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Spikes win two in a row

PINA NEARLY HITS FOR CYCLE AS SPIKES TOP MUCKDOGS, 9-1

Courtesy of State College Spikes

BATAVIA, NY – Leobaldo Pina drove in four runs as he came just a triple shy of the cycle, and Jorge Rodriguez delivered seven quality innings on the mound as the State College Spikes notched their fourth straight road win with a 9-1 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs on Monday night at Dwyer Stadium.
Pina doubled in the first, smashed a two-run homer in the fifth, and singled in the seventh. The Spikes (21-21) shortstop came up in the eighth with a chance to become the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle, but flied out to left.

However, Pina paced the State College offense to a 13-hit night as a team. Tied 1-1 going into the fifth, the Spikes broke it open with Josh Swirchak’s RBI triple and Pina’s second homer of the year. After adding a run in the seventh, Orlando Olivera went deep for the second time as a Spike with a solo shot to lead off the eighth and key another three-run frame.

Swirchak also collected three hits on the night and drove in a pair of runs. Jhohan Acevedo knocked in the last State College run with a groundout in the ninth.

Rodriguez (3-2) kept the Muckdogs (15-26) at bay with a seven-inning gem, allowing just one unearned run on five hits and a walk. The righty also struck out six batters, and extended a streak of 23 consecutive innings on the road without allowing an earned run in the win.

Jacob Evans finished the game with a pair of scoreless innings for the Spikes.

Batavia starter Travis Neubeck (1-2), who made the start in place of Gabriel Castellanos after his promotion to Single-A Greensboro earlier in the day, took the loss. Neubeck yielded four runs, three of them earned, on five hits, a walk and a hit batsman over 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander also struck out one in the effort.

Taylor Munden drove in the lone Batavia run with a sacrifice fly in the first. Roy Morales was the only Muckdog with multiple hits.

The Spikes are now 11-8 on the road this year, and have taken three of four meetings with the Muckdogs.
The series between the two teams continues on Tuesday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Dwyer Stadium. Right-hander Dailyn Martinez (2-3) gets the start for State College in the middle game of the three-game set. Batavia is slated to go with left-hander Brett Lilek (0-2) on the mound.

After a swing through Batavia and West Virginia, the Spikes return home on Sunday, August 9 to start a three-game homestand with a 6:05 p.m. game against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians). Fans can help honor one of the finest running backs in pro football history with a Jerome Bettis Gold Jacket Bobblehead Giveaway, presented by The Nittany Lion Inn & The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel and ESPN Radio 1450 to the first 1,000 fans.

Plus, the Spikes will wear special Jerome Bettis Gold Jacket Jerseys that will match what “The Bus” will be wearing as he enters pro football’s most hallowed club in Canton. The jerseys will then be up for bids in a Jersey-off-the-Back Auction, presented by PSECU to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. After the game, PSECU also presents a fantastic FIREWORKS show.

Tickets for all three games from August 9-11, as well as every date remaining on the Spikes’ 10th Season home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Box Office by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting in person. Fans can also buy and print single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.

Catch all of the action on Tuesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Hershey Medical Group, at 6:50 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Dwyer Stadium. 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, 95.3 FM 3WZ, and on the 3WZ mobile apps, available on Google Play and the App Store.

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