STATE COLLEGE, PA-A seven-run first inning was all it took for State College on Tuesday night as the Spikes defeated the Hudson Valley Renegades Renegades 10-5 at Lubrano Park and Medlar Field.
After Hudson Valley was retired 1-2-3 in the first inning, Renegades starter Nick Padilla took the hill following a 19-day layoff. The right-hander gave up a lined single to center by second baseman Zach Kirtley to begin the inning. Centerfielder Scott Hurst followed by laying down a sacrifice bunt and moving Kirtley to second. Third baseman Evan Mendoza came up next and smacked a single to left to score Kirtley and give the Spikes a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch by Padilla sent Mendoza to second before designated hitter Yariel Gonzalez drew a walk. With runners at first and second and still only one out, leftfielder Bryce Denton roped a single to left to score Mendoza and move Gonzalez to third. First baseman Tyler Lancaster stepped to the plate next, and delivered an infield single to third, which scored Gonzalez and moved Denton to second to make the score 3-0. Catcher Dennis Ortega followed Lancaster and grounded a single to left, scoring Denton, to increase the lead to 4-0 while Lancaster went to second. That final hit chased Padilla from the game after only 0.1 innings.
Hudson Valley reliever Andrew Gist came in next, but he couldn't put out the fire. With runners at first and second and one out, rightfielder Brandon Benson launched a flyball to right that was dropped by Angel Perez. The two-base error allowed Lancaster score while Ortega went to third. Shortstop Wood Myers came up next and lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Ortega and make the score 6-0. A wild pitch moved Ortega to third before Kirtley stood in for the second time in the first and shot a double to center to bring in Benson for the final run of the inning.
After walking Hurst, Gist finally ended the inning by getting Mendoza to ground into a 6-4 fielder's choice. All told, the Spikes scored seven runs on six hits while sending 12 men to the plate. Five of the six hits were singles.
The Renegades created a little bit of a stir in the second as they tried to get back in the game. A walk to first baseman Brendan McKay, an infield single to the pitcher by Perez, and a hit-by-pitch for catcher Rafelin Lorenzo loaded the bases with no one out. However, Spikes starting pitcher Paul Balestrieri settled down and got a strikeout of leftfielder Oscar Rojas, and a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of third baseman Bill Pujols to get out of the inning unscathed.
State College would add three more runs in the fifth for good measure. With one out, Benson lined a double to right, then scored on another lined double to center by Myers. A passed ball would move Myers to third before Kirtley drew a walk. With runners at the corners and one out, another passed ball by Lorenzo brought Myers in to score while Kirtley went to second. Following a groundout, Mendoza delivered a line-drive, two-out single to right to bring in Kirtley and give the Spikes a 10-0 lead.
Hudson Valley would get a few of the runs back in the sixth. Second baseman Vidal Brujan and pinch hitter Isaac Benard grounded singles to right to start the inning. After a wild pitch sent the runners to second and third, first-baseman Brendan McKay ripped a one-out double to right to score both runners. After a groundout, Lorenzo drew a walk. With runners at first and second and two away, Alex Fagsdale relieved Balestrieri and allowed a line drive RBI single to center by Rojas to score McKay and send Lorenzo to second. Pujols came up next and grounded a single to center to bring in Lorenzo and make the score 10-4.
The Renegades added their last run in the eighth as McKay started the inning with a solo homerun to right to cut the Spikes' lead to 10-5. The round-tripper was McKay's fourth of the season and his second in as many nights.
Hudson Valley finished with 10 hits including a 2-4 performance by McKay who homered, doubled, scored two runs and drove in three others. Brujan finished 2-5 with a double and run scored, while Pujols chipped in by going 2-4 with an RBI.
State College had 14 hits and were led by three hits apiece from Denton and Lancaster. Both went 3-5 with a run scored and RBI. Denton also had a double. Kirtley finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, and a RBI. Mendoza went 2-5 with a run and drove in two others.
Balestrieri (3-1) got the win for State College after allowing four runs on five hits in 5.2 innings and striking out four. Padilla (2-2) suffered the loss for Hudson Valley as he allowed six runs, four earned, on five hits in 0.1 innings. He saw his ERA skyrocket from 0.69 to 2.05 in the outing.
The Renegades continue their three-game series against the Spikes with game two tomorrow. First-pitch is at 7:05. The Renegades will send right-hander Drew Strotman (2-2, 1.88 ERA) to the mound while State College will counter with southpaw Daniel Castano (7-2, 2.54 ERA). The Renegades return home on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Brooklyn Cyclones. First-pitch is at 7:05. There will be fireworks following the game. Tickets can be purchased online at hvrenegades.com or by calling the ticket office at 845-838-0094.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.