State College Spikes Notebook: 2014 Week 12

The New York-Penn League club is still in the hunt for the top playoff seed. Nick Thompson leads the offense.

The State College Spikes (45-28) posted a 5-2 week, and would currently be the third seeded team in the New York-Penn League playoffs. With three games to go, the Spikes are two games behind Hudson Valley (TB) for the top playoff seed.

August 23 at Jamestown (PIT), Win 7-3

Will Anderson turned in a quality start and Jake Stone led the way offensively with a 2-for-4, 5 RBI performance as State College continued its winning ways from last week.

Anderson allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings en route to his team-leading sixth win of the season. Nick Thompson and Robelys Reyes each drove in a run in the first inning before Stone broke the game open with a three-run bomb in the top of the third to give State College a 5-0 lead. The Spikes’ first baseman then doubled home two more runs in the fourth to give the Spikes’ a 7-0 lead.

Anderson faced the first three batters in the seventh and was pulled before recording an out after he gave up a two-run double to the third batter of the inning. Jeff Rauh then allowed the inherited runner to score, but the Spikes’ seven-run total was too much for the Jammers to overcome.

August 24 at Jamestown, Loss 5-2

Fernando Baez gave up three runs in five innings, and took the loss on Sunday as the Spikes’ bats fell silent when they were needed most.

Baez struck out six, but gave up seven hits and two walks in his five frames before Joe Scanio allowed two runs in two innings of work.

State College had eight hits, but went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and left ten runners stranded. Brett Wiley went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Collin Radack went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the two combined for half of the Spikes’ hits.

August 25 at Mahoning Valley (CLE), Win 4-3

Luis Cruz went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Brandon Lee earned his fourth win of the season in relief.

Cruz opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the third, and pushed the Spikes to a 2-0 lead in the top of fourth with his second RBI single in as many at-bats. Darren Seferina plated a run with a sacrifice fly later in the inning and Thompson walked to score Cruz, capping the three-run State College fourth.

Trey Nielsen started, and was tagged for three runs on three hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. Lee gave up one hit in 2 1/3 innings. Nick Lomascolo worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Kyle Grana earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth.

August 26 at Mahoning Valley, Win 6-2

Mahoning Valley outhit State College 9-to-6, but two Scrappers errors and timely hitting helped the Spikes to a 6-2 victory. Danny Diekroeger went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Thompson added an RBI single to lead the State College offense.

Dewin Perez allowed just two runs on six hits and two walks in five innings to earn his sixth win of the year, tying Anderson for the team lead. Joe Scanio and Josh Lucas each tossed a pair of shutout innings in relief to close out the win.

August 27 vs. Williamsport (PHI), Win 6-0

Austin Gomber finally showed what made him a fourth-round selection this past June as he shutout the Crosscutters on four hits in seven innings while striking out seven. The seven innings pitched and seven strikeouts are both professional highs for the 6-5 lefty out of Florida Atlantic University.

Jhohan Acevedo and Robelys Reyes both went 3-for-5, Reyes with an RBI, to highlight the Spikes’ offensive efforts. Thompson and Stone recorded their first triples of the season.

August 28 vs. Williamsport, Win 1-0

State College shut out Williamsport for the second straight night as Daniel Poncedeleon allowed just four hits over five shutout innings for his second consecutive start. Poncedeleon did not walk a batter and struck out seven.

Brian O’Keefe made the difference, as his third inning solo home run, his third of the year, was the lone run of the game.

August 29 vs. Batavia (MIA), Loss 6-1 (F/10)

Tied at 1-1 through nine, Batavia plated five runs in the top of the tenth on two State College errors, two hit batters and three singles.

Anderson delivered his seventh quality start of the season on one run on six hits while striking out three over six innings.

Alex De Leon scored on a wild pitch in the second to give State College its lone score.

At the Plate

Nick Thompson continues to be a driving force for the State College offense, and is batting .353 in his last ten games. Thompson currently leads the Spikes in runs scored (45), RBI (42), walks (38), OBP (.402) and OPS (.826).

Jhohan Acevedo has found his stroke of late. In his last five games, the outfielder is 5-for-13, good for a .385 average. Acevedo anchors Oliver Marmol’s lineup in the nine hole, and has done a good job of turning the lineup over lately. Hitting just .216 on July 25, in just over a month, Acevedo has raised his average by more than 40 points, and is batting .290 in the month of August.

On the Mound

Instead of the usual “On the Mound” segment, check out TCN’s “Scouting the Spikes” post, where I break down the Spikes’ roster from a scouting perspective. In the most recent installment, the third of five, I cover the Spikes’ starting rotation. Next up will be the relievers.

Transactions

August 29 - RHP Cody Schumacher placed on 7-day Disabled List

On the Horizon

State College has three games left in the regular season and trails Hudson Valley by two games for the top seed in the NYPL playoffs. The Spikes will play their final home game of the regular season Saturday against Batavia, and finish the regular season with two games in Williamsport. Both State College and Hudson Valley will play the worst team in their respective divisions to close out their regular season slates.

The post-season will consist of two rounds, both best two of three. The top two seeds have the home advantage in the semi-final round.



Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter @robo_tweets.

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