STATE COLLEGE - The most fans to see a State College Spikes game since 2011's home finale witnessed the Spikes wrangle a 4-0 win from the Batavia Muckdogs Sunday as 5,317 fans showed up at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
With the win, the Spikes remain tied with Jamestown for first place in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division, and both teams stay a half-game ahead of Lowell in the NYPL wild card race.
The crowd saw State College (34-23) jump on top early thanks to Mason Katz's two-run single off Batavia (29-26) starter Ryan Newell (4-3) in the first inning. However, Newell set down 19 straight batters, a Medlar Field at Lubrano Park record, after yielding Katz's hit. Alex De Leon stopped the string with a two-out triple in the seventh inning, but in between, Newell struck out nine batters to tie another ballpark record.
The Spikes got to reliever Reid Redman for two more runs in the eighth inning on a triple by Steven Ramos and a single by Cesar Valera to put the game away.
State College was also bolstered by a tremendous tandem pitching effort from Jimmy Reed (3-2) and Chase Brookshire (2), who combined on the Spikes' fourth shutout of the year and second in three nights. Reed gave State College six quality innings and gave up just two hits and three walks while striking out two. Brookshire finished out the game with three one-hit frames in which he struck out four batters.
Ramos went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs for the Spikes, upping his average to .359 to stay out in front in the NYPL batting race.
Newell gave up a total of four hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings to take the tough loss for Batavia.
Today the Spikes and Muckdogs finish a two-game series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College is scheduled to have right-hander Kevin Herget (5-0) on the hill. Herget still seeks to become the first Spikes pitcher since Tony Watson in 2007 to start a season 6-0. Batavia is set to put left-hander Jarlin Garcia (1-1) on the mound.
JAMESTOWN - Home runs by Matthew Young, who turned 23 on Saturday, and Alex De Leon helped the State College Spikes take a four-run lead into the ninth, but the Spikes had to avert a desperation rally by the Jamestown Jammers to take a 5-3 victory on Saturday night at Russell Diethrick Park.
De Leon's solo homer to left field in the ninth inning, his third of the year, came off former Spike Kevin Kleis and gave the Spikes a 5-1 advantage going to the bottom of the last frame. However, the Jammers put the first three batters of the inning on base on two hits and a walk, forcing State College reliever Jeff Rauh from the game.
Andrew Pierce (2), who was scratched from his last scheduled start on August 5 due to injury, then made his return in a relief role for the Spikes and elicited a groundout fielder's choice from Elvis Escobar that scored a run. Justin Maffei then scored another run with a single to make it a two-run game, and Adam Frazier reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases.
However, Michael Fransoso's liner went straight to shortstop Cesar Valera, who stepped on second base for a game-ending double play.
Young also hit his birthday homer to left field in the seventh for his first long ball as a Spike, after being inserted into the lineup in a late change prior to game time.
Starter Nick Petree (2-1) sparkled on the mound for State College, earning the win with six innings of one-run ball. Petree allowed six hits and hit a batter while striking out four. The Missouri State product has not allowed more than one earned run in any outing this year.
Pierce picked up the save, and was not charged with any of the Jammers' ninth-inning runs.
Isaac Sanchez (1-1) started for Jamestown and picked up the loss after giving up three runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batsman while striking out three over four innings of work.