State College Spikes Notebook: 2014 Week 6

State College had another solid week, winning five of six games, and now holds a commanding six and a half game lead over Batavia (MIA) in the NYPL Pinckney Division. Jake Stone is among the hot hitters. So is home run-hitting Rowan Wick, but he still has some things to work on.

July 12 vs. Staten Island (NYY), Win 6-3

Will Anderson won his third straight game for the State College Spikes last Saturday, allowing three runs on six hits in five and two-thirds innings. Anderson surrendered a run in the top of the first, but the Spikes came right back with three runs in the home half of the frame and never let go of the lead.

Darren Seferina, Robelys Reyes and Danny Diekroeger all singled and came around to score in the first, giving State College an early 3-1 edge.

Both the Spikes and Yankees plated single runs in the fifth before Rowan Wick hit an RBI double in the sixth, and Alex De Leon scored on a groundout. The Yankees added a run in the sixth, before Nick Lomascolo came on in relief for Anderson and slammed the door shut.

Lomascolo worked a perfect seventh and eighth inning before Anderson Gerdel earned the save, his first of the year, despite surrendering two hits in the ninth.

Seferina, Reyes and Wick each collected two hits while Jake Stone drove in two runs.

July 13/14 vs. Staten Island, Win 4-3

The Spikes used a four-run eighth inning to win a game that featured a suspension and two manager ejections. State College and Staten Island made it through three scoreless innings Sunday before rain halted play for the night.

After the game resumed Monday afternoon, both managers were ejected in the fifth inning. Staten Island’s was over a brutal called strike three on a Yankee hitter. State College’s came after the umpires made Danny Poncedeleon pitch through the rain in the top of the fifth, but called for the tarp before the bottom of the inning.

Staten Island scored single runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings, but the Spikes did all of their damage in the bottom of the eighth on two hits, two walks and two hit batters.

Jake Stone went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk on the day, the only State College player with multiple hits in the contest.

Dewin Perez worked three scoreless frames before the game’s suspension on Sunday. Jeff Rauh pitched an inning and a third on his way to collecting his second win of the season. Kyle Grana earned his third save of the year.

July 14 vs. Staten Island, Win 7-1 (F/7)

State College finished off a long day of baseball by scoring seven runs over the final three innings late Monday afternoon. Staten Island opened the scoring with a run in the third, but State College took the lead on a two-run home run by Stone in the fourth.

The Spikes added to their cushion with three runs in the fifth and capped the game with another pair of runs in the sixth.

Fernando Baez allowed just two hits and one run over five innings, while striking out two. Baez’s fastball was sitting in the low 90s, but, despite not having his best stuff, he was able to mix speeds effectively on his way to his second win of the year.

Nick Thompson and Ronnierd Garcia both went 2-for-3 and Stone and Chase Raffield each contributed two RBI.

July 16 at Vermont (OAK), Win 7-0

State College extended its winning-streak to six games with a dominant effort in Vermont on Wednesday. Trey Nielsen, who went four innings, and Gerdel, who pitched three innings, combined to hold the Lake Monsters hitless through seven. By the time Vermont collected its first hit of the night, the Spikes had already taken a commanding 7-0 lead.

Wick put State College ahead with a two-out, three-run home run in the first, his 13th long ball of the season. The Spikes then added to their cushion with four runs on three hits in the fourth.

Tyler Bray allowed the only hit of the night, but worked a scoreless eighth before Lomascolo closed it out with a shutout ninth.

July 17 at Vermont, Loss 6-8

The Spikes held a commanding 4-0 lead after the top of the second, but Vermont outscored State College 8-2 from that point on.

Diekroeger went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Collin Radack hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the second inning.

Cody Schumacher allowed five runs over five innings, while Rauh gave up one run in one inning and Booden yielded two runs in two innings.

July 18 at Vermont, Win 6-3.

Despite not having his best stuff, Will Anderson gave the Spikes another solid effort on Friday, earning his fourth win of the season on the back of a six-inning, three-run, four strikeout performance.

Seferina tripled and scored to give the Spikes a one-run lead in the first, but Vermont scored two runs in the bottom of the first and another in the third to take a 3-1 edge.

The Spikes recaptured the lead with a three-run fourth that featured three doubles. Wick then hit a two-run shot, his 14th of the year, to give State College its eventual winning 6-3 score.

Grana worked two scoreless innings in relief and Joe Scanio earned his third save of the season with a perfect ninth.

At the Plate

Jake Stone has found his swing and picked his season average up to .310. Stone has been on a tear in July, batting .391 with two doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI.

Rowan Wick is still batting well, .333 in July, but the Canadian outfielder has struck out 19 times in 15 games this month, while he struck out only 12 times in 17 games in June. Wick’s walk rate is also down, as he walked 14 times in those 17 June games, while walking only six times in July.

This plate discipline was an issue for him in Johnson City last season, and likely the biggest reason he is still in State College. Wick consistently struggles to lay off low breaking balls and has shown the tendency to take wild swings at the same bad pitch multiple times in the same game. It will be interesting to see if he can turn this around and get back to the level of plate discipline he showed earlier in the year.

On the Mound

Will Anderson has continued to impress for State College. Although he is far from the flashiest arm on the staff, the 6-foot-3 righty leads State College in wins, with four, and innings pitched, at 35 2/3. Anderson has struck out 29 batters, to just five walks, and currently has a 2.52 ERA.

Fernando Baez has also continued to make strides as the Dominican righty seems more comfortable in each passing start. Spikes manager Oliver Marmol said this week that he is not sure whether or not the Cardinals’ see Baez as a starter or back-end power arm, but they wanted him to start games in an effort to force him to use his offspeed pitches. Baez seems to be getting increasingly comfortable with his offspeed stuff and has shown that he can effective even on days when he does not have his best fastball.


July 14 – C Adam Ehrlich received from Palm Beach


Andrew Sohn has not played since July 5 due to an elbow issue. He went to St. Louis to see a doctor, and will likely be heading to Jupiter for any rehab or treatment he needs. It is not likely that he will be back in State College any time soon, but details on his situation remain fuzzy.

On the Horizon

The Spikes are at Tri-City (HOU) for a three-game series before returning to State College for a five-game home stand against Mahoning Valley (CLE) and Auburn (WSH) to round out the week.

Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter @robo_tweets.

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