Yariel Gonzalez went 4 for 4 with a home run to lead the State College Spikes to a 9-1 win over the Batavia Muckdogs on Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Gonzalez, who scored two runs, hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to provide the offensive highlight of the Spikes’ 15-hit night.
State College starting pitcher Anthony Shew allowed three hits and struck out seven in five scoreless innings to earn the win. State College designated hitter Josh Lopez finished 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Lopez drove in the Spikes’ first run in the second inning on a groundout.
Spikes catcher Dennis Ortega finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs.
Player of the game
Spikes second baseman Yariel Gonzalez: Gonzalez singled three times to go with his home run in the fourth inning. Gonzalez crushed a 412-foot shot off the top of the batter’s eye beyond the center field wall.
Efficient effort: Shew didn’t walk a batter and threw 45 strikes during his 65-pitch outing. It was his first start of the 2017 season and the second start of his professional career.
Strikeout total: Shew, Keaton Siomkin and Noel Gonzalez combined to record 12 strikeouts. Siomkin struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief for the Spikes, and Gonzalez gave up a home run and struck out two in two innings of relief.
Spikes start draft picks: St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 draft picks Evan Mendoza and Brandon Benson made their professional debuts Thursday night. Mendoza (11th round; North Carolina State) went 2 for 4 with a double, scored two runs and started at third base. Benson (20th round; Georgia College) went 1 for 4, scored once and started in center field.
Batavia at State College, 7:05 p.m. Friday: The Spikes close out their series with the Muckdogs before starting a three-game series at Mahoning Valley on Saturday. Right-hander Levi MaVorhis will be on the mound for the Spikes on Friday, while right-hander Alberto Guerrero will start for Batavia.