STATE COLLEGE – Jake Stone collected three hits, including a home run that keyed the State College Spikes surge in game two, and the Spikes followed a 4-3 victory in the completion of a suspended game from last night with a 7-1 win over the Staten Island Yankees in a seven-inning game on Monday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The pair of victories gave the Spikes a three-game sweep of the Yankees on the series.
The Spikes (23-8) have now won 12 of their last 13 games, and finished their six-game homestand with five straight victories. State College is now tied with Hudson Valley for the best record in the New York-Penn League, and holds the Pinckney Division lead by five-and-a-half games.
Stone, who collected two hits and a walk in the win that completed Sunday night’s suspended game, added to his recent run with the shot to center field off Staten Island (15-16) starter Jordan Cote (0-2) in the fourth inning of the second-game. The Cardinals’ 2013 27th-round draft choice is now hitting .412 (14-for-34) this month, with three of his four homers and 15 of his 17 runs batted in coming in July.
The Spikes continued their outburst after Stone’s home run with a three-run fifth inning that included a Robelys Reyes sacrifice fly and an RBI single from newly returned Adam Ehrlich, who arrived in State College from Advanced-A Palm Beach during the first game and caught the second.
Chase Raffield then finished the scoring with a two-run double in the sixth inning. Nick Thompsonand Ronnierd Garcia each contributed multiple hits for the Spikes as well.
Fernando Baez (2-0) earned the win after allowing a run on two hits and two walks over five innings of work. Baez struck out five in his second consecutive victory on the mound.
Cote took the loss for the Yankees after yielding five runs, three of them earned, on six hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out two in the effort.
In the completion of Sunday night’s suspended game, the Spikes took advantage of wildness on the part of the Staten Island bullpen, netting just two hits during their eighth-inning surge but bringing nine batters to the plate. Jhohan Acevedo and Darren Seferina started the frame with back-to-back singles off Dillon McNamara (0-1), and then McNamara hit both Reyes and Danny Diekroeger with pitches to score the first State College run.
Yankee reliever Rony Bautista then came in and walked the next two batters as well as delivering a wild pitch to give the Spikes two more runs. Stone’s sacrifice fly to left field capped the scoring in the inning.
Staten Island trailed 4-2 going into the ninth and scored a run, but Kyle Grana (3) shut the door on the Yankees’ comeback by recording the last two outs for the save.
Jeff Rauh (2-0) earned the win for the Spikes with 1 1/3 innings of relief, giving up a run on one hit while striking out two.
McNamara took the loss after being charged with all of the Spikes’ runs on three hits and two walks while striking out one.
Alex De Leon added a double for the Spikes. Chris Breen hit a solo homer to right field in the top of the eighth inning to increase the Staten Island lead to 2-0 before the State College comeback in the bottom half.
The Spikes will enjoy an off day on Tuesday before hitting the road for a six-game swing against Stedler Division opponents. State College begins a three-game set against the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics) with a 7:05 p.m. game at Centennial Field on Wednesday. The Spikes will also visit the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros) for a three-game set starting on Saturday.
-Spikes Media Relations
-Spikes Media Relations