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Spikes get 1st win in new league

UNIVERSITY PARK – The State College Spikes fed off the energy of 3,000+ fans on hand at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the club’s Memorial Day Summer Kickoff on Monday as five pitchers combined to shut out the Frederick Keys, 4-0, for the Spikes’ first-ever win in the Major League Baseball Draft League.

The Memorial Day crowd saw Joe Miceli, Drew Janssen (1-1), Chris Benavides, Drew Garrett and Jack Goonan team up to hold Frederick (0-5) to seven hits and strike out a combined 14 batters in the Spikes’ (1-4) victory.

Miceli, a Bergen (N.J.) Community College product previously committed to North Carolina, allowed three hits and three walks while striking out three batters. Janssen, a Gardner-Webb commit from Frontier (Ill.) Community College, followed him with four strikeouts over three innings of two-hit ball.

Benavides (Alvin (Tx.) Community College), Garrett (Missouri) and Goonan (Mercyhurst) then tossed a single inning apiece in their first home appearances as Spikes to finish the shutout.

After three days of rain wiped out the Spikes’ series against the Trenton Thunder, including the May 30 with the lowest high temperature ever recorded in Centre County yesterday, sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s greeted fans on Sunday, and the Spikes gave them plenty more reason to cheer by jumping on the board early.

Cameron Lee came home on a balk to start the scoring in the first inning, and Marques Paige added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0, Spikes, after one. In the third, Paige added to the lead with an RBI single to right-center to score Andre Tarver after the latter’s leadoff triple.

Missouri’s own Mark Vierling then punched a two-strike pitch from Frederick reliever Ronan Kopp through the hole between shortstop and third base to plate Tyler Heckert in the fourth and set the final score. Vierling was the lone Spike to collect multiple hits in the game.

Keys starter Will Stevens (0-1) took the loss after yielding four runs, two of them earned on four hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings. Stevens struck out six batters in the effort.

Kopp, a 6’7″ left-hander from South Mountain (Az.) Community College whose fastball touched 98 miles per hour in his 2 1/3 innings on the hill, struck out six batters and gave up only Vierling’s hit and three walks. Shane Barringer then struck out four batters over two innings to give the Keys 16 strikeouts as a staff.

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