From staff reports
TROY, N.Y. - Wes Freeman launched his fifth home run of the year for the State College Spikes, but the Tri-City ValleyCats responded with four home runs of their own to top the Spikes, 8-1, on Friday night at Joseph Bruno Stadium.
The ValleyCats' (17-23) home run parade began in the second inning, when Matt Duffy sent a 2-0 pitch from Spikes (12-29) starter Ryan Hafner (0-3) over the left field fence for a solo shot to make it 1-0. After a 55-minute rain delay in the top of the third inning, John Hinson added another solo homer for Tri-City off of reliever Mike Jefferson to make it 2-0.
Freeman would get State College on the board, though, leading off the fourth inning by sending a 2-1 pitch from Tri-City reliever Adam Champion (1-0) to left field for a solo home run. The ValleyCats quickly countered, as Drew Muren hit a two-run shot to right in the bottom of the fourth. After a Muren RBI double in the sixth, Tri-City completed the scoring with Miles Hamblin's two-run homer to right in the seventh inning.
In addition to his home run, Freeman singled in the second inning to become the only Spikes player with multiple hits. State College also turned three double plays on the night, the most in a single game this season.
Hafner took the loss for the Spikes, despite being limited to two innings on the mound because of the rain delay. The right-hander allowed a run on two hits and struck out one.
Champion picked up the win for the ValleyCats despite allowing Freeman's blast, as he yielded just two walks aside from that hit over 4 2/3 innings of relief. The left-hander also struck out three.
The four home runs Tri-City racked up were the highest total against the Spikes in a single game in 2011.
The Spikes return home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park tonight to start a three-game series against the Lowell Spinners (Boston Red Sox) with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College will have left-hander Zack Dodson (0-1) on the mound. Lowell will have right-hander Jason Garcia (3-1) starting on the hill.