After his team won against Williamsport in the first of a three-game series on Saturday night, State College Spikes’ manager Johnny Rodriguez said that they couldn’t control what happens on the field – only what happens in the locker room.
A loss on Sunday shattered the playoff dreams of the Spikes but as their season ended on Monday night, the Spikes finished with a win over Williamsport (PHI) on their home field.
In the final three games of the regular season, the State College Spikes played hard against the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) to keep their playoff dreams alive. Unfortunately, as State College – which finished 41-35 – won two out of three games in the series, the West Virginia Black Bears (PIT) won their bout against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Monday night and clinched the New York-Penn League Wild Card berth.
Saturday, September 5: State College Spikes (2) versus Williamsport Crosscutters (1)
Location: State College – Medlar Field at Lubrano Park: 7:05 p.m. ET. [Game 1]
In the final series of the regular season, the Spikes won their first game against the Williamsport Crosscutters in a 10-inning, 2-1 decision on a walk-off infield single from Ronnierd Garcia.
Garcia hit his first triple of the year in the second inning and in the tenth, he bounced a ball to shortstop that was hard to play. Leobaldo Pina crossed home to score his second game-winning walk-off, the first being against Batavia on July 20. An R.J. Dennard double tied up the game in the sixth. Throughout the night, the Spikes collected 13 hits and left 10 on base after the ninth.
Despite giving up one run in the first, starter Jorge Rodriguez went 6 2/3 innings to yield an additional four hits and three walks while striking out four. Reliever David Oca, the only left-handed pitcher for the Spikes, earned the win and went 3 1/3 to allow two hits and two walks – one intentional.
WP: Oca, David. (1-0) [0.00]
LP: Waguespack, Jacob. (0-1) [0.42]
Sunday, September 6: Williamsport Crosscutters (2) at State College Spikes (1)
Location: State College – Medlar Field at Lubrano Park: 6:05 p.m. ET. [Game 2]
In the last home game of the regular season, the State College Spikes lost to the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) in a 2-1 decision. Their playoff chances took a hit - the Spikes now needed a win against Williamsport on the road and losses by both West Virginia and Aberdeen in order to make the post-season.
Though the Spikes produced their second-straight double-digit hits performance with 11, the team was hurt early hitting into three double plays. Orlando Olivera, R. J. Dennard and Jesse Jenner spearheaded an eighth-inning rally that cut the two-run deficit in half, but the ‘Cutters brought in closer Rob Tasin, who doused the Spikes’ threat.
WP: Morales, Luis. (2-2) [2.90]
LP: Martinez, Dailyn. (4-6) [3.30]
SV: Tasin, Robert. (17)
Monday, September 7: State College Spikes (5) versus Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3)
Location: Williamsport – Susquehanna Bank Park at Historic Bowman Field: 7:05 p.m. ET. [Game 3]
With their playoff chances on the line, the Spikes did their part to keep themselves in the running by beating the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) in their last game of the regular season 5-3 at Williamsport. Although they won the game against the team they started their season, State College ended their season at Susquehanna Bank Park as West Virginia (PIT) claimed the NYPL Wild Card berth with their win against Mahoning Valley.
Ronnierd Garcia slammed his second homer of the season – the first one coming at Susquehanna Bank Park on June 20, the second game of the season – in the sixth inning. The three-run homer changed the tide of the game and added to a run scored on Casey Grayson’s RBI single in the third. Jhohan Acevedo provided an insurance run in the ninth and kept the lead at two runs.
Reliever Kender Villegas earned the win in 2 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out one. Pedro Echemendia claimed the save with a one-hit ninth and tied the Spikes single-season record for saves at 12 (in 17 opportunities) with Ronald Uviedo (2007). The Cuban native also became the first pitcher to lead the Spikes in both wins and saves as he collected six victories over the season.
WP: Villegas, Kender. (2-3) [4.46]
LP: Tavares, Jose. (7-4) [3.88]
SV: Echemendia, Pedro. (12)
Ronnierd Garcia. Garcia had a final 10-game average of. 405, with six runs on 13 hits, two walks, six strikeouts and one home run. This past week, Garcia collected first triple of the year in the first game of the final series against Williamsport during the second inning and in the tenth of that game, he bounced a ball to shortstop that allowed Leobaldo Pina to score on a walk-off and win the game.
The Coro, Venezuelan native also slammed a three-run homer, his second of the season – the first one coming (as well) at Susquehanna Bank Park on June 20, the second game of the season – in the sixth inning that allowed the Spikes to win again over Williamsport in the final game of the series – and the season.
Pedro Echemendia. Echemendia earned the save with the Spikes’ win against Williamsport in the final game of the season with a one-hit ninth and tied the Spikes single-season record for saves at 12 with Ronald Uviedo (2007). The Cuba native also became the first pitcher to lead the Spikes in both wins and saves as he collected six victories over the season.
In the past 10 games, Echemendia has accumulated a 0.73 ERA with two wins and six saves. Echemendia allowed eight hits, zero walks and nine strikeouts over 12 1/3 innings of work.
Orlando Olivera. Olivera, in the past 10 games, the outfielder has accumulated an average of .333, with four runs on 10 hits, one home run (at Mahoning Valley), three RBI, four walks and four strikeouts in 30 at-bats. The Cardinal’s 38th-round draft pick scored the Spikes’ only run against Williamsport in the second game of the final series – and the Spikes’ last home game.
Dailyn Martinez. In his last eight starts, Martinez allowed just 13 runs in 49 innings for a 2.39 ERA. The Dominican has struck out 35 and walked 12, but without run support, went 2-4 with two no-decisions.
Cole Lankford. In the past 10 games, the outfielder has had four hits in 32 at-bats for a .125 average, two RBI, two walks and five strikeouts. Lankford lowered his Spikes season average to .227.
Thomas Spitz. The West Chester, PA native’s .233 season average is higher than Lankford’s – though not by much. In the last 10 games, Spitz accumulated a .152 mark, with one run scored on five hits in 33 at-bats, three RBI and 10 strikeouts.
New York-Penn League Pinckney Division Standings - final
1. Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) [46-30]
2. West Virginia Black Bears (PIT) [42-34]
3. State College Spikes (STL) [41-35]
4. Auburn Doubledays (WSH) [36-38]
5. Batavia Muckdogs (MIA) [31-44]
6. Mahoning Valley Scrappers (CLE) [31-44]
What is Next
The State College Spikes have ended their season. Though they won against Williamsport (PHI), it was too little, too late. West Virginia (PIT) won their games against Mahoning Valley (CLE) and clinched the NYPL Wild Card berth, shutting the doors on the Spikes’ playoff chances.
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