State College Spikes Open Season Monday Night in Williamsport
The State College Spikes open their seventh season Monday night in Williamsport, but it could be their last as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The team has said it will not negotiate a player development contract extension with the Pirates during the season, meaning come September, the team may be looking at a new club affiliate.
But that means little to the current roster of Spikes, many of whom are playing professional baseball for the first time.
Sunday, the Spikes held their media day at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, two days before the 7:05 p.m. home opener against Williamsport, the Class A short-season affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
New Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft rules pushed up the signing deadline to mid-July, which could mean more high draft picks being imported to State College.
The Pirates first-round supplemental draft pick, Barrett Barnes, an outfielder from Texas Tech, is in State College. Top Phillies draft choices from 2011, Larry Greene and Roman Quinn, are in uniform for Williamsport.
The Spikes went 31-44 last season but have a mix of players from the Gulf Coast League, the MLB First-Year Player Draft to mesh with returning talent.
“It’s all good,” first-year Spikes manager Dave Turgeon said. “I like the combination with guys that are familiar with the league already. The other thing they bring is they’re out to prove something. This might be it. They’ve got to prove they can do this or not. New arrivals always bring energy. New arrivals that have college experience bring stability.”
Creasy to Start Season Opener
Right-hander Jason Creasy, an eighth-round draft choice in 2011, will get the opening day start for the Spikes on Monday. Expect him to be on a pitch count around 60, he said.
“[The arm] feels really good,” he said. “Ready to get out and start games.”