Purcell's Performance Propels Spikes Past Doubledays in 6-5 Win
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Brandon Purcell reached base four times and drove in two runs, including the eventual winning run in the seventh inning, as the State College Spikes defeated the Auburn Doubledays, 6-5, on Saturday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Purcell, who was making his first home appearance for the Spikes (31-30), drove in the go-ahead run for State College in the fourth with a broken-bat single to right-center field. The catcher then came to the plate with runners on first and second and brought in Donivan Williams with another broken-bat single to right.
Purcell also walked and was hit by a pitch, scoring after both of those plate appearances.
The Spikes fell behind early after Auburn (21-37) took a 3-0 lead through 2 1/2 innings. J.T. Arruda's RBI double and Onix Vega's sacrifice fly put the Doubledays on the board in the first. Jose Sanchez then knocked in Auburn's third run with a third-inning single.
New York-Penn League All-Star Andrew Warner drove in two runs for State College in the third with a single to right to draw the Spikes within 3-2. Brylie Ware doubled in the tying run in the fourth before Purcell's first base hit.
Auburn then retook the lead after Vega's run-scoring single in the fifth and Albert Carillo's sacrifice fly in the sixth. However, Moises Castillo brought in Purcell with a groundout in the sixth to tie the game, before the catcher broke the tie for good in the seventh.
State College starter Jeremy Randolph, who got the ball after a one-hour, 17-minute delay at the outset due to threatening weather systems in the area, allowed three runs on four hits and a walk over four innings. Randolph also struck out four batters.
The Spikes then turned to Junior Gonzalez (3-4), the originally scheduled starter, who delivered four innings of relief for the victory. Gonzalez yielded two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four batters.
Fabian Blanco (3) allowed a walk to start the ninth but retired the last three batters in order, two via strikeout, for his third save in as many opportunities.
Auburn reliever Gilberto Chu (2-2) took the loss after allowing one run on four hits while striking out three batters over two innings.
Sunday, the Spikes and Doubledays will meet in a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The twin bill was made necessary by the rainout at Falcon Park on August 7. Despite the game originally being scheduled for Auburn, State College will serve as the home team for both games of the doubleheader.
Right-hander Enmanuel Solano (1-7), who has produced a team-leading five quality starts this season, gets the ball for State College in the first of the two seven-inning games, set for 3:05 p.m., with the starter for the second game not yet determined.
Auburn will send right-hander Tyler Dyson (0-1) to the mound to start the first game, with right-hander Amos Wilingham (1-3) to get the assignment for the nightcap.
Sunday will be a jam-packed day at the ballpark, including a ceremonial first pitch from Penn State men's basketball head coach Patrick Chambers before the second game of the doubleheader as part of Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State Night, presented by HRI, Inc.
The second half of the twin bill is scheduled to begin approximately 30 minutes following Game One, but no sooner than 6:05 p.m.
Following the second game, the skies over Happy Valley will light up with a fantastic FIREWORKS show, presented by Boyles Insurance.
Sunday's fun starts with a Mini-Basketball Giveaway presented by Penn State Health Medical Group for the first 1,000 fans, presented by Penn State Health Medical Group.
Gates will open to the general public at 2 p.m. for the twin bill, with season seat holders able to enter at 1:40 p.m. and groups able to enter at 1:50 p.m. One ticket will be good for both games in the doubleheader.
More activities will include a Hoop Shoot competition on the concourse during the game, plus American Cancer Society Sun Safety Night, with fans able to get free samples of Blue Lizard sunscreen, as well as Huntingdon County Night, featuring a FREE Kids Zone presented by Friends of Jake Corman.
In addition, it's a Sunday Kids Day at the ballpark, presented by First National Bank, with a pre-game catch on the field from approximately 2-2:30 p.m., post-game Kids Run the Bases, and the first 250 kids receiving a voucher good for a free hot dogs, chips and small soda.
The giant homestand concludes with Wayback Monday II featuring another Trade-Any-Ticket Night on Monday at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets for all three remaining games on the homestand, as well as every game on the 2019 home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting the Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-gamedays Monday through Friday.
Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.
Catch all of the action on Sunday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 2:35 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes' radio broadcast can also be heard worldwide through the "Listen Live" link on StateCollegeSpikes.com, provided by the club's flagship radio home, NEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC, as well as the TuneIn Radio app.
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