Solano Stellar as Spikes Shut out Muckdogs, 1-0
BATAVIA, N.Y. - Enmanuel Solano scattered four hits over a State College Spikes record-tying eight shutout innings, and Stanley Espinal's seventh-inning RBI double gave him all the support he needed as the Spikes kept their playoff hopes alive with a 1-0 win over the Batavia Muckdogs on Saturday night at Dwyer Stadium.
Solano (3-7) became the ninth Spikes (34-33) pitcher to log eight innings in one start, and produced the tenth such outing in franchise history. The right-hander struck out five batters on the night, and also yielded two walks and a hit batsman.
Solano saved his best work for the Muckdogs' (37-30) biggest hitters, holding Batavia's New York-Penn League All-Star trio of Nic Ready, J.D. Orr and Troy Johnston to a combined 0-for-10 performance at the plate after they had gone 12-for-25 over the first two games of the series, with Ready having knocked in eight runs.
The win allowed State College to jump back into third place in the NYPL's Pinckney Division, three games back of Batavia with nine games remaining in the 2019 regular season.
The Spikes went without a hit in the game through the first five innings before David Vinsky singled to right with two outs in the sixth.
Terry Fuller then beat the Muckdogs' shift with a single to the left side to start the seventh. Two batters later, Espinal drilled a double to left-center field for his team-leading 31st RBI and the lone run of the game.
Eric Lex (4) came on in the ninth and retired all three Batavia batters he faced for the save.
The Spikes now head home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a three-game series against the West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates), who currently stand in second place in the Pinckney Division a 1/2 game back of Batavia.
Right-hander Scott Politz (3-3), who has allowed just one earned run over his last four home starts totaling 24 innings, a 0.38 ERA, gets the start for State College in Sunday's 6:05 p.m. series opener.
West Virginia will go with right-hander Grant Ford (3-1) on the hill.
Trace McSorley, the all-time leading passer to wear the Blue & White, will be honored with a bobblehead depicting his trademark post-touchdown home run swing at Sunday's game. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive the Trace McSorley Bobblehead Giveaway, presented by The Nittany Lion Inn & The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
Gate A will open to season seat holders at 4:40 p.m., with Gate B open to holders of discounted group tickets, Geisinger Champions Club suite tickets, and tickets to the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion at 4:50 p.m. All ballpark gates will then open at 5:00 p.m.
In four years thrilling the Happy Valley faithful, McSorley set school records in several offensive categories, including passing yards, passing touchdowns, 300-yard passing games, rushing yards and touchdowns by a quarterback, total offense yards, and wins as a starting quarterback. He also received All-Big Ten honors in three consecutive seasons and is now a preseason standout for the Baltimore Ravens.
After the game, the skies will light up with a spectacular FIREWORKS show, presented by First National Bank.
It's also a Sunday Kids Day, presented by First National Bank, with a pre-game catch on the field and post-game kids run the bases. Plus, the first 250 kids 12 and under eat and play free with a voucher for a free hot dog, chips and small soda to go with a one-time free-play pass for Ike's Kids Zone.
In addition, college students across Central PA can enjoy even more value with the College Student 3-2-1 Special. The College Student 3-2-1 Special offers any college student presenting a valid student ID at ticket and concessions windows $3 off their seat in any ballpark section, excluding the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion and Geisinger Champions Club, plus $2 regular sodas and $1 hot dogs all game long.
Sunday's festivities begin with Orangetheory Fitness on the Fieldfrom 12-1 p.m. for a workout open to members and non-members. A special $25 ticket includes the Orangetheory Fitness workout, a suite-level ticket for the game in the Geisinger Champions Club, free food and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night, and an IC Light Mango beer to enjoy during the game.
Tickets for all four games remaining 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 5:35 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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