Spikes Win Franchise’s First NYPL Championship and Become the Second Cardinals Affiliate to Win a League Title in 2014
Christopher Shannon reporting for WaxCracker.com.
The hunt is finished. The State College Spikes (St. Louis Cardinals) won their best-of-3 series against the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros) to claim their first ever New York-Penn League title.
The Spikes were led by their pitching staff throughout the post season until their offense finally came alive in the final game of the NYPL Championship Series. While the Spikes’ offense could only muster a measly .199 team batting average, the State College pitching staff combined to finished the playoffs with a sparkling 0.87 ERA.
In the championship series, the Spikes scored wins in games one and three to take the rematch of last year’s NYPL Championship, and the Alice H. Nader Cup, 2-1. On the mound, the Spikes started Trey Nielsen, Austin Gomber, and Daniel Poncedeleon. Nielsen went six scoreless innings in a 2-0 State College shutout at Medlar Field in game one. Game two starter, Austin Gomber did not find as much success on the mound, as he worked two innings and gave up three runs (two earned) as the Spikes dropped game two 3-0. Poncedeleon pitched another gem for State College in the third, and final game, of the championship series going six innings and allowing no runs in an 11-2 victory.
At the plate, the Spikes were led by Nick Thompson (3-13, three runs scored, two RBIs, and a homerun) and Luis Cruz (3-8, one double, one triple, and an RBI).
The series win made State College the second team in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system to win a league title in 2014. Johnson City, a Cardinals Rookie level affiliate, also won the Appalachian League title.