Without working most the summer I missed out on one of my summer time staples, the State College Spikes. For the first time since the season opener I headed out to Medlar field for a 7:05 first pitch.
It has been the most exciting season for the State College Spikes since they came to the area. Tonight they played in the final game of the New York Penn League Championship Series. With high hopes the team took to the field but couldn’t get the ball on the bat. In the ninth inning, the fans rallied hoping they could pull back the win like they have on limited outs all summer. With the final strike out the season came to an unwanted ending.
As the season is winding down the excitement and energy at Spikes games is growing as they work towards their first play off series in team history. Tonight they took on the Jamestown Jammers, who they have been competing against for the number one position. The Spikes pulled out in the win in the ninth inning.
Sometimes I feel like the Spikes games come and go in waves. This wave was a strong one as they had a six game home stand. I spent four of the six nights at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Some for only a few quick innings as I bounced between assignments, and other nights I could take my time and get as much as I could before the sun went down along with my shutter speed. Here are a few of my favorites.
The Spikes returned to town this week with a three game series against The Lowell Spinners.
To kick off the series former MLB pitcher and a Bellefonte native, Eric Milton threw out the first pitch. He is no stranger to the pitching mound after throwing a no hitter for the Minnesota Twins in 1999. He also took the time to great fans and sign the giveaway, a bobble head in his honor.
The players battled through hot and humid weather all week but the offense for both teams were on their game. With less action on the bases than normal I switched my vantage points frequently to try new angles and images.
It was a gorgeous night to cover my first Spikes game of the season. This will be the start of many Spikes blogs throughout the season. I’m always looking for new angles and little things that set the images apart in addition to action shots.
To start off the night I captured this bee as it buzzed past Jimmy Reed mid pitch.
Took a few innings but the action picked up as the game went on and the Spikes came out with an 8-3 win.
The boys are back in town is all I can keep singing in my head as I think that minor league baseball season has finally arrived here in State College! Growing up I went to a lot of minor league baseball games, and it’s one of the things that I really enjoy covering on these summer nights. The State College Spikes are part of the New York-Penn league, which is a short season A league, which runs mid June to early September.
Today the stadium was bustling with preparations for tomorrow’s season opener, and media day. The Spikes changed affiliations during the off season and are now a farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals, which brings in a new roster of coaches and players.
With a 4 game home stand the State College Spikes season has come to an end. I photographed 3 of the last 4 games, as they took on the Williamsport Crosscutters and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Pittsburgh Pirate Starling Marte joined the Spikes for their second to last game as he worked on a rehab assignment.