Soto homers, Spikes bounce back to top 'Cats in 10

Spikes overcome losing late lead to capture win on Friday

By State College Spikes | July 13, 2019 12:01 AM

TROY, N.Y. - Carlos Soto gave the State College Spikes the lead with a three-run blast, and the Spikes rebounded from losing the lead in the ninth to defeat the Tri-City ValleyCats in 10 innings, 6-4, on Friday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Soto's homer down the right field line, his second of the season, put the Spikes (15-13) in front, 3-2, in the sixth. The State College catcher swatted the round-tripper on the first pitch he saw from Tri-City (11-15) reliever Jayson Schroeder.

After adding a run in the ninth when a wild pitch plated Martin Figueroa , Spikes reliever Leonardo Tavares (1-0) faced the first adversity of his State College career. Tavares, who had retired all 12 batters he faced in three previous appearances with the club, gave up a hit, two walks, one of them intentional, and hit two batters as Tri-City tied the game, 4-4.

In the tenth, though, State College retook the lead on Matt Duce 's double, then tacked on another run with Brylie Ware 's single.

Junior Gonzalez (1) then set down the three Tri-City batters he faced in order in the bottom of the 10th to earn the save.

Tavares also recorded one strikeout in his relief effort as he took his first blown save but picked up his first Spikes win.

Enmanuel Solano yielded two runs on three hits and four walks while striking out three batters over 5 1/3 innings in a starting role for State College. Hector Villalobos entered the game with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, then proceeded to elicit a double play en route to 2 2/3 perfect innings than included four strikeouts.

Jonatan Machado went 1-for-4 with a walk to extend his on-base streak to 16 games. Figueroa went 2-for-3 to also aid the State College cause.

Tri-City took the opening lead of the game on E.P. Reese 's two-run single in the third.

ValleyCats reliever Shea Barry (1-1) took the loss after allowing three runs, two of them earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out one over 2 1/3 innings.

The Spikes now head back home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to start a three-game series with the Staten Island Yankees (New York Yankees) at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. State College will send left-hander Jacob Schlesener (1-2), who is third in the New York-Penn League with 36 strikeouts, to the mound. Staten Island will go with right-hander Wellington Diaz in his first appearance with the Short-Season Single-A Yankees this season.

Ballpark gates will open to the public at 6 p.m., and the first 500 fans will receive a Beanie Cap Giveaway presented by McClure Company. It's also Autism Awareness Night as the Spikes promote an inclusive atmosphere for all fans, and it's Super Saturday, presented by the PA Lottery, with great chances to win big throughout the night.

After the game, all kids 14 and under can run the bases.

Sunday, fans can look forward to the return of David "The Bullet" Smith as he brings his record-setting Human Cannonball act back to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, with a post-game blast-off after the 6:05 p.m. game. In addition, FIREWORKS presented by Penn State Health Medical Group will light up the skies after the contest.

Plus, it will be Military Appreciation Night as Lion Country Kia presents the festivities. The Spikes will also wear their special Patriotic Hats for the game, which are up for bids now in a Patriotic Hat Auction benefiting Local Military Personnel, also presented by Lion Country Kia. Bidding will take place on the LiveSource app, which can be downloaded at LiveSourceApp.com.

Sunday's game will also be televised live by WHVL-TV, with Joe Putnam and Josh Sperber on the call.

Monday, the series concludes with the first Super Splash Day of the season. The Spikes and Yankees will meet at noon, and Ike's Kids Zone will turn into the Splash Zone. In addition, it's a Monday Buck Day presented by 95.3 FM 3WZ, with $1 hot dogs, peanut boats and small sodas, and a MillerCoors Monday featuring half-price Miller Lite and Coors Light from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tickets for all three games, 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 Saturday 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.

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