UNIVERSITY?PARK - Solid pitching and a strong two-way effort by David Rubinstein led the State College Spikes back above the .500 mark with a 2-1 win over the Batavia Muckdogs on Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The State College (11-10) pitching tandem of Victor Black and Tyler Cox (1-0) combined to hold Batavia (11-10) to just one hit through seven innings and just four hits total. Black, the Pittsburgh Pirates' 2009 supplemental first-round draft pick who made his first professional start Thursday, allowed one run on one hit and one walk in three innings.
Cox earned the win with six shutout innings of three-hit ball to finish the game, and retired the first seven batters he faced. Rubinstein drove in both Spikes runs with a first-inning single, and aided the pitching cause with a pair of spectacular diving catches in right field.
The win clinched the Spikes' fourth series victory in their last five three-game sets, and put State College within percentage points of the New York-Penn League wild card lead held by Vermont.
Ty Summerlin had the only multi-hit game for the Spikes, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Tyler Lavigne (1-1) took the loss for the Muckdogs after allowing both State College runs over a three-inning start. Lavigne yielded three hits and a walk while striking out three.
Friday, the Spikes start a three-game series with the Jamestown Jammers, affiliates of the Florida Marlins, at 7:05 p.m. at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. State College will send right-hander Phillip Irwin (1-0) out for his first professional start against Jamestown right-hander Curtis Petersen (1-1).
It will also be Mifflin/Juniata Counties night at the game.