Spikes shut out 'Cutters in 2018 season finale

Five pitchers combine on six-hit shutout in 1-0 victory

(Steve Manuel)

By State College Spikes | September 3, 2018 7:00 PM

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Five pitchers combined to yield just six hits and give the State College Spikes a 1-0 victory over the Williamsport Crosscutters on Monday in a Labor Day matchup at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field to close out the 2018 regular season.

With the win, the Spikes finished the year 36-40 and took the season series over the Crosscutters (32-44), 9-5.

The lone run of the game scored in the eighth inning. Cameron Knight led off with a walk and moved to second on an error during Jonatan Machado 's attempted sacrifice bunt. Knight then advanced to third on Edwin Figuera 's single to left, and scored when Imeldo Diaz grounded into a double play.

Winston Nicacio started and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out four over three innings of work. Jim Voyles then gave up one hit and one walk over two innings of relief, followed by a two-hit, one walk frame from Troy Montemayor that included a strikeout.

Hector Villalobos (2-2) followed and earned the win after yielding just one hit and striking out one batter over two innings.

Kevin Hamann (10) then loaded the bases in the ninth on a walk, a hit and an intentional walk, but kept the Crosscutters off the board and tied for the New York-Penn League in saves in the 2018 season with a perfect 10-for-10 record in save opportunities. Hamann matched Williamsport's Keylan Killgore for the league lead in that category, and finished second behind Brooklyn's Billy Oxford with 25 appearances on the season.

Lars Nootbaar produced the Spikes' lone multi-hit game, reaching base three times. Nootbaar finished the season with 16 RBI in his last 18 games since the NYPL All-Star Game, the fifth-most in the league during that span.

The Spikes closed out the season with several performers ranked among the tops in the New York-Penn League. Stanley Espinal , the Spikes' 2018 team MVP, finished fourth in the league in RBI with 41, and led the Spikes with eight home runs in the 2018 season. Espinal also finished fifth in the loop with 69 hits, one behind Figuera, who finished tied for third with 70.

In addition, the Dominican Republic native was also tenth in the league in hitting with a .286 batting average and fifth in the NYPL in slugging percentage with a .456 mark with two games remaining on the league's schedule during the final day of the regular season.

2018 Spikes Pitcher of the Year Franyel Casadilla allowed just a .203 batting average to opponents, the second-best mark among qualifying pitchers with at least 0.8 innings per team game, and was third on the list with a 1.03 WHIP. Will Changarotty was one of five pitchers tied for the league leads in holds as well, notching six of them during the summer.

Jacob Schlesener , who tied the Spikes' single-game strikeout record with 10 during a rain-shortened, four-inning start on August 16, broke it with 11 whiffs over 5 2/3 innings at Batavia on August 26. Schlesener's 69 strikeouts for the season were also second-most in the league behind Jaison Vilera of Brooklyn, who recorded 78.

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.

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