Benjamin socks 6th homer, Spikes fall to Crosscutters

Samuel Benjamin 2568x1445 copy


WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.Samuel Benjamin increased his Major League Baseball Draft League lead with his sixth home run of the 2024 season as the State College Spikes fell to the Williamsport Crosscutters, 6-2, in an Independence Day matchup at Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field on Sunday afternoon.

Benjamin, a native of Katy, Texas, joined the Spikes from Houston Christian, and has taken the MLB Draft League by storm in a matter of weeks, earning the league’s Player of the Week honor for July 24-30 and the Player of the Month honor for June. At this time, Benjamin currently leads the league in the following categories:

  • Batting average: .422
  • Home runs: 6
  • Runs batted in: 25
  • On-base percentage: .536
  • Slugging percentage: .678
  • OPS: 1.214
  • Hits: 38
  • Extra-base hits: 11
  • Total bases: 61
  • Runs: 25

Benjamin’s sixth home run, a two-run shot to left-center field off Williamsport (16-7) reliever Zack Tukis, traveled 386 feet to put the Spikes (14-13) on the board in the seventh.

Dayne Pengelly (1-2) took the loss on the mound for the Spikes despite yielding just two runs on five hits and one walk over four innings. Pengelly racked up five strikeouts in the effort.

Williamsport starter Gavin Perry (2-0) tossed six scoreless innings for the win. Perry did not allow a baserunner until the fifth, and did not allow a hit until Benjamin’s single in the sixth. The right-hander struck out six batters and walked two.

Friday, the Spikes finish their four-game series with the Crosscutters in the second matchup at Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Right-hander Jaxon Dalena (0-2) will make a return home as he gets the ball for the Spikes. Dalena a native of Cogan Station, Pa., went to Montoursville Area High School, located just nine miles from Williamsport’s ballpark.

Dalena will be opposed by the MLB Draft League’s Pitcher of the Month for June as right-hander Zachary Murray (4-1) gets the start for the Crosscutters.

The Spikes will return home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park this weekend for a two-game series against the Frederick Keys, featuring FIREWORKS after the 6:35 p.m. Agriculture Appreciation Night game on Saturday, with plenty of activities in partnership with Happy Valley Agventures. Free Penn State Berkey Creamery milk will be available to the first 500 attendees on Saturday courtesy of U.S. Congressman and U.S. Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson.

Sunday, the first 500 fans will receive a Spikes Team Autograph Poster presented by Fullington Bus Company, with a Team Autograph Session prior to the game.

For tickets to all of the home games during the seven-game stretch from July 7-13, as well as every remaining home game on the Spikes’ 2024 schedule at the new-look Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, fans can call 814-272-1711 or by visiting the Spikes Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with hours during home game days of 9 a.m. to the end of the game Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to the end of the game on Saturday and Sunday.

Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets 24/7, and view the 2024 promotional schedule, by visiting

Catch all of the action of the Spikes’ game on Friday via the Spikes Radio Network presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics with Steve Jones and Joe Putnam on the call. The broadcast starts with Spikes Live! presented by Mount Nittany Health on the air from Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field at approximately 6:20 p.m.

The game can be viewed worldwide on the MLB Draft League streaming platform powered by Pixellot at and the Watch section of the MLB app by scrolling the Watch Now tab, along with the “Listen Live” link on and the TuneIn Radio app.