State College Spikes

State College Spikes swing into 2019 season

State College Spikes to keep Josiah Viera’s spirit alive this season

The State College Spikes plan to keep the memory of Josiah Viera alive this season, even though the 14-year-old won't be there in person. Josiah, who was born with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, died on Christmas Eve.
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The State College Spikes plan to keep the memory of Josiah Viera alive this season, even though the 14-year-old won't be there in person. Josiah, who was born with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, died on Christmas Eve.

The State College Spikes are off to fast start to the 2019 New York-Penn League season, with a 3-1 record going into Tuesday night’s game at Williamsport.

Here’s how they’ve done so far:

Spikes 4, Crosscutters 3

A dinger off the bat of Kevin Woodall Jr. and some Crosscutters miscues handed the Spikes their first victory of the season Friday at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in Wiliamsport.

Leading by one in the top of the fifth, Woodall kicked off the inning by launching a 2-2 pitch over the right-center field wall to extend State College’s lead 4-2.

While Woodall’s homer gave the Spikes a more comfortable lead, it was some Crosscutters errors that helped the Spikes initially take control. Down by one in the third, Moises Castillo scored on an errant throw by Crosscutters catcher Logan O’Hoppe to tie things up. Then, trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Donivan Williams led off the inning with a single, followed by another single by Matt Duce. A second error by O’Hoppe, coupled by an error by first baseman Connor Litton, allowed Williams to score. Duce scored two batters later thanks to an Andres Luna double to make the score 3-1.

Those two runs gave the Spikes a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

After Woodall’s home run extended the lead, State College’s pitching put the game away. Michael Baird, taking over for starter Inohan Paniagua, allowed two hits and two walks while recording four strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Fabian Blanco then closed out the game with a six-out save.

Wining pitcher: Michael Baird, State College (1-0)

Losing pitcher: Gustavo Armas, Williamsport (0-1)

Record: (1-0)

Crosscutters 5, Spikes 4

In an emotional night that honored the life and legacy of honorary bench coach Josiah Viera, the Spikes were handed their first loss of the season when they fell 5-4 to the Crosscutters on Opening night Saturday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The Spikes led for most of the game, after a big third inning — a two-run single by Carlos Soto and a two-run double by Andrew Warner — put them up 4-2.

The Crosscutters, however, scored a run in the eighth when Corbin Williams singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a Jacob Schlesener throwing error to come within one of the Spikes.

A late rally in the ninth put the game away for the Crosscutters. A throwing error by State College’s Edwin Figuera put Nick Matera on base, who then moved up to third on a single and scored on a sacrifice fly to end the game.

Winning pitcher: Anton Kuznetsov, Williamsport (1-0)

Losing pitcher: Eli Kraus, State College (0-1)

Record: (1-1)

Spikes 11, Doubledays 9

Heavy rain cut the contest between the Spikes and Doubledays short in the second inning on Sunday at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y.

Even though only two innings were played, fans got to see a lot of action, as 11 total runs were scored between the two teams before the game was suspended.

The Doubledays got off to a hot start, scoring five runs in the first. The Spikes responded in the second with six runs of their own. Stanley Espinal began the frame for the Spikes with a single, followed by a double off the bat of Duce. Dariel Gomez and Martin Figueroa then knocked in runs with RBI ground-outs. Andrew Warner completed the rally for the Spikes with a three-run double to left-center field.

The game stopped with the Spikes leading 6-5 and resumed the next day.

Despite the break, the scoring continued Monday morning as the Spikes completed an eight-run frame to finish off the second, ahead 8-7. Warner’s bat also remained hot, as he dinged a two-run homer to left field in the third. That, along with a sacrifice fly from Carlos Soto in the same inning, gave the Spikes their winning runs.

Winning pitcher: Junior Gonzalez, State College (1-0)

Losing pitcher: Pedro Gonzalez, Auburn (0-1)

Record: 2-1

Spikes 7, Doubledays 0

Warner’s hitting streak continued with a three-run homer in Monday’s second game in the second inning, upping his league-leading RBI total to 10 over the first four games of the season — eight of which came in the two-game series with Auburn.

The first run of Monday’s second game came from Luna, who doubled to start the game then scored off a dropped catch in center field. Espinal then recorded his first homer of the year with a two-run shot out to left field to put the Spikes up 3-0.

After Warner’s homer, Luna brought in the last run of the day with another double in the third.

Pitchers Hector Soto and Martin Cordova combined for the Spikes’ first shutout of the year in the sweep.

Winning pitcher: Martin Cordova, State College (1-0)

Losing pitcher: Carlos Romero, Auburn (0-1)

Record: 3-1

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