UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A crowd of 5,517 fans, the largest to see the State College Spikes in action at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in the 2018 season, witnessed Imeldo Diaz record four hits in the Spikes' 7-2 loss to the West Virginia Black Bears in the home finale on Friday night.
The crowd was the second of better than 5,000 fans inside the final eight days of the 2018 home schedule, and enjoyed a plethora of fun activities to close out the home slate, including LuCKy's Kia Giveaway II and FIREWORKS on Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Lion Country Kia.
Diaz produced his first four-hit game as a professional since last August 12 with Rookie-level Johnson City to power the Spikes' (34-39) offense. Both State College runs scored on sacrifice flies to center field, with Jonatan Machado producing his in the third and Edwin Figuera doing the same in the fifth. All seven hits for State College were singles as well.
West Virginia (31-42) took the lead in the first when Mike Gretler doubled home two runs. In the second, a Spikes error scored one run and wild pitches brought in two more to extend the Black Bears' advantage to 5-0.
Kyle Watson and Fabricio Macias then each notched an RBI single in the third to finish the West Virginia scoring.
Macias also compiled four hits for the Black Bears, capping it off with an eighth-inning triple in which he was thrown out at the plate trying for an inside-the-park home run.
State College starter Jacob Schlesener (2-6) took the loss after yielding seven runs on seven hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings. Schlesener threw three wild pitches in the game, but struck out four batters.
West Virginia starter Brad Case (1-0) earned the win in his debut with the club after giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk over five innings. Case struck out two batters on the night.
Prior to the game, the Spikes announced their 2018 year-end award winners. Infielder Stanley Espinal was named the club's Most Valuable Player, while right-handed pitcher Franyel Casadilla earned the Spikes' Pitcher of the Year award and Brady Whalen won the Josiah Viera Perseverance Award.
The Spikes now head to BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field on Saturday to start a three-game, season-ending road series against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies). Casadilla (4-2) will get the ball for State College against an as yet unnamed Williamsport starter.
Catch all of the action on Saturday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 6:50 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. 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.
Fans can inquire about 2019 Season Ticket memberships and a variety of group packages and experiences for the 2019 season by calling the Spikes at (814) 272-1711. Additional team and ticket information can also be viewed at StateCollegeSpikes.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.