, Jimmy Bosco hit is first professional home run, and David Washington knocked in two runs, as part of a 2-for-3 performance.

June 25 vs. Jamestown, Suspended due to rain in the second inning.

In the final game of the home stand, the Spikes jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning. But after just one pitch into the second, a thunderstorm surrounded the ballpark. Following a 40-minute delay, complete with lighting and heavy rain, the game was suspended, and will be picked up Aug. 28.

June 26 at Mahoning Valley, Win 6-1

Jimmy Bosco continued his hot streak on Wednesday in Mahoning Valley. Bosco hit for the first cycle in Spikes history, carrying the load offensively for State College. Driving in two, and scoring two, Bosco's offense backed up a strong pitching effort from Spikes starter Ben O'Shea. The big lefty (6' 5", 255 lbs.) pitched six innings of two hit ball, allowing just one earned run, and punching out six.

Carson Kelly also drove in two runs with a timely, bases-loaded single in the third, and Jimmy Reed earned his first professional save, shutting out the Scrappers, and allowing just two hits in the final three innings.

June 27 at Mahoning Valley, Loss 2-0

The Spikes were held to just two hits on Thursday night as the Scrappers dealt the Spikes their first shutout loss of the season.

Cesar Valera's first-inning single and Brian Vigo's double in the sixth were State College's only hits. Vigo's hit was the first of his professional career.

State College pitched by committee, as Nick Petree, who was tagged with the loss, pitched well in his four innings of work. Petree struck out four, and allowed just three hits and one earned run in his four innings on the mound.

Victor De Leon followed Petree with two innings of two-hit, scoreless baseball. Jeff Rauh, allowed only one hit in the final two innings, but that was a solo blast by Mahoning Valley's second baseman, Claudio Bautista.

June 28 at Batavia, Postponed due to rain

Friday night's game in Batavia was postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the game as part of a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games starting Saturday at 5:05 p.m.

Pitching matchups for the games have not yet been determined. State College was originally slated to have right-hander Andrew Pierce (0-0) on the mound Friday. Saturday's initial matchup was to have been Spikes right-hander Juan Bautista (0-2) looking to earn his first win of the young season.

At the Plate

Jimmy Bosco led the way for State College offensively, hitting .500 on the week, going 11 for 22. Bosco also hit two home runs, drove in three, and only struck out once. Bosco raised his average to .385, which is good for fourth best in the New York-Penn League, and is second in slugging with a .744 slugging percentage.

Ronald Castillo also had a strong week, amidst the collective cool-off in State College. Castillo drove in three runs on the week, and has hit safely in every game for State College this season. With a .389 batting average, Castillo just edges out Bosco for third in the league in batting.

On the Mound

Last week's premier hurlers were relievers, but the starters decided to get into the action this week, as Chris Perry and Ben O'Shea were the Spikes best arms in the last full week of June.

Chris Perry (1-0), a 17th-round pick in 2012, held Jamestown to just two hits, one walk and a hit batter in seven innings. In the third inning, the righty picked off the only Jammer to reach second base in the game. The outing was the longest for any State College pitcher since Kyle McPherson went seven innings against Williamsport on September 2, 2009.

Ben O'Shea (2-0) tossed six innings for the win and allowed just one run on two hits and walk while striking out six. The only run O'Shea allowed came in the third inning when the Scrappers' third baseman, Robel Garcia, smashed a solo home run into the left field bullpen.

The bullpen performed quite admirably when called upon, but the starters were the Spikes stars on the mound this week.

Injuries

Josh Lucas and Chase Brookshire were activated from the 7-day disabled list over the last week, and Arturo Reyes was placed on the 7-day disabled list on June 24.

On the Horizon

The Spikes will play a doubleheader on Saturday, made up of two seven inning games, and one more on Sunday in Batavia, before taking on Williamsport in a three-game commuter series, in which the first and last games of the series will be played in Williamsport while the second will be played in State College. The Spikes will round out the week with a three-game series at home against the Batavia Muckdogs.

Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter at @robo_tweets, and on Flickr at flickr.com/photos/robert_davidson.



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