STATE COLLEGE, PA - Samuel Gonzalez delivered two hits and knocked in two runs as the State College Spikes vanquished the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 6-5, on Sunday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to sweep a three-game series from the Scrappers and win their fifth straight home game to start the season.
Gonzalez brought in both State College (5-2) runs in the first inning with a single to center field to give the Spikes a 2-0 lead. The Spikes' designated hitter then led off the sixth inning with another base hit and scored on a Mahoning Valley (2-5) error to give the lead back to State College for good.
The Spikes also benefited from a pair of insurance runs scored in the eighth inning. Ryan Hornback's leadoff triple was followed by a Yhonathan Barrios single to extend the State College lead to two runs. Barrios then stole second base and scored on a Jared Lakind single to make it 6-3, Spikes.
The Scrappers did provide a pair of scoring bursts in the game. Mahoning Valley broke through for three runs off of State College starter Joely Rodriguez in the fourth inning to take a temporary lead. Three hits and two wild pitches by Rodriguez contributed to the damage.
The ninth inning also turned precarious for the Spikes when Evan Frazar produced a two-run single off of State College reliever Pat Ludwig (1) to draw Mahoning Valley within a run in the ninth inning. However, Ludwig recovered to force a game-ending groundout from the very next batter.
Hornback also contributed a pair of hits, while Barrios scored two runs and stole two bases. State College also had its first baserunner thrown out trying to steal this year when Jared Lakind was caught stealing third base in the eighth inning, but the Spikes also added four more steals to run their New York-Penn League-leading team total of 13.
With the win and Williamsport's loss to Auburn on Sunday night, the Spikes are now in sole possession of first place in the NYPL's Pinckney Division.
The sweep is State College's first since taking three straight at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park over Lowell from July 30-August 1 of last year.
Joan Montero (2-0) picked up the win in relief for State College after throwing two scoreless innings following Rodriguez. Montero allowed just two hits and struck out two batters. The right-hander now has ten strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings of work this season.
Rodriguez yielded three runs on a total of five hits and two walks while striking out two over five innings in a no-decision. Ludwig gave up two runs on three hits in the ninth inning, but struck out two and got the save.
Scrappers reliever Louis Head (0-1) took the loss after allowing the Spikes' go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Head went a total of three frames and gave up that run on three total hits while striking out two.
Joe Sever went 3-for-4 at the plate for Mahoning Valley to lead all player in hits for the game.
--Spikes Media Relations--