UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In a Saturday night pitcher’s duel at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the State College Spikes kept the Tri-City ValleyCats in check for much of the game, but took a 2-0 loss in the opener of a three-game series.
Spikes (11-17) starter Jacob Schlesener (0-2) allowed just one run on a total of four hits and a walk over three innings, but took the loss. Schlesener struck out two batters in the effort, with the lone run against him scoring on Luis Encarnacion’s single to bring in Michael Wielansky in the second.
Franyel Casadilla tossed four scoreless frames of relief for State College following Schlesener. Casadilla gave up two hits and a walk while striking out one batter before giving way to Will Changarotty, who retired all three batters he faced, one via strikeout.
The ValleyCats (16-12), who lead the New York-Penn League’s Stedler Division, plated another run in the ninth when Encarnacion again drove in Wielansky, this time with a double.
State College was held to three hits in the game by a trio of Tri-City pitchers. Starter Edgardo Sandoval made the first appearance of his rehab assignment with the ValleyCats, and retired the first 10 batters he faced. Sandoval yielded only one walk and recorded seven strikeouts over the first four innings.
R.J. Freure (1-0) followed Sandoval and earned the win with three innings of three-hit ball.
The Spikes’ last opportunity came against Austin Hansen (1) in the ninth, as an error and a walk put two runners on. However, State College was unable to make the last push to extend the game, with a strikeout and a flyout ending the contest.
Hansen yielded just one walk and struck out two batters in two innings of work for the save.
Sunday, the Spikes and ValleyCats tangle at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in the middle game of their three-game series. The 6:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Jim Voyles (2-1) making the start for State College.
Tri-City is scheduled to send right-hander J.B. Bukauskas (0-0), the Astros’ 2017 first-round draft choice, to the mound for the third start of his rehab assignment with the ValleyCats. Bukauskas is currently ranked fourth on MLBPipeline.com’s list of Astros prospects.