Spikes pack it on against Scrappers

NILES, Ohio — The State College Spikes matched New York-Penn League season highs in offensive output with 13 runs and 15 hits to give starting pitcher Scott Politz his first-ever professional win and earn a 13-6 victory over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Friday night at Eastwood Field.

The Spikes (13-8) had previously set both marks on June 25, when they defeated the Scrappers (11-10) by a 13-9 score at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The victory was State College’s eighth straight at Eastwood Field, and their 11th in a row over Mahoning Valley regardless of location since last season.

Luis Flores, who came into the game with a .179 average for the season, came up just a home run shy of the cycle with a 3-for-5 night at the plate. Flores doubled in the second inning, then tripled in a run in the third before singling in the seventh. The thiird baseman also scored a run.

Jonatan Machado also collected three hits, adding a double and a sacrifice fly while driving in two runs and scoring two more.

Eight of the Spikes’ 15 hits were for extra bases, with Pedro Pages contributing two doubles and knocking in two runs as well. State College led 9-1 after a five-run third, and expanded the lead to as much as 12-3 in the seventh.

Politz (1-1), the Cardinals’ 2019 29th-round draft choice out of Yale, logged five innings in his longest outing as a professional for the win. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out one batter.

Hector Villalobos then tossed two innings of relief before Leonardo Taveras retired the last six batters of the game, three via strikeout, to end the game. Taveras has now set down all nine batters he has faced since joining the Spikes last week.

George Valera led the Scrappers’ offense with a two-run homer, his fourth of the season, to left field in the third inning.

Mahoning Valley starter Carlos Vargas (1-1) took the loss after yielding nine runs on ten hits and a walk over 2 1/3 innings. Vargas struck out three batters in the effort.

Saturday, the Spikes finish off a six-game road trip as they seek a sweep of the three-game set against the Scrappers at Eastwood Field. State College will send right-hander Jeremy Randolph (0-0) to the mound, with right-hander Adrian Mardueno (1-0) scheduled to follow him in a tandem of the Cardinals’ 26th- and 20th-round picks in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Mahoning Valley is scheduled to go with right-hander Liam Jenkins (0-2), who did not get out of the first inning in his last start against the Spikes on June 26.

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