State College Spikes Notebook: 2013 Week 9

The Cardinals' New York-Penn League affiliate is just one game out of the division lead. Brett Wiley is swinging a hot bat.

A big week from Brett Wiley keyed State College's two wins, bringing their record to 32-23, and has the Spikes just one game back of the Jamestown Jammers for the lead in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

August 10 at Brooklyn, Loss 2-1

Willy Paulino had another wild day, allowing three hits, three walks and three hit batsmen, Paulino gave up both runs in his erratic 3 1/3 innings of work Sunday.

Nick Petree came on in relief and kept Brooklyn off the board, but Carson Kelly's RBI groundout in the sixth was all the scoring the Spikes could muster.

August 11 at Brooklyn, Loss 9-2

State College took the initial lead when Steven Ramos' third-inning bunt single turned into a trip around the bases thanks to two errors. But Brooklyn scored four runs in the bottom of the third against starter Jimmy Reed to take the lead, and never looked back, adding runs in the fifth and sixth before putting the game away with a three-run eighth with Mike Aldrete on the mound.

Alex De Leon drove in the other Spikes run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Luis Perez and Mason Katz each contributed doubles to the State College offensive cause.

Ronald Castillo made his first appearance for the Spikes since July 21 after he was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day. Castillo started in left field and batted ninth, going 0-for-1 with a strikeout before being replaced in the fourth inning.

August 13, NY-PL All-Star Game

State College Spikes representatives Ramos and Jimmy Bosco were the only players to collect multiple hits in the 2013 New York-Penn League All-Star Game, but it wasn't quite enough. The American League squad topped the Spikes' National League team in the bottom of the ninth inning, 4-3, on Tuesday night at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.

State College's David Washington also started for the NL squad at first base, but went 0-for-3 at the plate. Shortstop Cesar Valera entered the game in the sixth inning, and went 0-for-1. Valera also committed an error in the field that opened the door for the AL to score the winning run in the ninth inning.

Castillo, who had been named a starter, did not appear due to the shoulder injury from which he just recently recovered.

August 14 vs. Mahoning Valley, Win 2-1

Brett Wiley's single in the bottom of the ninth gave the Spikes their tenth straight win at home and fifth walk-off victory of the season Wednesday.

Wiley knocked in Ramos with his RBI single to left-center. Ramos set the table with his single to shallow left-center, then stole second. Valera then singled to the left side of the infield to move Ramos to third and set up the game-winner.

Ramos went 3-for-4 to up his league-leading average to .364. The center fielder also scored the Spikes' first run of the night in the first inning and stole two bases on the night. Valera and Wiley both produced multiple hits for State College as well.

Juan Bautista kept the Spikes within reach with his best performance of the season. The Spikes starter went seven innings and allowed just one unearned run on five hits and one walk while striking out four. Bautista retired 11 straight batters at one point and faced one batter over the minimum during his final five frames.

August 15 vs. Mahoning Valley, Loss 7-2

A five-run eighth inning spelled the end of the State College Spikes' ten-game home winning streak Thursday.

Wiley had another big game with three hits, including an RBI triple in the fifth. He also added a walk to reach base four times on the night. Bosco doubled, with an error on the play allowing the tying run to score in the sixth.

Mahoning Valley's big frame broke open a game that was tied, 2-2, going into the eighth.

Jhonny Polanco took the loss in relief for the Spikes. Polanco gave up four runs on two hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings, striking out one in the process. State College starter Arturo Reyes delivered a quality outing, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings of work.

State College left 13 runners on base, including five innings in which they stranded multiple runners. The Spikes had not lost a home game since July 22 before Thursday.

August 16 at Jamestown, Win 2-0

The Spikes did not get a runner past first base through the first eight innings, but scored their only two runs of the game in the ninth to beat Jamestown 2-0 on Friday.

Ramos keyed the Spikes' late surge by beating out a bunt single with a headfirst slide into first. Jammers catcher Andrew Dennis then tried to pick off Ramos, but threw the ball into right field, sending Ramos to third. After Valera was hit by a pitch, Wiley knocked in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly.

Valera added an insurance run as he moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on David Washington's single up the middle, and took home on a double steal.

Spikes reliever Jacob Booden put the first two Jamestown runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but escaped with an infield fly rule putout, a strikeout and a groundout to preserve the shutout win for State College.

Booden struck out five batters and gave up two hits over 2 2/3 innings of work to get credit for the victory. Paulino started the game, going five innings, allowing two hits and three walks while also striking out five.

Heating up

David Washington. The All-Star first baseman leads the league in RBI with 37. Washington is also tied for second in home runs with eight and is tied for the Spikes' single-season home run record.

Mitch Harris. The right-handed reliever with the Navy history is allowing opposing hitters just a .165 average. Harris' ERA on the season is a stellar 0.35 (one earned run in 25 2/3 innings).

Cooling down

Steven Ramos - Only because the league's leading hitter (.358 with a 26-point lead) has been so hot all season could a .316 week (6-for-19) be considered cooling off for the outfielder.

Walks will haunt. With 23 free passes issued each this season, Willy Paulino (in 43 1/3 innings) and Juan Bautista (49 IP) are just two off the league lead in this unenviable category.

Transactions

August 11 – Ronald Castillo activated from 7-day DL

On the Horizon

State College will finish up its two-game set in Jamestown Saturday before coming home to State College for seven of the next eight.



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

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