Marmol: The State of the State College Spikes

Oliver Marmol, the manager of the Cardinals’ short-season Class-A club, talks about his first-place team.

July 22nd is a date to be remembered for the 2014 State College Spikes. The Cardinals’ New York-Penn League affiliate, managed by Oliver Marmol, had 26 wins against just 12 losses for a seven-game division lead.

The offense was paced by slugger Rowan Wick, leading the league with 14 home runs and 38 RBI and second with a .378 average. The North Vancouver, BC native had already set a new Spikes season home run record with 10 in his first 19 games. The outfielder had been the June Player of the Month from both the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation and took home a NYPL Player of the Week award as well.

On July 23rd, Wick’s promotion to Peoria of the Midwest League was announced.

The Spikes temporarily continued on their way, winning the next three in a row before hitting considerable turbulence. Since July 26th, the short-season Class A club has gone 4-13, including 10 losses in their last 11 and six straight through Tuesday, August 12.

Because of the big cushion established earlier and tepid play from a division in which the other five clubs have losing records, the 33-25 Spikes still carry a six-game lead in the Pinckney Division.

Those 33 wins were gained by the results of far more than one player, of course. In fact, Wick was not a focus in the following interview. In it, Marmol discusses his club’s strong pitching (second in the 14-team league in ERA and third in strikeouts) as well as the offense (ranked second in runs and fourth in batting average).

The manager talks about the benefits of players to have competed at higher levels before joining his club along with the influx of new college players. Marmol highlights the Spikes’ four NYPL all-stars as well as an unheralded player or two.

Coming soon

Other interviews coming from State College include all four NYPL all-stars - infielders Robelys Reyes and Darren Seferina and pitchers Will Anderson and Kyle Grana - plus pitcher Ian McKinney and infielder Brett Wiley.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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