State College Spikes notes

acarter@centredaily.com June 19, 2013 

The sample size is just two games, but here are some notes on the Spikes offense and pitching so far.

Offense

Cesar Valera leads the team with five hits and three runs scored.

The 21-year-old shortstop, whose birthday is today, is 5-for-10 at the plate with two doubles, three singles and an RBI that scored the go-ahead run in the 11

The 2008 international free agent signee from Venezuela has hit to all fields, spraying three hits to left or left-center and two the opposite way in right.

Valera is known for his glove work, but Oliver Marmol said improvement at the plate was visible in extended spring training.

David Washington, 22, is second in hits (3-for-9) and is tied with Carson Kelly for tops in RBIs with two.

The 6-foot-5 lefty has a smooth swing and good power at cleanup. A double in the third earned the 15th round pick in 2009 enough respect to not be trifled with in the fifth with two on, one out and the game tied at two.

Three cautious balls led to an intentional fourth and loaded the bases. A Kelly walk two batters later broke the tie.

Matthew Young, 22, earned his first hit with the Spikes Wednesday, but has struggled at the plate so far. The strong-armed right fielder is 1-for-8 with four strikeouts.

The 20th round pick in 2012 also drew a walk and swiped his team-best second stolen base in the eighth, but was picked off at second two batters later.

PITCHING

The State College bullpen has impressed thus far, giving up just two runs and seven hits in 11 innings of work. The group also owns 14 of the Spikes’ league-leading 21 strikeouts.

Williamsport is tied with Lowell for third with 15.

Brady Adamek, 23, relieved starter Chris Perry in the fifth Tuesday after the first two Crosscutters reached with the Spikes ahead 3-2.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander induced a pop up and got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Jhonny Polanco, 21, struck out four in two innings of the opener and Victor DeLeon fanned four Tuesday night before blowing a save opportunity when Zach Green homered in the eighth.

Juan Bautista (0-1, 3.60 ERA) and Chris Perry (0-0, 2.25) showed flashes in two starts for State College.

Bautista, 20, throws a nice change-up, but Marmol would like to see him set it up better by pounding the inner half. Drafted in 2010 as an international free agent, the 5-foot-11 right-hander from the Dominican Republic struck out four and gave up two earned runs on opening day.

Perry, 22, used a seductive curveball in his first pro start at Williamsport. The 17th round pick in 2012 scattered six hits and gave up one earned run in four innings of work. The right-hander also walked two and struck out three.

SERIES NOTES WITH CUTTERS:

Two Crosscutters have proven very difficult outs for State College.

Gabriel Lino, a 20-year-old catcher from Venezuela, is 6-for-8 (all singles) with two RBIs. His six hits lead the NY-PL and his .750 batting average is third best.

Zach Green, 19, has done the most damage. The third-round pick in 2012 is 4-for-10 with a league-leading three doubles, a home run and three RBIs. He knocked in all three Williamsport runs Tuesday.

The Cutters’ bullpen has also been impressive. The group had not allowed a run until left-hander Lino Martinez gave up four in the eleventh inning Tuesday.

In total, Williamsport’s pen has gone 10 2/3 innings, struck out ten and given up 10 hits.

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