Spikes Sweep Doubledays in Doubleheader Action
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The State College Spikes downed the Auburn Doubledays in both ends of a Sunday doubleheader at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, rallying from a three-run deficit in their last at-bat to take a 4-3 win on a Stanley Espinal walk-off triple before capturing a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
With the pair of victories, State College (33-30) now sits in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, two games back of new leader West Virginia, with 13 games remaining on the 2019 regular season schedule. The Spikes are also two games back of NYPL Wild Card leader Brooklyn in the race for the only such available playoff berth, but are in fifth place.
Trailing 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh in the opener, the Spikes started their rally when Pedro Pages singled to lead off the seventh and Matt Duce followed with a two-run homer, his third of the year, to the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion in left field.
One batter later, the skies opened up as a storm passed through Central PA, making for a one-hour, 57-minute delay. After the skies cleared, State College would complete its comeback in the seventh as Donivan Williams tripled, Brylie Ware singled him in, and Espinal's three-base hit to center field brought in Ware with the winning run.
Spikes starter Enmanuel Solano (2-7) went the distance for the win in game one and posted the sixth complete game in franchise history. Solano's seven-inning effort is also the longest complete game for a State College hurler, with all four of the other outings lasting six innings or less.
The right-hander allowed a leadoff infield single in the first, then elicited a double play and followed by retiring the next 14 batters he faced before allowing three runs in the sixth on an Albert Carillo triple and Ricardo Mendez two-run homer, his first of the year.
Solano ended up allowing a total of four hits and struck out three batters.
In the second game, State College took the lead in the second on Cameron Knight's bases-loaded single, then extended it on a sacrifice fly from Luis Flores. Ware then tacked on another run for State College with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
The Spikes made the lead hold up in the second game with a strong pitching effort. New York-Penn League All-Star Andre Pallante began the game with two scoreless innings before fellow All-Star Hector Villalobos (3-1) took over. Villalobos earned credit for the win after giving up one hit over two shutout frames of his own, which also included one strikeout.
Connor Lunn then allowed one run over two innings before Eric Lex (3) picked up the save with a perfect seventh inning that included two strikeouts.
Auburn's (21-39) J.T. Arruda plated the Doubledays' lone run in the second game with a single in the sixth to bring in Mendez.
Doubledays reliever Bobby Milacki (0-2), who entered the first game after the rain delay, allowed the last two Spikes runs on three consecutive hits.
Starter Amos Willingham (1-4) took the loss in the nightcap for Auburn after yielding two runs on five hits and a walk over three innings.
Monday, the Spikes finish their eight-game, seven-day homestand as they seek a four-game series sweep of the Doubledays in the finale of the set at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Scott Politz (3-3) on the mound for the Spikes. Politz has yielded just one earned run over his last three home starts totaling 17 innings.
Right-hander Niomar Gomez (1-4) will get the ball for Auburn.
Fans will enjoy Wayback Monday at the ballpark, with an Old School Baseball Night presentation that contains a retro style with a minimum of bells and whistles during the evening. As part of the festivities, Spikes broadcasters Steve Jones and Joe Putnam will once again announce the game from the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park concourse to be amongst the crowd.
It's also Trade-Any-Ticket Night, where fans can trade any ticket, whether it's from the circus at the Jaffa Shrine, the 1952 World Series, that trip to Sea World, the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl, the Curtin Bowl, or any parking, speeding, or laundry ticket, for a FREE Bullpen Box ticket to Monday's game.
Plus, it's another Monday Buck Night, presented by 95.3 FM 3WZ. Get into the park with $1 Outfield Bleacher seats, then enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 small sodas and $1 peanut boats throughout the night.
It will also be a MillerCoors Monday, with half-price Miller Lite and Coors Light drafts available from 6-8 p.m.
Tickets for Monday's game, as well all five 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 Monday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 6:35 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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New York-Penn League Stories from August 18, 2019
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