Spikes Head to Staten Island in Fourth Series

The 3-5 State College Spikes continue their road trip with three games at the home of the Staten Island Yankees.

The past two days have been good to the State College Spikes. The Cardinals affiliate went 2-0 for the series against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, with starters Jorge Rodriguez and Dailyn Martinez and relievers shutting out the rival team on their Ohio home field. The last game in the series was postponed and rescheduled to August 30 due to Saturday’s rain.

Now, State College is traveling to Staten Island to compete against the SI-Yankees.

The Spikes will start pitchers Juan Perez (Sunday), Ian McKinney (Monday) and Rodriguez (Tuesday). Perez has a record of 1-0 (against Auburn) and an ERA of 1.80. In his five innings pitched, Perez allowed one run on seven hits, no walks and one strikeout. McKinney has a record of 0-2 and an ERA of 4.91. This will be his third start – after the opener against Williamsport and the third game against the Doubledays. McKinney has pitched a total of 11 2/3 innings with 18 hits, one walk and 14 strikeouts. Rodriguez has a stellar 0.90 ERA through his two starts.

In addition to returning pitcher McKinney, the Spikes have two other players remaining from last year’s team: catcher Brian O’Keefe and shortstop Leobaldo Pina. O’Keefe, with a batting average of .100, has played in five out of the eight games so far this season. O’Keefe has had two runs on one hit, three RBI, one home run and one strikeout. Pina has a batting average of .281, with nine runs on four hits, one homer, five RBI and five strikeouts.

Staten Island will give the ball to right-hander Yoel Espinal (1-0, 6.35) on Sunday and Domingo Acevedo (0-0, 5.40) on Monday. Just like his Tuesday opponent Rodriguez, Staten Island starter Derek Callahan (1-0) is currently ranked tenth in the New York-Penn League with an ERA of 0.90 in ten innings pitched over two games. He has yielded only one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts.

The Yankees have four 2014 returnees – pitchers Matt Borens, Sean Carley and Travis Hissong and shortstop Thairo Estrada.

Borens (0-0) has an ERA of 4.63 with 11 2/3 innings pitched over two games. He has yielded eight runs on 12 hits, yet has also had nine strikeouts. Carley is 1-1 with an ERA of 1.29 in seven innings over three games and seven innings. Hissong (0-0) has pitched 2 1/3 innings for one game so far this season. Estrada has appeared in eight games with a one homer and six RBI, with seven strikeouts in 35 at-bats and an average of .257.

Last year at the time the Spikes faced the Yankees, the Spikes had played 28 games, having won 20 and losing eight. State College won all three in the series by an aggregate score of 17-7 in the only time the Spikes played Staten Island during the 2014 season. This series will also be the only time the teams will face each other in 2015 due to the fact that Staten Island is in the McNamara Division while State College is in the Pinckney Division.

Team Stats

State College Spikes

Batting     Pitching  
R 34   R 37
H 64   H 75
HR 3   HR 4
RBI 30   SO 57
SO 49   BB 16
BB 36   ER 33
AVG 0.237   ERA 4.14

Staten Island Yankees

Batting     Pitching  
R 60   R 47
H 85   H 76
HR 5   HR 3
RBI 55   SO 72
SO 75   BB 23
BB 50   ER 29
AVG 0.263   ERA 3.28

New York-Penn League Pinckney Division Standings
1. Williamsport Crosscutters (8-0) [PHI]
2. Auburn Doubledays (5-3) [WSH]
3. West Virginia Black Bears (4-4) [PIT]
4. Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3-5) [CLE]
5. State College Spikes (3-5) [STL]
6. Batavia Muckdogs (1-7) [MIA]

New York-Penn League McNamara Division Standings
1. Brooklyn Cyclones (5-3) [NYM]
2. Staten Island Yankees (5-4) [NYY]
3. Hudson Valley Renegades (4-4) [TB]
4. Aberdeen IronBirds (2-7) [BAL]

Follow Stephanie Panny on Twitter @StephaniePanny.

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