The State College Spikes cruised to their seventh straight win Friday, beating the Brooklyn Cyclones 9-0 at MCU Park to complete their second series sweep this week.
Spikes starting pitcher Jacob Evans allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings to earn the win. The left-hander also struck out five and walked two. Relievers Steven De La Cruz and Kender Villegas pitched the final three innings to finish the team’s second straight shutout.
Jhohan Acevedo went 3 for 5, scored two runs and drove in three runs to lead the Spikes, who exploded for seven runs late to turn the game into a rout. Thomas Spitz went 2 for 4 and scored two runs, and Craig Aikin scored three runs for State College.
The Spikes (29-24) remained a half game ahead of Lowell for first place in the wild card standings.
Aikin got the Spikes on the board in the first inning after leading off with a double, moving to third on a groundout and scoring on a passed ball. Cole Lankford’s two-out, RBI single in the fourth pushed State College ahead 2-0.
Brooklyn starting pitcher Edioglis Villasmil allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings to take the loss. The Cyclones (25-28) used five relievers to finish the game, and Brooklyn pitchers combined to allow 11 walks.
State College broke the game open with two runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh.
In the sixth, Acevedo singled and stole second base. Jose Godoy then walked, and they advanced to second and third on a groundout. They both scored on Ronnierd Garcia’s two-out double to right field.
The Spikes added to the lead the next inning.
After Aikin walked and Spitz singled, Casey Grayson walked to load the bases with one out. Acevedo followed with a double to left field, scoring Aikin and Spitz. Godoy walked to reload the bases, and Ty Williams replaced Jose Celas on the mound for Brooklyn. Williams walked Lankford to allow Grayson to score, and threw a wild pitch to allow Acevedo to score and push the lead to 8-0.
Celas allowed four runs on two hits and three walks in 1/3 of an inning. Williams gave up one run, one hit and four walks in one inning.
Acevedo’s RBI single in the eighth rounded out the scoring.
De La Cruz made his Spikes’ debut after joining the team Thursday. The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out four in two scoreless innings.
Notes: The Spikes host West Virginia on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Jorge Rodriguez (4-2, 2.49 ERA) will be on the mound for the Spikes. ... Relief pitcher Jery Then was promoted to Single-A Peoria on Friday. Then went 1-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 15 appearances for State College. ... Evans has allowed one unearned run in his last 17 innings, spanning five appearances.