State College, Centre County, Pa. - The State College Spikes were held hitless for 5 2/3 innings, but Evan Mendoza’s solo homer cued a seven-run surge as the Spikes overtook the Auburn Doubledays, 7-6, to earn a three-game series sweep on Friday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Mendoza’s blast to left field, his first as a professional, was the first of six consecutive two-out hits for the Spikes (7-4) in the sixth that turned a 1-0 deficit to a 4-1 lead. The 2017 11th-round draft choice then doubled in another run in the seventh to hand the advantage back to State College, this time for good.
The win was State College’s fifth in a row at home.
Tyler Lancaster also helped key the big sixth with a two-run single, while the Spikes took advantage of Auburn (3-8) miscues to plate three more runs in the seventh.
Spikes reliever Steven Farinaro (1-0) picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of two-run ball, allowing two runs, one of them earned, on three hits and a walk while striking out one batter.
Noel Gonzalez (1) pitched a one-hit, one-walk ninth for the save.
Auburn (3-8) scored first on doubles by Oliver Ortiz and Jake Scudder in the second, and held the lead as starting pitcher Ben Brayner gave up just three walks while striking out seven batters over five innings. The Doubledays finished the game out-hitting the Spikes, 17-8, with Jonathan Pryor and Paul Panaccione each recording three hits.
Doubledays reliever Michael Rishwain (0-1) took the loss after giving up all seven State College runs, five of them earned, on seven hits and two walks. Rishwain struck out one batter in the effort.
State College turned four double plays in the game, including three on the ground.
Saturday, the Spikes start the second half of their six-game stretch at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Batavia Muckdogs (Miami Marlins). Left-hander Daniel Castano (2-0) is set to get the ball for State College, while Batavia will send left-hander Manny Rodriguez (1-0) to the hill.
The fun begins with the Youth Baseball Clinic, presented by Penn State Health. Registration is free with a ticket to Saturday night’s game, and begins at 10:30 a.m. Spikes players and coaches will then tutor kids in the fundamentals of baseball from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with autographs available afterward.
The Spikes will shine the spotlight on the younger generation of ballplayers with Youth Baseball Night, presented by Boyles Insurance. The first 500 kids 12 and under will receive a FREE ‘dippin dots Giveaway, and youngsters will have the chance to be part of in-game activities throughout the night.
It’s also a Scratch n’ Win Saturday, presented by P.J. Harrigan’s. Every Spikes fan will be a winner as each fan receives a scratch-off card with a great prize or discount on it at the gates.
After the game, kids 12 and under can also run the bases thanks to Wonderland Charter School.
More fun is on the way over the holiday weekend, with the second Bark in the Park, presented by Metzger Animal Hospital and NEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC on Sunday, July 2, and the return of the Human Cannonball, presented by Happy 103, on Monday, July 3.
Tickets for each of the next three nights, as well as every game on the Spikes’ 2017 home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting in person. Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com
Catch all of the action on Saturday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Health, at 6:35 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes’ radio broadcast can also be heard worldwide through the “Listen Live” link on StateCollegeSpikes.com, provided by the club’s flagship radio home, Newsradio 1390 WRSC, as well as the TuneIn Radio app.
Spikes fans can also catch home games in 2017 even when outside Central PA thanks to MiLB.TV to stream all games online to paid subscribers of the service. MiLB.TV offers fans the chance to follow the game’s future stars across Minor League Baseball, with more than 5,000 games streamed live, including affiliates of all 30 MLB teams, and complete game archives available on demand. Fans can use the promo code “SPIKES” to save $10 on the regular yearly price.