Elite Prospects

Spikes Close 2023 Season at Mahoning Valley with 6-3 Defeat

September 2, 2023 – Major League Baseball Draft League (MLBDL) – State College Spikes News Release

NILES, Ohio – The State College Spikes finished up the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft League season on Saturday night at Eastwood Field and, despite Jackson Lindley’s five scoreless innings of relief, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ six runs over the first two innings held up as they took a 6-3 decision.

Lindley took over in the second inning and struck out six batters while allowing just two hits and two walks over his five frames in his last Spikes (23-24 2nd Half) appearance of the season.

The Spikes tried to bounce back from the 6-0 deficit, starting with back-to-back errors scoring one run and Marques Paige’s RBI groundout plating another in the fourth. Payton Harden then walked in the seventh, swiped second for his 23rd stolen base of the season’s second half, went to third base on an error, and scored on Brennen Dorighi’s single to draw State College within a trio of runs.

Five of the six Mahoning Valley (19-26 2nd Half) tallies scored in the second inning, with a passed ball and back-to-back singles by Braylin Marine and Corey King scoring four of them to spell the end of Derrick Cherry’s (5-4) night. T.J. Reeves then finished the Scrappers’ scoring with an RBI single.

Cherry took the loss after starting and going one inning officially, striking out one batter in the process. Mahoning Valley reliever Adam Wibert (2-1) was credited with the win after pitching a scoreless third inning. Peter Allegro (5) pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one walk and striking out two batters, for the save.

The second-half Spikes starred in a variety of statistical categories. Josh Leslie finished the season’s back half tied for the MLB Draft League lead with 63 hits and placed fifth in the second half with a .339 batting average. Braedon Blackford finished second in RBI’s for the second half with 34 and teammate Carlos Contreras was just one behind in third place at 33.

In addition, Blackford, the MLB Draft League Player of the Month for July, was third in the league with 13 doubles and third in extra-base hits with 19.

Harden scored 40 runs over 47 games to place third in the league’s second half, while his 23 stolen bases were fifth-best.

Spikes hurlers also starred, with relief ace Ty Buckner posting a 1.29 second-half ERA to pace the MLB Draft League while Sebastian Rodriguez finished third with a 2.20 mark. Buckner, who posted four saves in the second half and six total across both halves, also yielded just a .141 batting average to opponents’ hitters in the second half, the second-best mark in the league.

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