With a big leaguer on the mound it seemed obvious that the Spikes would get a solid pitching performance, but through the first four innings of the game the Scrappers hurlers matched Duke pitch-for-pitch. In the fifth however, the Spikes broke through to take a commanding lead. Matt Cavagnaro started the frame with a single and was in scoring position after a Smelin Perez single put two runners aboard. Later in the inning, Brian Friday worked a two-out walk to load the bases for Keanon Simon. Simon promptly responded with a well placed single into right field that drove in a pair and opened the scoring. After a pitching change, Justin Byler hit a slow groundball between the pitcher and third base that went for a single and allowed a run to score, however when Mahoning Valley hurler Garry Campfield threw the ball wide of first base it allowed Byler to advance to second and Simon to score all the way from first and make the score 4-0.
the Scrappers next turn at bat, Duke surrendered a leadoff walk before retiring
the next two batters which pushed his pitch count to 89 and lead to a call to
the bullpen. Duke left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 4,667 and
was replaced by Brandon Williams. Williams,
who was celebrating his 23rd birthday, allowed a pair of hits which
lead to the lone run of the game but escaped further damage and kept
Former Penn Stater Gary Amato pitched a scoreless eighth inning to set up Daniel Moskos, who closed out the game for his first professional save.
Spikes will now look to close out the 2007 season with their fourth straight
win and a sweep of the three-game set from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on
Friday evening with a special start time of 5:05 p.m. (Courtesy: State College Spikes)