State College Spikes

State College Spikes handily defeats Hudson Valley to seal series win

The State College Spikes continued to cruise Saturday night, with a 6-2 win over the Hudson Valley Renegades at Dutchess Stadium to take the road series.

The Spikes (17-17) started strong against the Renegades after shutting them out Friday night, holding them to five more scoreless innings (a total of 14 in two days) before Hudson Valley was able to plate two in the sixth frame.

State College right-hander Carson Cross pitched a strong outing in his fourth start of the season, throwing four innings with two hits, no runs, two walks and three strikeouts.

His offense backed him up with two runs apiece in the second and third innings. Jesse Jenner hit a two-run home run in the second frame (his second of the season) to start off the scoring. Casey Grayson hit a two-out single in the third to score Josh Swirchak, after which Cole Lankford scored Grayson with a two-out single to center.

The Spikes added a fifth run in the top of the fifth after Leobaldo Pina’s RBI single sent in Thomas Spitz.

Joey Then replaced Cross in the bottom of the fifth and pitched a perfect frame, but struggled in the sixth after Hudson Valley’s Cade Gotta hit a line drive single that sent in Joe McCarthy. Jose Paez hit a two-out single to center to score Matt Dacey for the Renegades’ second run.

Right hander Brennan Leitao took over for Then to get the final out in the sixth. Leitao earned his first win of the season after pitching 11/3 innings with only two ceded hits. Kevin Alexander came in for relief, earning the save with a two-inning shutout that included a 1-2-3 eighth inning as well as two strikeouts and a walk.

The Spikes will play their series finale against the Renegades on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.

Notes: Attendance of the game was 4,187. … Five Spikes players recorded multiple hits: Michael Pritchard, Grayson, Pina, Lankford and Jhohan Acevedo. … The Spikes added two players from Single-A Peoria with previous State College experience Wednesday in Alexander and Acevedo. Alexander made a single appearance for the Spikes in the last week of the 2014 regular season. Acevedo returned to the Spikes after beginning the 2015 season with State College. Both players were part of last year’s NY-PL championship team.