UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - A seven-run first inning propelled the State College Spikes to a 10-5 victory over the Hudson Valley Renegades in the opener of a three-game set at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Tuesday night.
Bryce Denton and Tyler Lancaster each collected three hits for the Spikes (27-21), who edged up to third place in both the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division and Wild Card races.
Zach Kirtley produced two hits in the first, including an RBI double, and Denton, Lancaster, Evan Mendoza and Dennis Ortega all drove in runs with singles in the initial frame.
Mendoza went 2-for-5 and knocked in two runs, upping his season RBI total to 26, good for second place in the league. The N.C. State product was one of six Spikes selected to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game prior to Tuesday's action, setting a new franchise record.
State College added three runs in the fifth, with Wood Myers providing a key run-scoring double, to enlarge the lead to 10-0.
Hudson Valley (23-25) responded with a four-run sixth as Brendan McKay , the Tampa Bay Rays' first-round draft choice out of Louisville, doubled in a pair of runs. McKay then capped the scoring with a gigantic solo home run to right field in the eighth, his fourth as a professional.
Spikes starter Paul Balestrieri (3-1) earned the win with 5 2/3 innings of work on the mound. Balestrieri allowed four runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman while striking out four. The righty did not allow a run over his first five innings, and left the game having yielded two runs.
Nick Padilla (2-2) started and took the loss for the Renegades after lasting just 1/3 of an inning. Padilla gave up six runs, four of them earned, on five hits and a walk.
The Spikes, already the highest-scoring team in the NYPL this year, produced their fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season in the win.
Wednesday, the Spikes face the Renegades in the middle game of a three-game series. State College will send left-hander and NYPL All-Star Daniel Castano (7-2) to the mound, while Hudson Valley will respond with their own NYPL All-Star on the hill in right-hander Drew Strotman (2-2).
It will be another Half-Craft Wednesday, presented by 93.7 THE BUS, with half-price craft beers available from 6-8 p.m. and half-price regular sodas available all game long. Plus, all Outfield Bleacher seats will be half-price.
The Spikes will bring back a new wrinkle to Wednesday's activities as well with half-price wine and spirits from 6-8 p.m. Fans can enjoy the half-price mixed drinks at Good Hops on the third base side and half-price wine and mixed drinks at Bottom of the 5th on the first base side. Fans can also enjoy the fun of Emoji Night at the ballpark.
More highlights of the homestand include Ladies Night & Paint the Park Purple Night presented by Home Instead Senior Care and Juniper Village at Brookline to fight Alzheimer's disease on Thursday, August 10, the return of the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo on Saturday, August 12, plus a pair of Spikes hat giveaways and two FIREWORKS shows.
Tickets for the five games from Wednesday through Sunday, as well as every game remaining on the Spikes' 2017 home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting in person. Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.
Catch all of the action on Wednesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.