The State College Spikes had their 10-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday, but responded by winning the final two games of the week, moving to 20-8 on the year, 3 ½ games ahead of Batavia for first place in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division.
July 5 vs. Jamestown (MIA), Win 3-2
Back-to-back doubles from Rowan Wick and Jake Stone, and an RBI single from Andrew Sohn, netted the Spikes a two-run lead in the second, which State College carried into the sixth inning last Saturday.
Austin Gomber was looking for his first professional win, but left after four shutout innings. Then the Jammers spoiled Gomber’s solid start when they tied the game with a pair of runs in sixth off Jeff Rauh.
Jamestown handed the game right back to State College in the eighth though. After Wick and Stone drew back-to-back leadoff walks, Stone moved to third on a throwing error and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Wick went 2-for-3 and was the only State College player with more than one hit. Gomber walked four and allowed four hits, but stranded six runners. Jacob Booden (W, 1-1) worked two scoreless innings and Josh Lucas earned his fifth save with a perfect ninth.
July 6 vs. Jamestown, Win 5-2
The Spikes scored five unanswered runs to overcome an early two-run deficit Sunday. Jake Stone got the Spikes on the board with an RBI single in the third, and Brian O’Keefe put the Spikes ahead with a two-run blast in the fourth, his first of the year.
Coming off a 10 strikeout performance, Will Anderson allowed just two runs over seven innings on five hits with three strikeouts. Tyler Bray and Kyle Grana (S, 2) each worked a scoreless inning in relief.
Danny Diekroeger and Stone were both 2-for-4 with a run scored on the night.
July 7 at Auburn (WSH), Win 3-2
Dewin Perez (W, 2-1) earned the win on Monday, in his best start since the first week of the season. Perez allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings on five hits, no walks and five strikeouts.
All five runs came in the third inning, on two swings of the bat. Nick Thompson drove in all three Spikes’ runs on a three-run homer to left, his second of the year, and the Doubledays scored both of their runs on a two-run double in the home half of the third.
Trey Nielsen relieved Perez and allowed just one hit over 2 2/3 innings, while striking out one, and earning his first save of the season.
July 8 at Auburn, Win 10-2
State College pushed its win streak to seven with an impressive offensive outburst in Auburn on Tuesday.
The Spikes opened the scoring with a four-run second thanks to a two-run home run from Wick, his 12th of the year, and a two-run single from Jhohan Acevedo. State College added to its lead with a five-run fifth, putting the game out of reach. Acevedo knocked in two more runs on a single and Robelys Reyes hit a three-run home run to left, his first of the season. Thompson capped the Spikes ten-run game with an RBI double in the sixth.
The Spikes were also equally effective on the mound. Fernando Baez allowed just two hits and one run in five innings to earn his first win of the season (1-0). The hard throwing righty walked three and struck out seven. Nick Lomascolo worked two scoreless inning in relief and Grana tossed one shutout frame. Booden allowed one run on two hits in one inning. The four Spikes pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the night.
July 9 vs. Brooklyn, Loss 4-0
The Spikes’ seven-game win streak was snapped on Wednesday when the Brooklyn Cyclones handed them their first shutout loss of the season.
Daniel Poncedeleon started the game and had his worst outing of the season. Poncedeleon worked just 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, on two hits and four walks. He struck out five batters, but struggled to find the strike zone consistently, as he threw just two first pitch strikes and faced seven three-ball counts against the 12 batters he faced.
Just two Spikes’ had multi-hit games. Reyes and Thompson both went 2-for-4, as both of Reyes’ hits were doubles. State College went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
July 10 vs. Brooklyn, Win 4-1
One day after Poncedeleon struggled to find the plate, Cody Schumacher pounded the strike zone for 5 2/3 innings en route to his first professional win. Before walking the last two batters he faced in the sixth, Schumacher had faced just 17 batters, the minimum through 5 2/3 innings. Schumacher attacked the strike zone from the very first pitch, struck out seven Cyclones, allowed one hit, and walked two.
Offensively, Thompson continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Darren Seferina also had a multi-hit game, going two for three, with two walks and a stolen base.
July 11 vs. Brooklyn, Win 4-3
State College opened the scoring in the first inning Friday night, scoring two runs on a double by Alex De Leon. Brooklyn responded with three runs to take the lead in the top of the third, but an RBI single from Reyes tied the game in the fifth and De Leon plated the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh.
Each of the top four hitters in the Spikes’ lineup Friday (Seferina, Reyes, Diekroeger and De Leon) went 2-for-4.
Gomber started for State College, allowing eight hits, three runs, two earned, in 4 2/3 innings. Grana relieved Gomber and recorded his third win of the season, working 2 1/3 innings of one hit, shutout baseball, while striking out five. Jacob Booden earned a hold and Joe Scanio was awarded his second save of the season.
At the Plate
Nick Thompson found his stroke during the Spikes’ win streak, as the 2014 8th round pick out of William & Mary is batting .438 with nine RBI in his last nine games. Thompson was streaky at times earlier in the year, but credits his recent success to the Spikes’ hitting coach, Ramon “Smokey” Ortiz, and a few mechanical adjustments he has made in recent weeks.
Rowan Wick has started to come down to earth. His batting average fell below .400 this week, but the North Vancouver, BC native is batting .353 with 10 RBI and two home runs in his last nine games. The corner outfielder has also continued to play solid defense, and has five assists on the season.
On the Mound
Cody Schumacher had his best start of the season, working 5 2/3 scoreless frames and striking out seven on his way to his first professional win.
Austin Gomber delivered two solid outings this week. Between his two starts, he worked 8 2/3 innings, allowed 12 hits and five walks, but just three runs, two earned.
July 10 – C Adam Ehrlich promoted to Palm Beach
July 9 – RHP Jeff Barkley transferred to Johnson City; RHP Josh Lucas promoted to Peoria; RHP Joe Scanio completed rehab assignment at GCL Cardinals, reinstated from 7-day disabled list, received from Peoria; RHP Anderson Gerdel received from Johnson City.
July 7 – INF Robelys Reyes received from Peoria
July 5 – INF Leobaldo Piña placed on 7-day disabled list, retroactive to July 3
On the Horizon
The Spikes welcome Staten Island to State College on Saturday to start a three-game series with the Yankees affiliate. The Spikes will then ship out on a seven-day, six-game east coast road trip to Vermont (OAK) and Tri-City (HOU).
Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter @robo_tweets.
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