UNIVERSITY PARK — The name was scribbled in the same spot for a second straight night.
Batting ninth for the State College Spikes, shortstop Jodaneli Carvajal.
When Tuesdays against game Williamsport started at 7:09 p.m., Carvajals name was etched in a different spot.
The 20-year-old was batting leadoff in a home opener attended by 5,012 fans.
Carvajals name might be etched in the spot again after his performance. Carvajal went 2-for-3 and scored three runs to help the Spikes defeat the Crosscutters 5-2 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Not bad for somebody who received a different offensive role less than two hours before the first pitch.
Manager Dave Turgeon had Alex Fuselier batting leadoff in his initial lineup. But Fuselier was involved in one of the strangest pregame accidents in team history, running into Crosscuttes manager Andy Tracy and suffering a concussion while chasing a fly ball in batting practice.
Tracy is a big, strong guy, Turgeon said. Its like hitting a wall.
With Fuselier unavailable, Turgeon resorted to Plan B.
Carvajal moved up eight spots in the batting order; Rodarrick Jones played left field and batted ninth.
The result? The Spikes won a home opener for the first time in their seven-year history.
Carvy has been there before, Turgeon said. Hes a top of the order, bottom of the order type of guy. Hes effective in either role. I like the speed at the bottom of the lineup as well as the energy. Hes comfortable in either one of those spots.
Carvajal reached base in the first, sixth and seventh innings. The Spikes scored in all three innings.
His first at-bat foreshadowed the game. Carvajal slapped a Ulises Joaquin fastball into left field for a single. He scored on second baseman Tyler Greenes throwing error.
Just to come out and get an early run and have the crowd behind us gets some momentum going, first baseman Jared Lakind said. He really gave us that extra base. He gave us another gear.
Carvajal never slowed. He coaxed a walk against Jim Birmingham and scored on Ryan Hornbacks chopper in the sixth. He then smacked an RBI triple to the right-field corner and scored on Raul Fortunatos chopper in the seventh. The Spikes scored twice in both innings, turning a one-run deficit into a three-run lead.
It was a big deal, Hornback said. (Carvajal) stepped in and filled a role well. He really set the table.
Five pitchers held the Crosscutters to seven hits and no runs after a two-run third. Joely Rodriguez walked five in four erratic innings, but Logan Pevny earned the win and deflated the Crosscutters by throwing two scoreless relief innings.
My first instinct was that I thought I was going to be nervous, said Pevny, a 49th-round draft pick in 2010 making his New York-Penn League debut. I felt comfortable out there. My goal was to get the team back in as quick as possible and have a good tempo on the mound and bring a lot of energy to the field.
Tom Harlan, Jordan Cooper and Kyle Haynes combined to strikeout four in the final three innings. Harlan, a 13th-round draft pick from Fresno State, and Haynes, a 20th-round pick from Virginia Commonwealth, tossed scoreless innings in their professional debuts.
I like what I saw from our new guys, Turgeon said. They pounded the zone. They are college guys and you can see the difference with a little experience. They seemed pretty unaffected by opening night.
The defense is still trying to shake early-season jitters. One night after committing five errors at Bowman Field, the Spikes committed three on their own field.
Still, only six Crosscutters reached base after Tuesdays third inning.
There are some jitters out there, said Lakind, who went 1-for-2 and walked twice. But for the most part we swung it better and played better defense behind the pitcher, and the pitching staff was clutch. It felt like we were more comfortable.
Guy Cipriano can be reached at 231-4643. Follow him on Twitter @cdtguy