State College Spikes Notebook: 2014 Week 3

The State College Spikes continue their fast start. Danny Diekroeger is one of the offensive leaders along with Rowan Wick and Alex De Leon. Fernando Baez and Kyle Grana are pitching especially well.

Despite a couple of tough midweek losses, the State College Spikes put together a solid 5-2 week. The Spikes, now 10-5, sit alone atop the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division and are tied with Hudson Valley (TB) for the second best record in the NYPL, behind Brooklyn (NYM) at 11-6.

June 21 at Jamestown (PIT), Win 6-2

Andrew Sohn's first professional home run spurred a four-run sixth inning for State College, propelling the Spikes to a 6-2 victory over the Jammers last Sunday. Jhohan Acevedo and Danny Diekroeger each tripled and Alex De Leon added a double off the wall in the four-run frame as well.

Cody Schumacher started for the Spikes and worked three innings in which he surrendered the only two Jammers' runs on the night. Tyler Bray (W, 1-0) threw two hitless innings and recorded his first professional win, while Nick Lomascolo pitched three scoreless frames and Jacob Booden tossed a scoreless ninth.

June 22 at Batavia (MIA), Win 10-3

De Leon set a Spikes' record by becoming the first player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. The former Jayhawk hit a solo shot in the first, another solo home run in the sixth and a two-run dinger in the seventh. De Leon was one of four Spikes' to go deep on the night as Acevedo, Diekroeger and Rowan Wick all homered as well.

The Spikes also used a full staff effort in Sunday's win. Austin Gomber worked two hitless innings to start the game, Jeff Barkley (W, 1-0) earned his first professional win, allowing two runs in three innings of relief. Jeff Rauh worked two scoreless innings and Josh Lucas added a shutout frame, while Fernando Baez surrendered two runs in one inning of work, the only runs he has surrendered this season in 11 2/3 innings.

June 23 at Batavia, Win 5-3

A late rally at Batavia on Monday capped the Spikes' 4-0 road trip. Down 3-1 heading into the eighth inning, Nick Thompson doubled with two outs and came around to score on a single from Wick. Thompson ripped another double in the ninth inning, plating two-runs, to cap a three-run State College ninth, and a 5-3 Spikes victory.

Luis Perdomo allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in six innings in a no decision, while Kyle Grana (W, 2-0) picked up his second win in two innings of relief, with Booden earning his first save of the year.

June 24 vs. Jamestown, Loss 3-2

Coming off an impressive 4-0 road trip, getting back to State College at 3 a.m. on gameday Tuesday clearly took a toll on the team as the Spikes looked lackluster in their return to Medlar Field.

Diekroeger went 3-for-5 and Ronnierd Garcia pulled a two-run single down the left field line in the sixth, but Jamestown held on for the one-run victory.

Will Anderson scattered six hits over five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, in a game in which he did not have his best stuff. Bray (L, 1-1) took the loss on the night; after narrowly missing with a two-strike changeup, Chase Simpson tripled two pitches later and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from the next Jamestown batter.

June 25 vs. Jamestown, Loss 8-7 (12)

Wick hit a pair of home runs Wednesday, his third multi-home run game of the season, but his four RBI night was not enough get State College back in the win column.

Dewin Perez allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks in a start that went just two innings. Jeff Barkley came on in relief and allowed four runs in a disastrous fourth inning, in which he hit on batter, walked another and allowed a three-run home run.

Despite a 7-2 fourth inning deficit, the Spikes clawed their way back into the game with a run in the fifth, two in the sixth, one in the seventh and one more in the eighth to force extras before Jamestown plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the twelfth.

Three Spikes collected multiple hits on the night as Diekroeger went 2-for-6, De Leon went 3-for-4 and Wick had two hits in four at-bats.

June 26 at Williamsport, Win 3-2

State College fought off a Crosscutters' rally Thursday night to snap its brief two-game skid. Sohn collected two hits and scored two runs while De Leon delivered an RBI double en route to Thursday's 3-2 win.

In his first professional start, Baez pitched in his longest outing of the season, tossing four scoreless frames, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out four.

Trey Nielsen (W, 2-0) worked 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing two runs, one earned, on his way to notching his second win of the season while Grana added 2 1/3 scoreless frames to close out the Spikes win.

June 27 vs. Williamsport, Win 5-2

Acevedo collected three hits in three at-bats, spurring the Spikes 5-2 win over Williamsport. Robelys Reyes also collected three hits in a 3-for-5 effort while Wick went 2-for-2 with a walk.

State College pushed across single runs in the second, third and fifth, before adding two insurance runs in the home half of the eighth on a two-run single from Diekroeger.

Schumacher tossed a solid four innings in another solid start, allowing one run, no earned runs, on three hits. Daniel Poncedeleon (W, 1-0) earned his first professional victory while Bray and Lomascolo received holds in their relief efforts and Lucas picked up his third save of the season.

At the Plate

Rowan Wick earned New York-Penn League Player of the Week honors on Monday for his efforts last week, and continued his torrid pace this week, going 7-for-19 on the week with three more home runs, nine total for the season, and six RBI.

Alex De Leon went 9-for-27 this week, hitting four home runs, collecting six RBI and a hit in five of seven games this week, including his three-home run game at Batavia on 6/22.

Danny Diekroeger hit his second home run of the season, and went 9-for-32 this week. The former Stanford Cardinal knocked in eight runs, including five RBI in the week's final three games.

On the Mound

Fernando Baez put in another solid week. Despite allowing two runs in one inning against Batavia on 6/22, the hard-throwing righty bounced back, tossing four scoreless innings at Williamsport on Thursday.

Kyle Grana tossed 4 1/3 scoreless frames in two relief outings this week. The 6-foot-4, 245 pound, right-hander allowed just two hits while striking out six and walking one in his two appearances.

After shining in his season debut, Dewin Perez had another difficult outing this week, allowing three runs in two innings against Jamestown on 6/25. The Colombian righty struggled with command against the Jammers, throwing more first pitch balls than strikes on his way to walking three batters in two innings.


June 21 – RHP Tyler Bray signed with the Cardinals and was assigned to State College

On the Horizon

State College will wrap up the final two games of its commuter series with Williamsport (PHI) this weekend before taking advantage of the season's first off-day Monday and shipping out to Batavia (MIA) for a three-game midweek series.

Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter @robo_tweets.

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