WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY - Steven Farinaro and Max Almonte combined on a four-hit shutout, and the State College Spikes downed the Hudson Valley Renegades in the opener of the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at Dutchess Stadium.
With the win, the Spikes can now win their second NYPL title in the last three years with a victory in Game Two on Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and fans can enjoy another $1 Beer Night for the playoffs, presented by BIG Froggy 101. 12-oz. domestic draft beers are just $1 apiece for fans of age from 6-8 p.m.
Plus, several fan favorites return for a bonus edition of Monday Buck Night, presented by 95.3 FM 3WZ, with $1 hot dogs, $1 small sodas and $1 peanut boats available all game long.
Farinaro (1-0) continued his superb finish to the 2016 season by allowing two hits and two walks over six innings of work. The right-hander also recorded one strikeout. Including his last four starts of the regular season, Farinaro has not allowed an earned run over his last 31 innings on the mound.
Almonte (1) then yielded just two hits and struck out one batter over three innings for the save.
The Spikes broke a scoreless tie in the sixth. Andy Young led off the inning with a double and scored when Vince Jackson tripled to center field on a fly ball that got lost in the sun. Jackson then strolled home on Jeremy Martinez's opposite-field single to make it 2-0, State College.
Young then drove in his sixth run of the playoffs with a single in the seventh to bump the margin up to three.
Hudson Valley reliever J.D. Busfield (1-1) took the loss after yielding all three State College runs on seven hits over 1 1/3 innings. Starter Noel Rodriguez had held the Spikes without a run despite allowing a hit and four walks while striking out four over the first five frames.
Renegades center field Jake Fraley, the NYPL's stolen bases leader with 33 in the regular season, suffered an apparent leg injury in the sixth inning and left the game in the seventh.
Monday, the Spikes will send left-hander Jordan DeLorenzo, who already has a save in relief this postseason, to the mound for the potential championship-clinching game.
The Renegades are set to go with left-hander Travis Ott, who went 6-0 with a 1.06 earned run average in the regular season. Ott allowed four runs, two of them earned, over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision when he started Game 1 of the Semifinal Series against Lowell.
Individual playoff game tickets are available by visiting the Spikes Ticket Office at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, or by calling (814) 272-1711 during normal Ticket Office hours (9 a.m. to end of game on game days Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to end of game on game days Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-game days Monday-Friday).
Tickets for Monday's game are also available to buy and download at StateCollegeSpikes.com as the Spikes are #BackInTheHunt, presented by Lion Country Kia and HRI, Inc., with a second New York-Penn League championship over the last three seasons in their sights.
Catch all of the postseason action on Monday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Health, starting at 6:35 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. 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, Newsradio 1390 WRSC, as well as the TuneIn Radio app.
Spikes fans can also catch home playoff games in 2016 even when outside Central PA thanks to the new partnership with MiLB.TV to stream all games online to paid subscribers of the service. Fans can subscribe to MiLB.TV for $19.99, including access to archived games throughout the offseason.