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Spikes rally but fall to Scrappers in second-half opener

Brendan Knoll, seen here in a June 23 start, pitched five shutout innings for the State College Spikes on Friday. (State College Spikes)
July 22, 2022

BOX SCORE PLAY-BY-PLAY NILES, Ohio - Trailing 4-0 going into the ninth inning, the State College Spikes brought the tying run to the plate on multiple occasions but ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the MLB Draft League second-half opener for both teams on Friday

BOX SCORE

PLAY-BY-PLAY

NILES, Ohio - Trailing 4-0 going into the ninth inning, the State College Spikes brought the tying run to the plate on multiple occasions but ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the MLB Draft League second-half opener for both teams on Friday night at Eastwood Field.

The Spikes (0-1 2nd half, 20-19 overall) received four straight walks to start the ninth, culminating in Nick Gile’s bases-loaded base on balls to bring in DeAndre Shelton with the first State College run. Trent Taylor then followed with a fielder’s choice to plate Josh Madole and cut the deficit to two.

After John Mead’s sacrifice fly to center field drove in Brock Reller, Taylor was the tying run at first and Colin Adams represented the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs. However, Mahoning Valley (1-0 2nd half, 16-24 overall) reliever Jan Figueroa (1) forced Adams to fly out to right field for the final out.

The game was a pitchers duel early, with Spikes starter Brendan Knoll and Scrappers starter Masen Palmier (1-0) trading zeroes for the first 5 ½ innings.

Knoll, a holdover from the first half of the MLB Draft League season, made his second straight five-inning appearance holding Mahoning Valley to two hits and two hit batsmen while striking out three batters. Palmier did Knoll one better, yielding three hits over six frames and notching two strikeouts for the win.

The Scrappers scored a trio of two-out runs in the sixth to break the deadlock. Adam Fogel’s line-drive single up the middle with the bases loaded scored two runs, while Gabe Gonzalez’s ground ball to center field plated another.

Mahoning Valley added another run on Jeffrey Wehler’s two-out single to center field in the seventh.

Spikes reliever Jayson Summers (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits and a walk over his lone inning of work. Summers recorded one strikeout in the effort.

Brody Perkes, a shortstop out of Eastern Arizona College most recently with the Wasco Reserve of the Pecos League, went 2-for-3 in his debut with the Spikes for the club’s lone multi-hit performance on Friday.

Saturday, the Spikes continue their three-game set against the Scrappers with the middle game of the series at Eastwood Field. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Louis Davenport III, who pitched for State College in the 2021 MLB Draft League season, makes his official return to the Spikes as he starts on the hill. Mahoning Valley will send right-hander Miguel Alba (1-0), a holdover from the 2022 season’s first half, to the mound.

Following the weekend jaunt to Ohio, the Spikes return home Monday to start a stretch of six home games in seven days at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Spikes fans can once again enjoy dazzling FIREWORKS spectaculars from a unique vantage point as FIREWORKS from the Field returns for each of the five remaining shows on the 2022 home schedule.

Starting with a FIREWORKS Weekend that features back-to-back shows on Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, all fans are invited to come down onto the infield at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to see the skies light up with each of these special presentations from the Spikes and their official FIREWORKS provider, Starfire Corporation. Friday’s show after the 6:35 p.m. game against Mahoning Valley is presented by Penn State Health.

Fans will also get the chance to support great causes this coming weekend. Saturday, July 30, join us to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer at the annual* Paint the Park Pink Night* presented by Mount Nittany Health. The Spikes wear special Pink and Black Jerseys which go up for bids in a Jersey-off-the-Back Auction benefiting the Mount Nittany Health Foundation, available soon on the LiveSource app. The night is capped off with another FIREWORKS from the Field display.

Then on Sunday, July 31, Still Strong Night will take place during the Spikes’ 4:05 p.m. game with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and feature a special appearance from foundation co-founder, former NFL defensive lineman and proud Blue & White alum Devon Still. In addition to Still throwing out a first pitch and being part of the night’s activities, proceeds from the Spikes’ 50/50 drawing for the night will go to the Still Strong Foundation, and fans will have many ways to find out how to support the foundation and its cause.

Friday will be the first bobblehead giveaway of the season with the Wally Triplett "We Are" Talking Bobblehead presented by Boyles Insurance.The bobblehead, crafted in consultation with Triplett's family, will go to the first 1,000 fans of all ages at Friday's game. In addition to featuring the legendary back in a pose reminiscent of his performance in the 1948 Cotton Bowl, which gave rise to the use of "We Are" as a unifying cry across Nittany Nation, the bobblehead will feature a button that will play "We Are" whenever pressed.

Plus, social media superstar and top Happy Valley hooper Anna Camden joins the fun for TikTok Night on Thursday, and Santa Claus will be on hand for Christmas in July during the homestand opener on Monday, featuring a Jared Box Project Toy Drive - bring a toy to the game and receive $2 off your ticket, or mention Jared Box at the Ticket Office and $2 will go to the Jared Box Project.

More highlights include Philipsburg-Osceola Community Night on Friday, Scout Night and Penns Valley Community Night on Saturday, and a pair of FREE Geisinger Kids Zone! nights presented by Friends of Jake Corman next weekend.

Tickets for every game in the second half of the Spikes’ biggest regular season home schedule in franchise history are available now. Tickets can be purchased by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting the Spikes Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets, and view the full 2022 promotional schedule, at the only source for authentic Spikes tickets online by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.

More ticket packages, including Flex Books and an array of group and hospitality options for the 2022 season, are currently on sale by calling the Spikes at (814) 272-1711. Additional information on all club ticketing options, as well as team news and schedule info, can be viewed at StateCollegeSpikes.com.

Catch all of the action of the Spikes’ game on Saturday via the Spikes Radio Network presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics with Joe Putnam on the call. The broadcast starts with Spikes Live! presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Eastwood Field at 6:50 p.m.

The game can be viewed worldwide on the MLB Draft League streaming platform at MLBDraftLeague.com/streaming, along with the “Listen Live” link on StateCollegeSpikes.com and the TuneIn Radio app.