Home Opener is here! Gates open 3:30!

Bands, skydivers, limos, Talor Battle and more on tap

Central PA's Best Family Value returns to State College tonight at 6:05 p.m.!

June 7, 2011 6:24 AM ET

Central PA's Best Family Value, the State College Spikes, will open their 38-game summer home schedule this evening with a bevy of pre-game activities, special events and great promotions for the entire family!

The Spikes' 6:05 p.m. Home Opener against the rival Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate) will be presented by PSECU and 95.3 FM 3WZ.

Gates will open to the general public at 3:30 p.m., giving fans an extended opportunity to experience the many fun, family activities and pageantry Opening Night will offer at the ballpark. As gates open, the first 3,000 fans will be greeted with a free Spikes Schedule Magnet compliments of PSECU. Fans will also be entertained by internet sensation "Bob the Bicycle Man" on the main concourse, and those arriving early can watch Spikes batting and infield practice.

From 3:30 to 5:10 p.m., a pair of popular area bands will perform live. The Zak Sobel Band, which recently opened for O.A.R. and Lupe Fiasco at Penn State's 'Moving On' concert, will play from 3:30 to 4:15. Then, another local favorite, Low Jack, will play from 4:15 to 5:10.

As first pitch time approaches on Opening Night, the focus will turn to the skies above Medlar Field at Lubrano Park as Sky Dive Happy Valley will drop into the ballpark from 10,000 feet to deliver the ceremonial first pitch ball to former Penn State basketball star Talor Battle. Battle, an All-American selection who led the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten Tournament championship game and an NCAA Tournament appearance in March, will also be participating in an on-field event during the game, and will sign free autographs and take pictures between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the ballpark's main concourse.

Spikes players and coaches will also be participating in a unique, first-of-its-kind introduction ceremony with the help of limousines courtesy of Fullington Bus Company. Limousines will transport starting and reserve players onto the field for a special introduction prior to taking the field.

The National Anthem will be performed by "Happy Valley's Got Talent" winner Riley Roth and the United States Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, Nittany Composite Squadron will present our nation's colors.

Plenty of activities will also take place after the game, including the first of 12 spectacular Post-Game Fireworks shows. In addition, all kids 12 and under will be invited to run the bases after the game, as they will be following all Spikes weekend home games, thanks to Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc.

Opening Day is the first of four straight home games to open the Spikes' 2011 home schedule. On Monday, June 20th, the Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals' affiliate) come to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the first of three straight 7:05 p.m. first pitches. The series opener will feature Bark in the Park Night presented by Metzger Animal Hospital, in which fans are invited to bring their dogs to the ballpark. Monday is also the first Dollar Dog Monday of the season, presented by 95.3 FM 3WZ.

Tuesday the 21st, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will take home a Nittany Bank Nookie Monster Bobblehead Doll and it's the first Buck Bleacher Tuesday of the season presented by the Centre Daily Times. All Outfield Bleacher seats will cost just one dollar for the middle game of the series.

The series will wrap on Wednesday the 22nd with the first Half-Price Wednesday presented by Big Froggy 101. That night will also feature the first-ever Wise Cracker's Comedy Night, including live performances by comedians throughout the game.

Single-game tickets for the four Opening Week games and all 38 Spikes regular season home games are currently on sale through the Spikes Box Office by calling (814) 272-1711, or by visiting in person weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fans can also buy and print single-game tickets by clicking here.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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