STATE COLLEGE - It wasn't a Fort Knox secret why Medlar Field at Lubrano Park was all decked out in purple and black Saturday night.
It was Mifflin and Juniata counties night at the ballpark and the seats were jam-packed with people from beyond the Seven Mountains for a night of State College Spikes baseball.
The recognition night at the ballpark is sponsored by The Sentinel.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON
Mifflin County High School football player Nate Earnest participates in the American Gladiators fan contest between innings of the State College Spikes’ game against the Batavia Muckdogs during Mifflin and Juniata counties night at the ballpark Friday evening in State College.
As it turned out, it was a long, long night at the ballpark as the game went 15 innings before the largest crowd in team history - 6,066 fans saw the Spikes escape with a hard-fought, 12-11 walk-off win over the Batavia Muckdogs.
It was the second time that a ballpark attendance record was set on the night Mifflin and Juniata counties are recognized by the Spikes.
Groups from the Mifflin-Juniata area represented at the park included Central PA Dock and Door, the Burnham Bulldogs special needs football team and Mifflin County Babe Ruth League regular-season champ Belleville.
Organizations from Mifflin County High School included the cheerleaders, the Husky football team and the Mifflin County High School field hockey team.
Cantare, a musical group from Mifflin County High School, offered an outstanding rendition of the National Anthem prior to the start of the game.
Prior to the game, Amber Grove, salesperson for the paper, and Fiona DeNault, from the newspaper's circulation department, were inside the entrance gates, chatting with some of the fans while handing out complimentary copies of the newspaper.
"This (opportunity) is actually good for the readers, the viewers and the people who are in the surrounding areas to see that we aren't just Mifflin and Juniata counties, that we make our name throughout the area," Grove said. "It is really nice for the people to be up to date on what is happening with us and this gives us the opportunity to do that as well as connect with our readers in State College."
While Grove deals with the advertising end of the Sentinel, DeNault does whatever it takes to get new subscribers while making sure that the readers get their newspapers.
"We deal primarily with the customer service end of things to make sure the customers get their papers," she said. "For me personally, I oversee all the stores that sell the copies so I work with the customers as well as the dealers which gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of people every day."
The Spikes will be back to the park later this week for the New York-Penn League playoffs, which they are taking part in for the second year in a row.