Spikes romp over Black Bears in 2024 home opener

Penn State basketball great Joe Crispin, now an assistant for the Nittany Lions, throws out one of the ceremonial first pitches for the Spikes' 2024 season on Friday.|Art or Photo Credit: Steve Manuel


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The State College Spikes throttled the West Virginia Black Bears, 13-6, to thrill an enthusiastic crowd on hand for the first game of the 2024 home schedule at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Friday night.

Samuel Benjamin got the State College (3-1) attack going with a monstrous 436-foot, two-run homer to right field as the second batter of the game for the Spikes. Deniel Ortiz also homered for the Spikes, launching a 410-foot solo shot to right-center field in the fourth inning as part of a three-hit night.

Right-hander Tanner Boudreau (4-0) recorded four scoreless, one-hit innings to earn the win. The Sylvan Lake, Alberta native, who most recently pitched at Midland (Texas) College, whiffed six batters and gave up just one walk.

The Spikes used a seven-run first inning to jump out in front after the Black Bears had plated three runs in the top half of the opening frame. West Virginia starter Kobe Beaudion (0-1) took the loss after withstanding the State College onslaught in the first.

Before the game, Spikes fans saw a pair of Penn State standouts throw season-opening ceremonial first pitches. Nittany Lion basketball legend Joe Crispin, whose bobblehead will be given away to the first 1,000 fans, presented by Penn State Health, on Saturday, August 24, tossed a strike before Mike Gambino, who notched the most wins for any first-year Penn State Baseball head coach and led the Lions to within a run of a Big Ten conference title, did the same.

Saturday, the Spikes continue their weekend set to lift the lid on the 2024 home schedule with a 6:35 p.m. matchup against the Black Bears. Right-hander Will Harris, a Georgia Gwinnett product who returns from the 2023 Spikes, will get the ball for State College.

After FIREWORKS lit up the skies over Happy Valley following the home opener, yet another fantastic FIREWORKS display is set to dazzle fans on Saturday night after the game. It’s also Golf Night at the ballpark, as well as Autism Acceptance Night presented by the Central PA Autism Community.

Fans using the promo code AUTISMNIGHT when purchasing tickets for Saturday’s game will have $3 of their ticket purchase donated to the Central PA Autism Community.

In addition, it’s another installment of Kids Run the Bases Home Run Edition after the game, presented by Mount Nittany Health, along with a Super Saturday presented by the PA Lottery and Pop 93.3.

For tickets to Opening Weekend games on Saturday and Sunday, 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. Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. until the end of the game on Friday, and 10 a.m. until the end of the game on Saturday and Sunday.

Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets, and view the 2024 promotional schedule, by visiting 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 Steve Jones and Joe Putnam on the call. The broadcast starts with Spikes Live! presented by Mount Nittany Health on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park starting at approximately 6:05 p.m.

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