Spikes’ big first inning seals win

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The State College Spikes overwhelmed the Mahoning Valley Scrappers with a six-run first inning, and Brylie Ware smashed his first professional home run to help the Spikes to their fourth straight road win with an 8-4 decision on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

One night after a six-run surge in their last at-bat in the eighth inning, the Spikes (8-4) opened up Wednesday’s contest with a double from Jonatan Machado and a single from Moises Castillo before Stanley Espinal’s wall-ball double brought both of them in to score.

Ware then started his big night with a two-run single to center to bring in a pair of runs. Martin Figueroa followed with an RBI single of his own to increase the margin to 5-0, then scored the last run of the opening frame on a Brayan Rocchio throwing error.

In the third, Ware hit a towering fly ball to left field that carried into the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion for a 355-foot solo home run, the first of his professional career. The 23rd-round draft choice out of Oklahoma now has seven RBI over his last two games and nine over his first six games as a pro.

The Spikes added a run in the fifth as Machado singled in Figueroa with his fifth hit in two games since returning to State College.

State College starter Michael Baird went four innings and allowed just one unearned run on two hits while striking out three batters. Baird has still not yielded an earned run over his first 10 1/3 innings in 2019.