With a .167 batting average entering Sunday’s game at Batavia, Alex De Leon had not made much noise at the plate for the State College Spikes this season.
He sounded like thunder on Sunday.
De Leon set a Spikes’ record by belting three home runs as he led a franchise record-setting six-homer barrage in a 10-3 New-York Penn League baseball romp against Batavia at Dwyer Stadium.
Rowan Wick continued his staggering early season pace by belting his seventh homer. Jhohan Acevedo and Danny Diekroger also had home runs for State College (7-3).
Acevedo led off the game with a solo homer to left to set the stage for the Spikes’ power surge. Later in the inning, De Leon would get his huge day started by smashing his first home run to center field.
Diekroger’s two-run homer, his second of the season, pushed the Spikes’ lead to 4-0 in the third inning.
With the Spikes leading 4-1, De Leon was back at it again in the sixth. With one out, De Leon nailed a shot to right-center to become the ninth player in team history to hit two homers in a game. He’d need just one more at-bat to break that tie.
After the Spikes had scored a run and an error prolonged the seventh inning, De Leon smashed a no-doubt, two-run blast to deep left field to push the Spikes’ lead to 9-3. The fifth blast broke a team mark for homers in a game, but Wick, the next batter, immediately added to the total. He smashed his league-leading seventh homer, a shot down the right-field line that pushed the lead to 10-3.
De Leon had one more shot in the ninth, but struck out on a 1-2 pitch. He finished the contest 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs. The right-handed hitting first baseman raised his season average to .261 with his big day at the plate.
Eight of the Spikes’ 11 hits went for extra bases. Ronnierd Garcia added an RBI double in the sixth. Acevedo also had a double and joined De Leon with three hits and three runs scored.
Five Spikes pitchers limited the Muckdogs, the league’s top-hitting team entering the day’s play, to four hits.
Jeff Barkley, the second State College pitcher, picked up his first win by allowing two hits — Brad Haynal’s solo home run in the fourth — in three innings of work. Starter Austin Gomber and Reliever Jeff Ruah, the Spikes’ fourth pitcher, each threw two scoreless innings.
Luis Sanz doubled in two runs in the sixth for the Muckdogs (7-3).
The two-game series concludes Monday. Luis Perdomo (1-0), who did not allow a run in six innings in his first outing of the season, will start for the Spikes. Michael Mader (0-0) will start for Batavia. The Spikes return home for a two-game series with Jamestown on Tuesday.