WILLIAMSPORT - Cesar Valera continued his strong early-season performance at the plate with his first homer of the year, and the State College Spikes' pitching staff took care of the rest in a 3-1 win over the Williamsport Crosscutters on Wednesday night at Historic Bowman Field.
Valera's two-run dinger over the left field wall came off Williamsport (8-7) starter Drew Anderson (2-1) in the third inning to give State College (9-7) a 2-1 lead. David Washington then smashed a double in the sixth inning for the Spikes' final run.
Once Valera put the Spikes ahead, a trio of State College pitchers held it down on the hill. Starter Nick Petree went four innings and allowed the Crosscutters' only run on a total of two hits and two walks while striking out three. Jimmy Reed (1-0) then tossed four scoreless frames, giving up three hits and collecting five strikeouts. Reed retired the last seven batters he faced to run his streak of innings without allowing an earned run to nine.
Brady Adamek (2) pitched the ninth inning and gave up a single to Dylan Cozens followed by a double to Zach Green. However, Adamek set down the next three batters in order, two of them on strikes, to notch the save and preserve the win.
With his 1-for-3 night, Valera has now gone 13-for-26 at the plate against Williamsport this season, including seven extra-base hits.
Anderson went six innings on the mound for the Crosscutters, allowing all three Spikes runs on a total of five hits and a walk. The right-hander also struck out five in the loss.
Green ended the evening with three hits, two of them doubles, after starting the series in an 0-for-10 slump.
Today, the Spikes come back home for a 1 p.m. Fourth of July contest against the Batavia Muckdogs (Miami Marlins) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Right-hander Andrew Pierce (0-0) gets the ball to start for State College, while Batavia is slated to send righty Helpi Reyes (1-1) to the hill.