Fireworks aplenty for Spikes bats, arms on Fourth

Four hits for Williams, Duce homers, pitchers net 11 K's in 7-1 win

Spikes v. Williamsport (Photo by Steve Manuel)

By State College Spikes | July 4, 2019 11:33 PM

NILES, Ohio - A four-hit game from Donivan Williams, Matt Duce 's first professional home run and another stellar pitching effort combined to give the State College Spikes their seventh consecutive win at Eastwood Field in a 7-1 Independence Day victory over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Williams broke out of a .191 start to the season with a 4-for-5 night at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring another in the process. The St. Louis Cardinals' 2017 14th-round draft choice was the second Spikes (12-8) player with a four-hit game this year, following Pedro Pages 's effort on June 21 at West Virginia.

Duce, the Cardinals' 2018 ninth-round draft choice out of Dallas Baptist, smashed an 0-1 pitch from Mahoning Valley (11-9) starter Jhonneyver Gutierrez (1-2) over the right-field wall to increase the Spikes' lead to 5-1.

On the mound, State College racked up double-digit strikeouts as a team for the second straight game, one night after setting a single-game nine-inning record with 18 against Batavia. 2019 fourth-round pick Andre Pallante out of UC Irvine struck out three batters over three-plus innings. Connor Thomas (2-0), the Cardinals' 2019 fifth-round choice out of Georgia Tech, then whiffed six batters and gave up just two hits over 3 2/3 innings for the win.

Junior Gonzalez finished the evening with two strikeouts over 2 1/3 shutout frames to run the Spikes' strikeout total to 11 for the game.

Jonatan Machado and Moises Castillo each produced three hits and scored two runs for State College as well. Machado added an RBI to the Spikes' cause.

Gutierrez yielded four runs on nine hits and a walk over five innings in the loss. The right-hander also struck out one batter.

With the win, the Spikes are now 11-3 on the Fourth of July all-time.

Friday, State College meets Mahoning Valley for the middle game of their three-game series at Eastwood Field. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Scott Politz (0-1) on the hill for the Spikes against right-hander Carlos Vargas (1-0).

Following the road trip, the Spikes return home on Sunday, July 7 to begin a three-game series against the Muckdogs at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Sunday night will feature Bark in the Park II presented by NEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC and the Centre Daily Times, where fans can bring their dogs to the park for a night of canine-centric fun and the Spikes will wear special Bark in the Park Jerseys that feature dog photos submitted by fans.

The jerseys are also up for bids through the Spikes' partnership with LiveSource, with proceeds from the auction going to local animal rescues thanks to Metzger Animal Hospital. Fans can place their bids through the LiveSource app now, downloadable at LiveSourceApp.com.

In addition, fans can enjoy Sunday Kids Day presented by First National Bank. Followed Sunday's matchup, the Spikes are home on July 8 for Wayback Monday (Old School Baseball Night) and Trade-Any-Ticket Night on a Monday Buck Night presented by 95.3 FM 3WZ. The three-game homestand then concludes on Tuesday, July 9 with a $2 Walking Taco Tuesday presented by B94.5 and Jared Box Night.

Tickets for the three-game set, as well as every game on the 2019 home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting the Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to the end of the game on gamedays Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-gamedays Monday through Friday.

Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.

Catch all of the action on Friday 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 Eastwood 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.

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

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