STATE COLLEGE - Clay Holmes led the way with five scoreless innings in his professional debut on the mound as the State College Spikes posted their second straight shutout win in a 4-0 victory over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Friday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Holmes (1-0) combined with Tom Harlan and Emmanuel De Leon (1) to hold Mahoning Valley (2-3) to just five hits and two walks while posting 12 strikeouts as a staff. The ninth-round selection of the Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft, Holmes made the start and yielded three of those hit and a walk while striking out five to earn the win. Harlan followed with four strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings, giving up a hit and a walk, and De Leon picked up the save with 2 1/3 one-hit frames to finish the night.
The win marked the first time that State College (3-2) shut out opponents in back-to-back games since 2010.
The Spikes took their first lead of the game in the second inning, when Raul Fortunato and D.J. Crumlich led off with consecutive singles. Samuel Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 game. Jacob Stallings then doubled in two runs in the third inning to extend the lead, and Barrett Barnes closed the scoring by driving in Chris Diaz in the seventh.
Jodaneli Carvajal produced another stellar offensive night, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run. Carvajal is now hitting .529 (9-for-17) with a .619 on-base percentage for the season. Barnes and Fortunato also contributed multi-hit performances, with Barnes adding two stolen bases.
Robbie Aviles (0-1) started and took the loss for the Scrappers after giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one over four innings of work.
Saturday, the Spikes and Scrappers meet at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the second game of their three-game weekend series. Right-hander Jason Creasy (0-1) will make his second start of the year for State College, while left-hander Geoffrey Davenport (0-0) gets the start for Mahoning Valley.